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1.  Regulation of Activation-Induced Cytidine Deaminase DNA Deamination Activity in B Cells by Serine-38 Phosphorylation 
Biochemical Society transactions  2009;37(Pt 3):561-568.
Human and mouse immunoglobulin (Ig) genes are diversified in mature B cells by distinct processes known as Ig heavy chain class switch recombination (CSR) and Ig variable region exon somatic hypermutation (SHM). These DNA modification processes are initiated by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), a DNA cytidine deaminase predominantly expressed in activated B cells. AID is post-transcriptionally regulated via multiple mechanisms including microRNA regulation, nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling, ubiquitination and phosphorylation. Among these regulatory processes, AID phosphorylation at Serine-38 (S38) has been a focus of particularly intense study and debate. Here, we discuss recent biochemical and mouse genetic studies that begin to elucidate the functional significance of AID S38 phosphorylation in the context of the evolution of this mode of AID regulation and the potential roles that it may play in activated B cells during a normal immune response.
doi:10.1042/BST0370561
PMCID: PMC3540414  PMID: 19442251
activation-induced cytidine deaminase; class switch recombination; evolution; phosphorylation; somatic hypermutation
2.  CTCF Binding Elements Mediate Control of V(D)J Recombination 
Nature  2011;477(7365):424-430.
Immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) variable region exons are assembled from VH, D and JH gene segments in developing B lymphocytes. Within the 2.7 megabase (Mb) mouse IgH locus (IgH), V(D)J recombination is regulated to ensure specific and diverse antibody repertoires. Herein, we report a key IgH V(D)J recombination regulatory region, termed InterGenic Control Region-1 (IGCR1), that lies between the VH and D clusters. Functionally, IGCR1 employs CTCF looping/insulator factor binding elements and, correspondingly, mediates IgH loops containing distant enhancers. IGCR1 promotes normal B cell development and balances antibody repertoires by inhibiting transcription and rearrangement of DH-proximal VHs and promoting rearrangement of distal VHs. IGCR1 maintains ordered and lineage-specific VH(D)JH recombination, respectively, by suppressing VH joining to Ds not joined to JHs and VH to DJH joins in thymocytes. IGCR1 also is required to allow feedback regulation and allelic exclusion of proximal VH to DJH recombination. Our studies elucidate a long-sought IgH V(D)J recombination control region and implicate a new role for the generally expressed CTCF protein.
doi:10.1038/nature10495
PMCID: PMC3342812  PMID: 21909113
3.  The ARID Family Transcription Factor Bright Is Required for both Hematopoietic Stem Cell and B Lineage Development▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2011;31(5):1041-1053.
Bright/Arid3a has been characterized both as an activator of immunoglobulin heavy-chain transcription and as a proto-oncogene. Although Bright expression is highly B lineage stage restricted in adult mice, its expression in the earliest identifiable hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) population suggests that Bright might have additional functions. We showed that >99% of Bright−/− embryos die at midgestation from failed hematopoiesis. Bright−/− embryonic day 12.5 (E12.5) fetal livers showed an increase in the expression of immature markers. Colony-forming assays indicated that the hematopoietic potential of Bright−/− mice is markedly reduced. Rare survivors of lethality, which were not compensated by the closely related paralogue Bright-derived protein (Bdp)/Arid3b, suffered HSC deficits in their bone marrow as well as B lineage-intrinsic developmental and functional deficiencies in their peripheries. These include a reduction in a natural antibody, B-1 responses to phosphocholine, and selective T-dependent impairment of IgG1 class switching. Our results place Bright/Arid3a on a select list of transcriptional regulators required to program both HSC and lineage-specific differentiation.
doi:10.1128/MCB.01448-10
PMCID: PMC3067827  PMID: 21199920
4.  ATM Damage Response and XLF Repair Factor are Functionally Redundant In Joining DNA Breaks 
Nature  2010;469(7329):250-254.
Classical non-homologous DNA end-joining (C-NHEJ) is a major mammalian DNA double strand break (DSB) repair pathway. Deficiencies for C-NHEJ factors, such as XRCC4, abrogate lymphocyte development, owing to a strict requirement for C-NHEJ to join V(D)J recombination DSB intermediates1,2. The XRCC4-like factor (XLF) is mutated in certain immunodeficient human patients and has been implicated in C-NHEJ3,4,5,6. Yet, XLF-deficient mice have relatively normal lymphocyte development and their lymphocytes support normal V(D)J recombination5. The Ataxia Telangiectasia-Mutated protein (“ATM”) detects DSBs and activates DSB responses by phosphorylating substrates including histone H2AX7. However, ATM-deficiency causes only modest V(D)J recombination and lymphocyte developmental defects, and H2AX-deficiency does not measurably impact these processes7,8,9. Here, we show that XLF, ATM, and H2AX all have fundamental roles in processing and joining ends during V(D)J recombination; but that these roles have been masked by unanticipated functional redundancies. Thus, combined ATM/XLF-deficiency nearly blocks mouse lymphocyte development due inability to process and join chromosomal V(D)J recombination DSB intermediates. Combined XLF and ATM deficiency also severely impairs C-NHEJ, but not alternative end-joining, during IgH class switch recombination. Redundant ATM and XLF functions in C-NHEJ are mediated via ATM kinase activity and are not required for extra-chromosomal V(D)J recombination, suggesting a role for chromatin-associated ATM substrates. Correspondingly, conditional H2AX inactivation in XLF-deficient pro-B lines leads to V(D)J recombination defects associated with marked degradation of unjoined V(D)J ends, revealing that H2AX indeed has a role in this process.
doi:10.1038/nature09604
PMCID: PMC3058373  PMID: 21160472
5.  Lymphocyte-Specific Compensation For XLF/Cernunnos End-Joining Functions In V(D)J Recombination 
Molecular cell  2008;31(5):631-640.
SUMMARY
Mutations in XLF/Cernunnos (hereafter called "XLF") cause lymphocytopenia in humans, and various studies suggest an XLF role in classical non-homologous end joining (C-NHEJ). We now find that XLF-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts are ionizing radiation (IR) sensitive and severely impaired for ability to support V(D)J recombination. Yet, mature lymphocyte numbers in XLF-deficient mice are only modestly decreased. Moreover, XLF-deficient pro-B lines, while IR-sensitive, carry out V(D)J recombination at nearly wild-type levels. Correspondingly, XLF/p53-double-deficient mice are not markedly prone to the pro-B lymphomas that occur in previously characterized C-NHEJ/p53-deficient mice; however, like other C-NHEJ/p53-deficient mice they still develop medulloblastomas. Despite nearly normal V(D)J recombination in developing B cells, XLF-deficient mature B cells are moderately defective for IgH class switch recombination. Together, our results implicate XLF as a C-NHEJ factor, but also indicate that developing mouse lymphocytes harbor cell type specific factors/pathways that compensate for absence of XLF function during V(D)J recombination.
doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2008.07.017
PMCID: PMC2630261  PMID: 18775323
6.  Mice Lacking Histone Deacetylase 6 Have Hyperacetylated Tubulin but Are Viable and Develop Normally▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2008;28(5):1688-1701.
Posttranslational modifications play important roles in regulating protein structure and function. Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) is a mostly cytoplasmic class II HDAC, which has a unique structure with two catalytic domains and a domain binding ubiquitin with high affinity. This enzyme was recently identified as a multisubstrate protein deacetylase that can act on acetylated histone tails, α-tubulin and Hsp90. To investigate the in vivo functions of HDAC6 and the relevance of tubulin acetylation/deacetylation, we targeted the HDAC6 gene by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells and generated knockout mice. HDAC6-deficient mice are viable and fertile and show hyperacetylated tubulin in most tissues. The highest level of expression of HDAC6 is seen in the testis, yet development and function of this organ are normal in the absence of HDAC6. Likewise, lymphoid development is normal, but the immune response is moderately affected. Furthermore, the lack of HDAC6 results in a small increase in cancellous bone mineral density, indicating that this deacetylase plays a minor role in bone biology. HDAC6-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts show apparently normal microtubule organization and stability and also show increased Hsp90 acetylation correlating with impaired Hsp90 function. Collectively, these data demonstrate that mice survive well without HDAC6 and that tubulin hyperacetylation is not detrimental to normal mammalian development.
doi:10.1128/MCB.01154-06
PMCID: PMC2258784  PMID: 18180281
7.  Mammalian Sir2 Homolog SIRT3 Regulates Global Mitochondrial Lysine Acetylation▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2007;27(24):8807-8814.
Homologs of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sir2 protein, sirtuins, promote longevity in many organisms. Studies of the sirtuin SIRT3 have so far been limited to cell culture systems. Here, we investigate the localization and function of SIRT3 in vivo. We show that endogenous mouse SIRT3 is a soluble mitochondrial protein. To address the function and relevance of SIRT3 in the regulation of energy metabolism, we generated and phenotypically characterized SIRT3 knockout mice. SIRT3-deficient animals exhibit striking mitochondrial protein hyperacetylation, suggesting that SIRT3 is a major mitochondrial deacetylase. In contrast, no mitochondrial hyperacetylation was detectable in mice lacking the two other mitochondrial sirtuins, SIRT4 and SIRT5. Surprisingly, despite this biochemical phenotype, SIRT3-deficient mice are metabolically unremarkable under basal conditions and show normal adaptive thermogenesis, a process previously suggested to involve SIRT3. Overall, our results extend the recent finding of lysine acetylation of mitochondrial proteins and demonstrate that SIRT3 has evolved to control reversible lysine acetylation in this organelle.
doi:10.1128/MCB.01636-07
PMCID: PMC2169418  PMID: 17923681

Results 1-7 (7)