Misregulation of DNA repair is associated with genetic instability and tumorigenesis. To preserve the integrity of the genome, eukaryotic cells have evolved extremely intricate mechanisms for repairing DNA damage. One type of DNA lesion is a double-strand break (DSB), which is highly toxic when unrepaired. Repair of DSBs can occur through multiple mechanisms. Aside from religating the DNA ends, a homologous template can be used for repair in a process called homologous recombination (HR). One key step in committing to HR is the formation of Rad51 filaments, which perform the homology search and strand invasion steps. In S. cerevisiae, Srs2 is a key regulator of Rad51 filament formation and disassembly. In this review, we highlight potential candidates of Srs2 orthologues in human cells, and we discuss recent advances in understanding how Srs2’s so-called “anti-recombinase” activity is regulated.
Homologous recombination; Srs2; Rad51; PARI; RTEL; Rad51 paralogues; Shu complex; Rad55-Rad57; Cancer; Genetic Instability
BRCA1 carboxyl-terminal (BRCT) motifs are present in a number of proteins involved in DNA repair and/or DNA damage signaling pathways. The BRCT domain-containing protein BRCTx has been shown to interact physically with RAD18, an E3 ligase involved in postreplication repair and homologous recombination repair. However, the physiological relevance of the interaction between RAD18 and BRCTx is largely unknown. In this study, we showed that RAD18 interacts with BRCTx in a phosphorylation-dependent manner and that this interaction, mediated via highly conserved serine residues on the RAD18 C terminus, is required for BRCTx accumulation at DNA damage sites. Furthermore, we uncovered critical roles of the RAD18-BRCTx module in UV-induced DNA damage repair but not PCNA mono-ubiquitination or homologous recombination. Thus, our results suggest that RAD18 has an additional function in the surveillance of the UV-induced DNA damage response signal.
DNA damage; DNA repair; BRCT domain; RAD18
Results suggest a high probability that abasic (AP) sites occur at least once per herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) genome. The parameters that control the ability of HSV-1 DNA polymerase (pol) to engage in AP translesion synthesis (TLS) were examined because AP lesions could influence the completion and fidelity of viral DNA synthesis. Pre-steady-state kinetic experiments demonstrated that wild-type (WT) and exonuclease-deficient (exo-) pol could incorporate opposite an AP lesion, but full TLS required absence of exo function. Virtually all of the WT pol was bound at the exo site to AP-containing P/Ts at equilibrium, and the pre-steady-state rate of excision by WT pol was higher on AP-containing than on matched DNA. However, several factors influencing polymerization work synergistically with exo activity to prevent HSV-1 pol from engaging in TLS. Although the pre-steady-state catalytic rate constant for insertion of dATP opposite a T or AP site was similar, ground-state binding affinity of dATP for insertion opposite an AP site was reduced 3−9-fold. Single-turnover running-start experiments demonstrated a reduced proportion of P/Ts extended to the AP site compared to the preceding site during processive synthesis by WT or exo- pol. Only the exo- pol engaged in TLS, though inefficiently and without burst kinetics, suggesting a much slower rate-limiting step for extension beyond the AP site.
Formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase (Fpg; MutM) is a DNA repair enzyme widely distributed in bacteria. Fpg recognizes and excises oxidatively modified purines, 4,6-diamino-5-formamidopyrimidine, 2,6-diamino-4-hydroxy-5-formamidopyrimidine and 8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG), with similar excision kinetics. It exhibits some lesser activity toward 8-oxoadenine. Fpg enzymes are also present in some plant and fungal species. The eukaryotic Fpg homologs exhibit little or no activity on DNA containing 8-oxoG, but they recognize and process its oxidation products, guanidinohydantoin (Gh) and spiroiminohydantoin (Sp). To date, several structures of bacterial Fpg enzymes unliganded or in complex with DNA containing a damaged base have been published but there is no structure of a eukaryotic Fpg. Here we describe the first crystal structure of a plant Fpg, Arabidopsis thaliana (AthFpg), unliganded and bound to DNA containing an abasic site analog, tetrahydrofuran (THF). Although AthFpg shares a common architecture with other Fpg glycosylases, it harbors a zincless finger, previously described in a subset of Nei enzymes, such as human NEIL1 and Mimivirus Nei1. Importantly the “αF-β10 loop” capping 8-oxoG in the active site of bacterial Fpg is very short in AthFpg. Deletion of a segment encompassing residues 213 to 229 in Escherichia coli Fpg (EcoFpg) and corresponding to the “αF-β10 loop” does not affect the recognition and removal of oxidatively damaged DNA base lesions, with the exception of 8-oxoG. Although the exact role of the loop remains to be further explored, it is now clear that this protein segment is specific to the processing of 8-oxoG.
Base excision repair; DNA glycosylase; abasic site; 8-oxoguanine; Fpg; MutM
Escherichia coli polymerase V (pol V/UmuD'2C) is a low-fidelity DNA polymerase that has recently been shown to avidly incorporate ribonucleotides (rNTPs) into undamaged DNA. The fidelity and sugar selectivity of pol V can be modified by missense mutations around the “steric gate” of UmuC. Here, we analyze the ability of three steric gate mutants of UmuC to facilitate translesion DNA synthesis (TLS) of a cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) in vitro, and to promote UV-induced mutagenesis and cell survival in vivo. The pol V (UmuC_F10L) mutant discriminates against rNTP and incorrect dNTP incorporation much better than wild-type pol V and although exhibiting a reduced ability to bypass a CPD in vitro, does so with high-fidelity and consequently produces minimal UV-induced mutagenesis in vivo. In contrast, pol V (UmuC_Y11A) readily misincorporates both rNTPs and dNTPs during efficient TLS of the CPD in vitro. However, cells expressing umuD'C (Y11A) were considerably more UV-sensitive and exhibited lower levels of UV-induced mutagenesis than cells expressing wild-type umuD'C or umuD'C (Y11F). We propose that the increased UV-sensitivity and reduced UV-mutability of umuD'C (Y11A) is due to excessive incorporation of rNTPs during TLS that are subsequently targeted for repair, rather than an inability to traverse UV-induced lesions.
SOS mutagenesis; pol V; UV-mutagenesis; ribonucleotide incorporation
Apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonucleases play a major role in the repair of AP sites, oxidative damage and alkylation damage in DNA. We employed Saccharomyces cerevisiae in an unbiased forward genetic screen to identify amino acid substitutions in the major yeast AP endonuclease, Apn1, that impair cellular DNA repair capacity by conferring sensitivity to the DNA alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate. We report here the identification and characterization of the Apn1 V156E amino acid substitution mutant through biochemical and functional analysis. We found that steady-state levels of Apn1 V156E were substantially decreased compared to wild type protein, and that this decrease was due to more rapid degradation of mutant protein compared to wild type. Based on homology to E. coli endonuclease IV and computational modeling, we predicted that V156E impairs catalytic ability. However, overexpression of mutant protein restored DNA repair activity in vitro and in vivo. Thus, the V156E substitution decreases DNA repair capacity by an unanticipated mechanism via increased degradation of mutant protein, leading to substantially reduced cellular levels. Our study provides evidence that the V156 residue plays a critical role in Apn1 structural integrity, but is not involved in catalytic activity. These results have important implications for elucidating structure-function relationships for the endonuclease IV family of proteins, and for employing simple eukaryotic model systems to understand how structural defects in the major human AP endonuclease APE1 may contribute to disease etiology.
Structure-function relationship; AP endonuclease; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Apn1; Methyl methanesulfonate
Homologous recombination (HR) is essential for maintaining genomic integrity, which is challenged by a wide variety of potentially lethal DNA lesions. Regardless of the damage type, recombination is known to proceed by RAD51-mediated D-loop formation, followed by DNA repair synthesis. Nevertheless, the participating polymerases and extension mechanism are not well characterized. Here, we present a reconstitution of this step using purified human proteins. In addition to Pol δ, TLS polymerases, including Pol η and Pol κ, also can extend D-loops. In vivo characterization reveals that Pol η and Pol κ are involved in redundant pathways for HR. In addition, the presence of PCNA on the D-loop regulates the length of the extension tracks by recruiting various polymerases and might present a regulatory point for the various recombination outcomes.
TLS polymerases; Homologous recombination; DNA repair synthesis; D-loop; Reconstitution
•We examine the sumoylation of PARP-1 in response to different DNA ligands.•We characterise the dynamics of the PARP-1 SUMO conjugate by NMR.•Sumoylation of PARP-1 is stimulated by binding to intact, but not to damaged DNA.•Sumoylation does not interfere with PARP-1's DNA binding or catalytic activity.•PARP-1 sumoylation and catalytic activation follow independent regulatory mechanisms.
Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1) plays an important role in DNA repair, but also contributes to other aspects of nucleic acid metabolism, such as transcriptional regulation. Modification of PARP-1 with the small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) affects its function as a transcriptional co-activator of hypoxia-responsive genes and promotes induction of the heat shock-induced HSP70.1 promoter. We now report that PARP-1 sumoylation is strongly influenced by DNA. Consistent with a function in transcription, we show that sumoylation in vitro is enhanced by binding to intact, but not to damaged DNA, in a manner clearly distinct from the mechanism by which DNA damage stimulates PARP-1's catalytic activity. An enhanced affinity of PARP-1 for the SUMO-conjugating enzyme Ubc9 upon binding to DNA is likely responsible for this effect. Sumoylation does not interfere with the catalytic or DNA-binding properties of PARP-1, and structural analysis reveals no significant impact of SUMO on the conformation of PARP-1's DNA-binding domain. In vivo, sumoylated PARP-1 is associated with chromatin, but the modification is not responsive to DNA damage and is not affected by PARP-1 catalytic activity. Our results suggest that PARP-1's alternative modes of DNA recognition serve as a means to differentiate between distinct aspects of the enzyme's function.
PARP-1; SUMO; Posttranslational modification; DNA binding; DNA repair; Transcription
The DNA damage response (DDR) and the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) are two critical mechanisms by which mammalian cells maintain genome stability. There is a growing body of evidence that DDR elements and SAC components crosstalk. Here we report that Bub1 (Budding Uninhibited by Benzimidazoles 1), one of the critical kinetochore proteins essential for SAC, is required for optimal DDRs. We found that knocking-down Bub1 resulted in prolonged H2AX foci and comet tail formation as well as hypersensitivity in response to ionizing radiation (IR). Further, we found that Bub1-mediated Histone H2A Threonine 121 phosphorylation was induced after IR in an ATM-dependent manner. We demonstrated that ATM phosphorylated Bub1 on serine 314 in response to DNA damage in vivo. Finally, we showed that ATM-mediated Bub1 serine 314 phosphorylation was required for IR-induced Bub1 activation and for the optimal DDR. Together, we elucidate the molecular mechanism of DNA damage-induced Bub1 activation and highlight a critical role of Bub1 in DDR.
ATM; Bub1; DNA damage response
We have investigated the ability of the 3′ exonuclease activity of S. cerevisiae DNA polymerase ε (Pol ε) to proofread newly inserted ribonucleotides (rNMPs). During DNA synthesis in vitro, Pol ε proofreads ribonucleotides with apparent efficiencies that vary from none at some locations to more than 90% at others, with rA and rU being more efficiently proofread than rC and rG. Previous studies show that failure to repair ribonucleotides in the genome of rnh201Δ strains that lack RNase H2 activity elevates the rate of short deletions in tandem repeat sequences. Here we show that this rate is increased by 2–4-fold in pol2–4 rnh201Δ strains that are also defective in Pol ε proofreading. In comparison, defective proofreading in these same strains increases the rate of base substitutions by more than 100-fold. Collectively, the results indicate that although proofreading of an ‘incorrect’ sugar is less efficient than is proofreading of an incorrect base, Pol ε does proofread newly inserted rNMPs to enhance genome stability.
DNA replication; DNA polymerase ε; ribonucleotides; exonuclease; proofreading
Loss of ATM kinase, a transducer of the DNA damage response and redox sensor, causes the neurodegenerative disorder ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T). While a great deal of progress has been made in elucidating the ATM-dependent DNA damage response (DDR) network, a key challenge remains in understanding the selective susceptibility of the nervous system to faulty DDR. Several factors appear implicated in the neurodegenerative phenotype in A-T, but which of them plays a crucial role remains unclear, especially since mouse models of A-T do not fully mirror the respective human syndrome. Therefore, a number of human neural stem cell (hNSC) systems have been developed to get an insight into the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration as consequence of ATM inactivation. Here we review the hNSC systems developed by us an others to model A-T.
ATM; Neurodegeneration; Neural stem cells; iPS cells; DNA damage response; Hypoxia
RECQL5 is one of the five human RecQ helicases, involved in the maintenance of genomic integrity. While much insight has been gained into the function of the Werner (WRN) and Bloom syndrome proteins (BLM), little is known about RECQL5. We have analyzed the recruitment and retention dynamics of RECQL5 at laser-induced DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) relative to other human RecQ helicases. RECQL5-depleted cells accumulate persistent 53BP1 foci followed by γ-irradiation, indicating a potential role of RECQL5 in the processing of DSBs. Real time imaging of live cells using confocal laser microscopy shows that RECQL5 is recruited early to laser-induced DSBs and remains for a shorter duration than BLM and WRN, but persist longer than RECQL4. These studies illustrate the differential involvement of RecQ helicases in the DSB repair process. Mapping of domains within RECQL5 that are necessary for recruitment to DSBs revealed that both the helicase and KIX domains are required for DNA damage recognition and stable association of RECQL5 to the DSB sites. Previous studies have shown that MRE11 is essential for the recruitment of RECQL5 to the DSB sites. Here we show that the recruitment of RECQL5 does not depend on the exonuclease activity of MRE11 or on active transcription by RNA polymerase II, one of the prominent interacting partners of RECQL5. Also, the recruitment of RECQL5 to laser-induced damage sites is independent of the presence of other DNA damage signaling and repair proteins BLM, WRN and ATM.
RECQL5; micro-irradiation; confocal laser microscopy
Special mechanisms of mutation are induced during growth-limiting stress and can generate adaptive mutations that permit growth. These mechanisms may provide improved models for mutagenesis in antibiotic resistance, evolution of pathogens, cancer progression and chemotherapy resistance. Stress-induced reversion of an Escherichia coli episomal lac frameshift allele specifically requires DNA double-strand-break-repair (DSBR) proteins, the SOS DNA-damage response and its error-prone DNA polymerase, DinB. We distinguished two possible roles for the DSBR proteins. Each might act solely upstream of SOS, to create single-strand DNA that induces SOS. This could upregulate DinB and enhance mutation globally. Or any or all of them might function other than or in addition to SOS promotion, for example, directly in error-prone DSBR. We report that in cells with SOS genes derepressed constitutively, RecA, RuvA, RuvB, RuvC, RecF and TraI remain required for stress-induced mutation, demonstrating that these proteins act other than via SOS induction. RecA and TraI also act by promoting SOS. These and additional results with hyper-mutating recD and recG mutants support roles for these proteins via error-prone DSBR. Such mechanisms could localize stress-induced mutagenesis to small genomic regions, a potentially important strategy for adaptive evolution, both for reducing additional deleterious mutations in rare adaptive mutants and for concerted evolution of genes.
Evolution; Genome instability; Genetic recombination; SOS response; Stress response
Several neurodegerative diseases are caused by expansion of a trinucleotide repeat tract in a critical gene. The mechanism of repeat instability is not yet defined, but in mice it requires MutSβ, a complex of MSH2 and MSH3. We showed previously that transcription through a CAG repeat tract induces repeat instability in human cells via a pathway that requires the mismatch repair (MMR) components, MSH2 and MSH3, and the entire transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair pathway (Lin et al., Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 13:189–190; Lin and Wilson, Mol. Cell. Biol. 27:6209–6217). Here, we examine the role of downstream MMR processing components on transcription-induced CAG instability, using our selection assay for repeat contraction. In contrast to knockdowns of MSH2 or MSH3, which reduce repeat contractions, we show that siRNA-mediated depletion of MLH1 or PMS2 increases contraction frequency. Knockdown of DNMT1, which has been identified as an MMR factor in genetic studies, also elevates the frequency of contraction. Simultaneous knockdowns of MLH1 or DNMT1 along with MSH2, XPA, or BRCA1, whose individual knockdowns each decrease CAG contraction, yield intermediate frequencies. In sharp contrast, double knockdown of MLH1 and DNMT1 additively increases the frequency of CAG contraction. These results show that MMR components can alter repeat stability in diverse ways, either enhancing or suppressing CAG contraction, and they provide insight into the influence of MMR components on transcription-induced CAG repeat instability.
Human NEIL2, one of five oxidized base-specific DNA glycosylases, is unique in preferentially repairing oxidative damage in transcribed genes. Here we show that depletion of NEIL2 causes a 6- to 7-fold increase in spontaneous mutation frequency in the HPRT gene of the V79 Chinese hamster lung cell line. This prompted us to screen for NEIL2 variants in lung cancer patients’ genomic DNA. We identified several polymorphic variants, among which R103Q and R257L were frequently observed in lung cancer patients. We then characterized these variants biochemically, and observed a modest decrease in DNA glycosylase activity relative to the wild type (WT) only with the R257L mutant protein. However, in reconstituted repair assays containing WT NEIL2 or its R257L and R103Q variants together with other DNA base excision repair (BER) proteins (PNKP, Polβ, Lig IIIα and XRCC1) or using NEIL2-FLAG immunocomplexes, an ~ 5-fold decrease in repair was observed with the R257L variant compared to WT or R103Q NEIL2, apparently due to the R257L mutant’s lower affinity for other repair proteins, particularly Polβ. Notably, increased endogenous DNA damage was observed in NEIL2 variant (R257L)-expressing cells relative to WT cells. Taken together, our results suggest that the decreased DNA repair capacity of the R257L variant can induce mutations that lead to lung cancer development.
RECQ1 is the most abundant RecQ homolog in humans but its functions have remained mostly elusive. Biochemically, RECQ1 displays distinct substrate specificities from WRN and BLM, indicating that these RecQ helicases likely perform non-overlapping functions. Our earlier work demonstrated that RECQ1-deficient cells display spontaneous genomic instability. We have obtained key evidence suggesting a unique role of RECQ1 in repair of oxidative DNA damage. We show that similar to WRN, RECQ1 associates with PARP-1 in nuclear extracts and exhibits direct protein interaction in vitro. Deficiency in WRN or BLM helicases have been shown to result in reduced homologous recombination and hyperactivation of PARP under basal condition. However, RECQ1-deficiency did not lead to PARP activation in undamaged cells and nor did it result in reduction in homologous recombination repair. In stark contrast to what is seen in WRN-deficiency, RECQ1-deficient cells hyperactivate PARP in a specific response to H2O2 treatment. RECQ1-deficient cells are more sensitive to oxidative DNA damage and exposure to oxidative stress results in a rapid and reversible recruitment of RECQ1 to chromatin. Chromatin localization of RECQ1 precedes WRN helicase, which has been shown to function in oxidative DNA damage repair. However, oxidative DNA damage-induced chromatin recruitment of these RecQ helicases is independent of PARP activity. As other RecQ helicases are known to interact with PARP-1, this study provides a paradigm to delineate specialized and redundant functions of RecQ homologs in repair of oxidative DNA damage.
RecQ; helicase; PARP-1; oxidative DNA damage; DNA repair
During DNA synthesis in vitro using dNTP and rNTP concentrations present in vivo, yeast replicative DNA polymerases α, δ and ε (Pols α, δ and ε) stably incorporate rNTPs into DNA. rNTPs are also incorporated during replication in vivo, and they are repaired in an RNase H2-dependent manner. In strains encoding a mutator allele of Pol ε (pol2-M644G), failure to remove rNMPs from DNA due to deletion of the RNH201 gene encoding the catalytic subunit of RNase H2, results in deletion of 2-5 base pairs in short repetitive sequences. Deletion rates depend on the orientation of the reporter gene relative to a nearby replication origin, suggesting that mutations result from rNMPs incorporated during replication. Here we demonstrate that 2-5 base pair deletion mutagenesis also strongly increases in rnh201Δ strains encoding wild type DNA polymerases. As in the pol2-M644G strains, the deletions occur at repetitive sequences and are orientation-dependent, suggesting that mismatches involving misaligned strands arise that could be subject to mismatch repair. Unexpectedly however, 2-5 base pair deletion rates resulting from loss of RNH201 in the pol2-M644G strain are unaffected by concomitant loss of MSH3, MSH6, or both. It could be that the mismatch repair machinery is unable to repair mismatches resulting from unrepaired rNMPs incorporated into DNA by M644G Pol ε, but this possibility is belied by the observation that Msh2-Msh6 can bind to a ribonucleotide-containing mismatch. Alternatively, following incorporation of rNMPs by M644G Pol ε during replication, the conversion of unrepaired rNMPs into mutations may occur outside the context of replication, e.g., during the repair of nicks resulting from rNMPs in DNA. The results make interesting predictions that can be tested.
ribonucleotide incorporation; RNase H2; DNA mismatch repair; deletions; genome instability
Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) is the enzyme critically responsible for the production of the 5′-deoxynucleoside-triphosphates (dNTPs), the direct precursors for DNA synthesis. The dNTP levels are tightly controlled to permit high efficiency and fidelity of DNA synthesis. Much of this control occurs at the level of the RNR by feedback processes, but a detailed understanding of these mechanisms is still lacking. Using a genetic approach in the bacterium E. coli, a paradigm for the Class Ia RNRs, we isolated 23 novel RNR mutants displaying elevated mutation rates along with altered dNTP levels. The responsible amino-acid substitutions in RNR reside in three different regions: (i) the (d)ATP-binding activity domain, (ii) a novel region in the small subunit adjacent to the activity domain, and (iii) the dNTP-binding specificity site, several of which are associated with different dNTP pool alterations and different mutational outcomes. These mutants provide new insight into the precise mechanisms by which RNR is regulated and how dNTP pool disturbances resulting from defects in RNR can lead to increased mutation.
Ribonucleotide Reductase; dNTP pools; DNA replication fidelity; allosteric regulation
Cockayne syndrome is a segmental progeria most often caused by mutations in the CSB gene encoding a SWI/SNF-like ATPase required for transcription-coupled DNA repair (TCR). Over 43 Mya before marmosets diverged from humans, a piggyBac3 (PGBD3) transposable element integrated into intron 5 of the CSB gene. As a result, primate CSB genes now generate both CSB protein and a conserved CSB-PGBD3 fusion protein in which the first 5 exons of CSB are alternatively spliced to the PGBD3 transposase. Using a host cell reactivation assay, we show that the fusion protein inhibits TCR of oxidative damage but facilitates TCR of UV damage. We also show by microarray analysis that expression of the fusion protein alone in CSB-null UV-sensitive syndrome (UVSS) cells induces an interferon-like response that resembles both the innate antiviral response and the prolonged interferon response normally maintained by unphosphorylated STAT1 (U-STAT1); moreover, as might be expected based on conservation of the fusion protein, this potentially cytotoxic interferon-like response is largely reversed by coexpression of functional CSB protein. Interestingly, expression of CSB and the CSB-PGBD3 fusion protein together, but neither alone, upregulates the insulin growth factor binding protein IGFBP5 and downregulates IGFBP7, suggesting that the fusion protein may also confer a metabolic advantage, perhaps in the presence of DNA damage. Finally, we show that the fusion protein binds in vitro to members of a dispersed family of 900 internally deleted piggyBac elements known as MER85s, providing a potential mechanism by which the fusion protein could exert widespread effects on gene expression. Our data suggest that the CSB-PGBD3 fusion protein is important in both health and disease, and could play a role in Cockayne syndrome.
Cockayne; CSB; TCR; interferon; immunity; piggyBac
Alkylating agents modify DNA and RNA forming adducts that disrupt replication and transcription, trigger cell cycle checkpoints and/or initiate apoptosis. If left unrepaired, some of the damage can be cytotoxic and/or mutagenic. In Escherichia coli, the alkylation repair protein B (AlkB) provides one form of resistance to alkylating agents by eliminating mainly 1-methyladenine and 3-methylcytosine, thereby increasing survival and preventing mutation. To examine the biological role of the mammalian AlkB homologs Alkbh2 and Alkbh3, which both have similar enzymatic activities to that of AlkB, we evaluated the survival and mutagenesis of primary Big Blue mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) that had targeted deletions in the Alkbh2 or Alkbh3 genes. Both Alkbh2- and Alkbh3-deficient MEFs were ~2-fold more sensitive to methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) induced cytotoxicity compared to the wild type control cells. Spontaneous mutant frequencies were similar for the wild type, Alkbh2−/− and Alkbh3−/− MEFs (average-1.3×10−5). However, despite the similar survival of the two mutant MEFs after MMS treatment, only the Alkbh2-deficient MEFs showed a statistically significant increase in mutant frequency compared to wild type MEFs after MMS treatment. Therefore, although both Alkbh2 and Alkbh3 can protect against MMS-induced cell death, only Alkbh2 shows statistically significant protection of MEF DNA against mutations following treatment with this exogenous methylating agent.
DNA repair; AlkB homologs; Fe(II)/α-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases; mutagenesis
The yeast Chk2/Chk1 homolog Rad53 is a central component of the DNA damage checkpoint system. While it controls genotoxic stress responses such as cell cycle arrest, replication fork stabilization and increase in dNTP pools, little is known about the consequences of reduced Rad53 levels on the various cellular endpoints or about its roles in dealing with chronic vs. acute genotoxic challenges. Using a tetraploid gene dosage model in which only one copy of the yeast RAD53 is functional (simplex), we found that the simplex strain was not sensitive to acute UV radiation or chronic MMS exposure. However, the simplex strain was sensitized to chronic exposure of the ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor hydroxyurea (HU). Surprisingly, reduced RAD53 gene dosage did not affect sensitivity to HU acute exposure, indicating that immediate checkpoint responses and recovery from HU-induced stress were not compromised. Interestingly, cells of most of the colonies that arise after chronic HU exposure acquired heritable resistance to HU. We also found that short HU exposure before and after treatment of G2 cells with ionizing radiation (IR) reduced the capability of RAD53 simplex cells to repair DSBs, in agreement with sensitivity of RAD53 simplex strain to high doses of IR. We propose that a modest reduction in Rad53 activity can impact the activation of the ribonucleotide reductase catalytic subunit Rnr1 following stress, reducing the ability to generate nucleotide pools sufficient for DNA repair and replication. At the same time, reduced Rad53 activity may lead to genome instability and to the acquisition of drug resistance before and/or during the chronic exposure to HU. These results have implications for developing drug enhancers as well as for understanding mechanisms of drug resistance in cells compromised for DNA damage checkpoint.
RAD53; Hydroxyurea; Rnr1; Double strand breaks
Approximately 30% of human tumors sequenced to date harbor mutations in the POLB gene that are not present in matched normal tissue. Many mutations give rise to enzymes that contain non-synonymous single amino acid substitutions, several of which have been found to have aberrant activity or fidelity and transform cells when expressed. The DNA Polymerase β (Pol β) variant Asp160Asn (D160N) was first identified in a gastric tumor. Expression of D160N in cells induces cellular transformation as measured by hyperproliferation, focus formation, anchorage-independent growth and invasion. Here, we show that D160N is an active mutator polymerase that induces complex mutations. Our data support the interpretation that complex mutagenesis is the underlying mechanism of the observed cellular phenotypes, all of which are linked to tumorigenesis or tumor progression.
Base excision repair; Cancer; Polymerase beta
XRCC1 functions as a non-enzymatic, scaffold protein in single strand break repair (SSBR) and base excision repair (BER). Here, we examine different regions of XRCC1 for their contribution to the scaffolding functions of the protein. We found that the central BRCT1 domain is essential for recruitment of XRCC1 to sites of DNA damage and DNA replication. Also, we found that ectopic expression of the region from residue 166 to 436 partially rescued the methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) hypersensitivity of XRCC1-deficient EM9 cells, suggesting a key role for this region in mediating DNA repair. The three most common amino acid variants of XRCC1, Arg194Trp, Arg280His and Arg399Gln, are located within the region comprising the NLS and BRCT1 domains, and these variants may be associated with increased incidence of specific types of cancer. While we could not detect differences in the intra-nuclear localization or the ability to support recruitment of POLβ or PNKP to micro-irradiated sites for these variants relative to the conservative protein, we did observe lower foci intensity after micro-irradiation and a reduced stability of the foci with the Arg280His and Arg399Gln variants, respectively. Furthermore, when challenged with MMS or hydrogen peroxide, we detected small but consistent differences in the repair profiles of cells expressing these two variants in comparison to the conservative protein.
XRCC1 Arg194Trp; XRCC1 Arg280His; XRCC1 Arg399Gln; DNA repair complexes; micro-irradiation