bims-numges Biomed News
on Nucleotide metabolism and genome stability
Issue of 2020‒11‒15
twenty-nine papers selected by
Sean Rudd
Karolinska Institutet

  1. Cell Metab. 2020 Nov 06. pii: S1550-4131(20)30535-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      The emergence of cancer from diverse normal tissues has long been rationalized to represent a common set of fundamental processes. However, these processes are not fully defined. Here, we show that forced expression of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) affords immortalized mouse and human cells anchorage-independent growth in vitro and tumorigenicity in animals. Mechanistically, G6PD augments the NADPH pool by stimulating NAD+ kinase-mediated NADP+ biosynthesis in addition to converting NADP+ to NADPH, bolstering antioxidant defense. G6PD also increases nucleotide precursor levels through the production of ribose and NADPH, promoting cell proliferation. Supplementation of antioxidants or nucleosides suffices to convert immortalized mouse and human cells into a tumorigenic state, and supplementation of both is required when their overlapping metabolic consequences are minimized. These results suggest that normal cells have a limited capacity for redox balance and nucleotide synthesis, and overcoming this limit might represent a key aspect of oncogenic transformation.
    Keywords:  G6PD; NAD kinase; NADPH; antioxidants; cancer metabolism; nucleosides; nucleotide synthesis; oncogenic transformation; pentose phosphate pathway; redox regulation
  2. Cancer Res. 2020 Nov 12. pii: canres.1602.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      Defects in DNA repair and the protection of stalled DNA replication forks are thought to underlie the chemosensitivity of tumors deficient in the hereditary breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA). Challenging this assumption are recent findings that indicate chemotherapies such as cisplatin used to treat BRCA-deficient tumors do not initially cause DNA double-strand-breaks (DSB). Here we show that single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) replication gaps underlie the hypersensitivity of BRCA-deficient cancer and that defects in homologous recombination (HR) or fork protection (FP) do not. In BRCA-deficient cells, ssDNA gaps developed because replication was not effectively restrained in response to stress. Gap suppression by either restoration of fork restraint or gap filling conferred therapy resistance in tissue culture and BRCA patient tumors. In contrast, restored FP and HR could be uncoupled from therapy resistance when gaps were present. Moreover, DSB were not detected after therapy when apoptosis was inhibited, supporting a framework in which DSB are not directly induced by genotoxic agents, but rather are induced from cell death nucleases and are not fundamental to the mechanism of action of genotoxic agents. Together, these data indicate that ssDNA replication gaps underlie the BRCA cancer phenotype, "BRCAness," and we propose they are fundamental to the mechanism-of-action of genotoxic chemotherapies.
  3. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Nov 09. pii: 202016064. [Epub ahead of print]
      REV1/POLζ-dependent mutagenic translesion synthesis (TLS) promotes cell survival after DNA damage but is responsible for most of the resulting mutations. A novel inhibitor of this pathway, JH-RE-06, promotes cisplatin efficacy in cancer cells and mouse xenograft models, but the mechanism underlying this combinatorial effect is not known. We report that, unexpectedly, in two different mouse xenograft models and four human and mouse cell lines we examined in vitro cisplatin/JH-RE-06 treatment does not increase apoptosis. Rather, it increases hallmarks of senescence such as senescence-associated β-galactosidase, increased p21 expression, micronuclei formation, reduced Lamin B1, and increased expression of the immune regulators IL6 and IL8 followed by cell death. Moreover, although p-γ-H2AX foci formation was elevated and ATR expression was low in single agent cisplatin-treated cells, the opposite was true in cells treated with cisplatin/JH-RE-06. These observations suggest that targeting REV1 with JH-RE-06 profoundly affects the nature of the persistent genomic damage after cisplatin treatment and also the resulting physiological responses. These data highlight the potential of REV1/POLζ inhibitors to alter the biological response to DNA-damaging chemotherapy and enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy.
    Keywords:  Rev1; cell death; chemotherapy; senescence; translesion synthesis
  4. PLoS Biol. 2020 Nov 13. 18(11): e3000872
      Metabolic reprogramming to fulfill the biosynthetic and bioenergetic demands of cancer cells has aroused great interest in recent years. However, metabolic reprogramming for cancer metastasis has not been well elucidated. Here, we screened a subpopulation of breast cancer cells with highly metastatic capacity to the lung in mice and investigated the metabolic alternations by analyzing the metabolome and the transcriptome, which were confirmed in breast cancer cells, mouse models, and patients' tissues. The effects and the mechanisms of nucleotide de novo synthesis in cancer metastasis were further evaluated in vitro and in vivo. In our study, we report an increased nucleotide de novo synthesis as a key metabolic hallmark in metastatic breast cancer cells and revealed that enforced nucleotide de novo synthesis was enough to drive the metastasis of breast cancer cells. An increased key metabolite of de novo synthesis, guanosine-5'-triphosphate (GTP), is able to generate more cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) to activate cGMP-dependent protein kinases PKG and downstream MAPK pathway, resulting in the increased tumor cell stemness and metastasis. Blocking de novo synthesis by silencing phosphoribosylpyrophosphate synthetase 2 (PRPS2) can effectively decrease the stemness of breast cancer cells and reduce the lung metastasis. More interestingly, in breast cancer patients, the level of plasma uric acid (UA), a downstream metabolite of purine, is tightly correlated with patient's survival. Our study uncovered that increased de novo synthesis is a metabolic hallmark of metastatic breast cancer cells and its metabolites can regulate the signaling pathway to promote the stemness and metastasis of breast cancer.
  5. Sci Adv. 2020 Nov;pii: eabc3598. [Epub ahead of print]6(46):
      Fork reversal is a common response to replication stress, but it generates a DNA end that is susceptible to degradation. Many fork protection factors block degradation, but how they work remains unclear. Here, we find that 53BP1 protects forks from DNA2-mediated degradation in a cell type-specific manner. Fork protection by 53BP1 reduces S-phase DNA damage and hypersensitivity to replication stress. Unlike BRCA2, FANCD2, and ABRO1 that protect reversed forks generated by SMARCAL1, ZRANB3, and HLTF, 53BP1 protects forks remodeled by FBH1. This property is shared by the fork protection factors FANCA, FANCC, FANCG, BOD1L, and VHL. RAD51 is required to generate the resection substrate in all cases. Unexpectedly, BRCA2 is also required for fork degradation in the FBH1 pathway or when RAD51 activity is partially compromised. We conclude that there are multiple fork protection mechanisms that operate downstream of at least two RAD51-dependent fork remodeling pathways.
  6. Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2020 Nov 12. 1-14
      DNA replication forks are constantly challenged by DNA lesions induced by endogenous and exogenous sources. DNA damage tolerance mechanisms ensure that DNA replication continues with minimal effects on replication fork elongation either by using specialized DNA polymerases, which have the ability to replicate through the damaged template, or by skipping the damaged DNA, leaving it to be repaired after replication. These mechanisms are evolutionarily conserved in bacteria, yeast, and higher eukaryotes, and are paramount to ensure timely and faithful duplication of the genome. The Primase and DNA-directed Polymerase (PRIMPOL) is a recently discovered enzyme that possesses both primase and polymerase activities. PRIMPOL is emerging as a key player in DNA damage tolerance, particularly in vertebrate and human cells. Here, we review our current understanding of the function of PRIMPOL in DNA damage tolerance by focusing on the structural aspects that define its dual enzymatic activity, as well as on the mechanisms that control its chromatin recruitment and expression levels. We also focus on the latest findings on the mitochondrial and nuclear functions of PRIMPOL and on the impact of loss of these functions on genome stability and cell survival. Defining the function of PRIMPOL in DNA damage tolerance is becoming increasingly important in the context of human disease. In particular, we discuss recent evidence pointing at the PRIMPOL pathway as a novel molecular target to improve cancer cell response to DNA-damaging chemotherapy and as a predictive parameter to stratify patients in personalized cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  DNA damage tolerance; DNA polymerases; DNA repair; DNA replication; DNA replication stress; PRIMPOL; genome stability; repriming
  7. Semin Oncol. 2020 Oct 24. pii: S0093-7754(20)30105-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Sarcoma is a rare cancer arising from soft tissue and bone and consists of more than 50 distinct subtypes. There is an increasing emphasis on understanding the cancer biology of individual sarcoma subtypes to inform the development of targeted and immunotherapy-based treatment approaches. While some advances have recently been made in this respect, most sarcomas are still treated with chemotherapy. The homologous recombination DNA repair pathway plays an important role in repairing highly cytotoxic double-stranded DNA breaks and restarting stalled replication forks. A subset of human cancers, notably ovarian, breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancers, harbor defects in components of the homologous recombination repair pathway, such as mutation or loss of BRCA1/2, and are sensitive to treatments which induce double stranded DNA breaks or replication fork arrest, including oral small molecule poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. Our understanding of DNA repair defects in sarcoma remains at an early stage. Recently, uterine leiomyosarcoma was identified as a sarcoma subtype with characteristic defects in the homologous recombination repair pathway and frequent BRCA2 loss. Preclinical data, presented here, demonstrates marked activity for the PARP inhibitor olaparib in combination with the alkylating agent temozolomide in leiomyosarcoma models. Ongoing research promises to identify other sarcomas with DNA repair defects and may offer a new opportunity for the targeted treatment of this rare, aggressive cancer.
    Keywords:  Homologous recombination repair deficiency; PARP inhibitors; Soft tissue sarcoma
  8. Br J Cancer. 2020 Nov 11.
      BACKGROUND: Intrinsic and acquired drug resistance represent fundamental barriers to the cure of high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSC), the most common histological subtype accounting for the majority of ovarian cancer deaths. Defects in homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair are key determinants of sensitivity to chemotherapy and poly-ADP ribose polymerase inhibitors. Restoration of HR is a common mechanism of acquired resistance that results in patient mortality, highlighting the need to identify new therapies targeting HR-proficient disease. We have shown promise for CX-5461, a cancer therapeutic in early phase clinical trials, in treating HR-deficient HGSC.METHODS: Herein, we screen the whole protein-coding genome to identify potential targets whose depletion cooperates with CX-5461 in HR-proficient HGSC.
    RESULTS: We demonstrate robust proliferation inhibition in cells depleted of DNA topoisomerase 1 (TOP1). Combining the clinically used TOP1 inhibitor topotecan with CX-5461 potentiates a G2/M cell cycle checkpoint arrest in multiple HR-proficient HGSC cell lines. The combination enhances a nucleolar DNA damage response and global replication stress without increasing DNA strand breakage, significantly reducing clonogenic survival and tumour growth in vivo.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight the possibility of exploiting TOP1 inhibition to be combined with CX-5461 as a non-genotoxic approach in targeting HR-proficient HGSC.
  9. Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Nov 09. pii: gkaa974. [Epub ahead of print]
      We have previously reported that p53 decelerates nascent DNA elongation in complex with the translesion synthesis (TLS) polymerase ι (POLι) which triggers a homology-directed DNA damage tolerance (DDT) pathway to bypass obstacles during DNA replication. Here, we demonstrate that this DDT pathway relies on multiple p53 activities, which can be disrupted by TP53 mutations including those frequently found in cancer tissues. We show that the p53-mediated DDT pathway depends on its oligomerization domain (OD), while its regulatory C-terminus is not involved. Mutation of residues S315 and D48/D49, which abrogate p53 interactions with the DNA repair and replication proteins topoisomerase I and RPA, respectively, and residues L22/W23, which disrupt formation of p53-POLι complexes, all prevent this DDT pathway. Our results demonstrate that the p53-mediated DDT requires the formation of a DNA binding-proficient p53 tetramer, recruitment of such tetramer to RPA-coated forks and p53 complex formation with POLι. Importantly, our mutational analysis demonstrates that transcriptional transactivation is dispensable for the POLι-mediated DDT pathway, which we show protects against DNA replication damage from endogenous and exogenous sources.
  10. Cells. 2020 Nov 05. pii: E2424. [Epub ahead of print]9(11):
      Chromatin integrity is key for cell homeostasis and for preventing pathological development. Alterations in core chromatin components, histone proteins, recently came into the spotlight through the discovery of their driving role in cancer. Building on these findings, in this review, we discuss how histone variants and their associated chaperones safeguard genome stability and protect against tumorigenesis. Accumulating evidence supports the contribution of histone variants and their chaperones to the maintenance of chromosomal integrity and to various steps of the DNA damage response, including damaged chromatin dynamics, DNA damage repair, and damage-dependent transcription regulation. We present our current knowledge on these topics and review recent advances in deciphering how alterations in histone variant sequence, expression, and deposition into chromatin fuel oncogenic transformation by impacting cell proliferation and cell fate transitions. We also highlight open questions and upcoming challenges in this rapidly growing field.
    Keywords:  DNA damage response; DNA repair; cancer; cell fate; chromatin; chromosome integrity; genome stability; histone chaperones; histone variants; oncohistones
  11. Cell Death Differ. 2020 Nov 09.
      T-LAK-originated protein kinase (TOPK) overexpression is a feature of multiple cancers, yet is absent from most phenotypically normal tissues. As such, TOPK expression profiling and the development of TOPK-targeting pharmaceutical agents have raised hopes for its future potential in the development of targeted therapeutics. Results presented in this paper confirm the value of TOPK as a potential target for the treatment of solid tumours, and demonstrate the efficacy of a TOPK inhibitor (OTS964) when used in combination with radiation treatment. Using H460 and Calu-6 lung cancer xenograft models, we show that pharmaceutical inhibition of TOPK potentiates the efficacy of fractionated irradiation. Furthermore, we provide in vitro evidence that TOPK plays a hitherto unknown role during S phase, showing that TOPK depletion increases fork stalling and collapse under conditions of replication stress and exogenous DNA damage. Transient knockdown of TOPK was shown to impair recovery from fork stalling and to increase the formation of replication-associated single-stranded DNA foci in H460 lung cancer cells. We also show that TOPK interacts directly with CHK1 and Cdc25c, two key players in the checkpoint signalling pathway activated after replication fork collapse. This study thus provides novel insights into the mechanism by which TOPK activity supports the survival of cancer cells, facilitating checkpoint signalling in response to replication stress and DNA damage.
  12. Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Nov 09. pii: gkaa963. [Epub ahead of print]
      The highly conserved Tof1/Timeless proteins minimise replication stress and promote normal DNA replication. They are required to mediate the DNA replication checkpoint (DRC), the stable pausing of forks at protein fork blocks, the coupling of DNA helicase and polymerase functions during replication stress (RS) and the preferential resolution of DNA topological stress ahead of the fork. Here we demonstrate that the roles of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Timeless protein Tof1 in DRC signalling and resolution of DNA topological stress require distinct N and C terminal regions of the protein, whereas the other functions of Tof1 are closely linked to the stable interaction between Tof1 and its constitutive binding partner Csm3/Tipin. By separating the role of Tof1 in DRC from fork stabilisation and coupling, we show that Tof1 has distinct activities in checkpoint activation and replisome stability to ensure the viable completion of DNA replication following replication stress.
  13. Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 12. 10(1): 19704
      The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) plays crucial roles in regulation of various biological processes, including DNA repair. In mammalian global genome nucleotide excision repair (GG-NER), activation of the DDB2-associated ubiquitin ligase upon UV-induced DNA damage is necessary for efficient recognition of lesions. To date, however, the precise roles of UPS in GG-NER remain incompletely understood. Here, we show that the proteasome subunit PSMD14 and the UPS shuttle factor RAD23B can be recruited to sites with UV-induced photolesions even in the absence of XPC, suggesting that proteolysis occurs at DNA damage sites. Unexpectedly, sustained inhibition of proteasome activity results in aggregation of PSMD14 (presumably with other proteasome components) at the periphery of nucleoli, by which DDB2 is immobilized and sequestered from its lesion recognition functions. Although depletion of PSMD14 alleviates such DDB2 immobilization induced by proteasome inhibitors, recruitment of DDB2 to DNA damage sites is then severely compromised in the absence of PSMD14. Because all of these proteasome dysfunctions selectively impair removal of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers, but not (6-4) photoproducts, our results indicate that the functional integrity of the proteasome is essential for the DDB2-mediated lesion recognition sub-pathway, but not for GG-NER initiated through direct lesion recognition by XPC.
  14. J Cell Physiol. 2020 Nov 13.
      In the last two decades, intensive research has been carried out to improve the survival rates of cancer patients. However, the development of chemoresistance that ultimately leads to tumor relapse poses a critical challenge for the successful treatment of cancer patients. Many cancer patients experience tumor relapse and ultimately die because of treatment failure associated with acquired drug resistance. Cancer cells utilize multiple lines of self-defense mechanisms to bypass chemotherapy and radiotherapy. One such mechanism employed by cancer cells is translesion DNA synthesis (TLS), in which specialized TLS polymerases bypass the DNA lesion with the help of monoubiquitinated proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Among all TLS polymerases (Pol η, Pol ι, Pol κ, REV1, Pol ζ, Pol μ, Pol λ, Pol ν, and Pol θ), DNA polymerase eta (Pol η) is well studied and majorly responsible for the bypass of cisplatin and UV-induced DNA damage. TLS polymerases contribute to chemotherapeutic drug-induced mutations as well as therapy resistance. Therefore, targeting these polymerases presents a novel therapeutic strategy to combat chemoresistance. Mounting evidence suggests that inhibition of Pol η may have multiple impacts on cancer therapy such as sensitizing cancer cells to chemotherapeutics, suppressing drug-induced mutagenesis, and inhibiting the development of secondary tumors. Herein, we provide a general introduction of Pol η and its clinical implications in blocking acquired drug resistance. In addition; this review addresses the existing gaps and challenges of Pol η mediated TLS mechanisms in human cells. A better understanding of the Pol η mediated TLS mechanism will not merely establish it as a potential pharmacological target but also open possibilities to identify novel drug targets for future therapy.
    Keywords:  DNA polymerase eta (Pol η); cancer stem cells (CSCs); chemoresistance; chemotherapy; in silico; translesion DNA synthesis (TLS)
  15. Nat Commun. 2020 Nov 13. 11(1): 5775
      Chromatin structure is dynamically reorganized at multiple levels in response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Yet, how the different steps of chromatin reorganization are coordinated in space and time to differentially regulate DNA repair pathways is insufficiently understood. Here, we identify the Chromodomain Helicase DNA Binding Protein 7 (CHD7), which is frequently mutated in CHARGE syndrome, as an integral component of the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) DSB repair pathway. Upon recruitment via PARP1-triggered chromatin remodeling, CHD7 stimulates further chromatin relaxation around DNA break sites and brings in HDAC1/2 for localized chromatin de-acetylation. This counteracts the CHD7-induced chromatin expansion, thereby ensuring temporally and spatially controlled 'chromatin breathing' upon DNA damage, which we demonstrate fosters efficient and accurate DSB repair by controlling Ku and LIG4/XRCC4 activities. Loss of CHD7-HDAC1/2-dependent cNHEJ reinforces 53BP1 assembly at the damaged chromatin and shifts DSB repair to mutagenic NHEJ, revealing a backup function of 53BP1 when cNHEJ fails.
  16. Biomolecules. 2020 Nov 09. pii: E1529. [Epub ahead of print]10(11):
      Patients with advanced biliary tract cancer (BTC) inevitably experience progression after first-line, gemcitabine-based chemotherapy, due to chemo-resistance. The genetic alterations of DNA damage repair (DDR) genes are usually determined in BTC tumors. In this study, we found that the POLQ mRNA levels are downregulated and the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) inhibitor AZD0156 was more sensitive in gemcitabine-resistant BTC sublines than in the parental cell lines. The knockdown of DNA polymerase θ does not affect cell proliferation, but its combination with the ATM inhibitor facilitated cell death in gemcitabine-resistant and gemcitabine-intensive BTC cells. Moreover, in the DNA damage caused by photon, hydrogen peroxide, or chemotherapy drugs, synthetic lethal interactions were found in combination with ATM inhibition by AZD0156 and DNA polymerase θ depletion, resulting in increased DNA damage accumulation and micronucleus formation, as well as reduced cell survival and colony formation. Collectively, our results reveal that ATM acts as a potential target in gemcitabine-resistant and DNA polymerase θ-deficient BTC.
    Keywords:  ATM; DNA polymerase θ; biliary tract cancer; gemcitabine-resistance
  17. Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Nov 09. pii: gkaa1002. [Epub ahead of print]
      Efficient S phase entry is essential for development, tissue repair, and immune defences. However, hyperactive or expedited S phase entry causes replication stress, DNA damage and oncogenesis, highlighting the need for strict regulation. Recent paradigm shifts and conflicting reports demonstrate the requirement for a discussion of the G1/S transition literature. Here, we review the recent studies, and propose a unified model for the S phase entry decision. In this model, competition between mitogen and DNA damage signalling over the course of the mother cell cycle constitutes the predominant control mechanism for S phase entry of daughter cells. Mitogens and DNA damage have distinct sensing periods, giving rise to three Commitment Points for S phase entry (CP1-3). S phase entry is mitogen-independent in the daughter G1 phase, but remains sensitive to DNA damage, such as single strand breaks, the most frequently-occurring lesions that uniquely threaten DNA replication. To control CP1-3, dedicated hubs integrate the antagonistic mitogenic and DNA damage signals, regulating the stoichiometric cyclin: CDK inhibitor ratio for ultrasensitive control of CDK4/6 and CDK2. This unified model for the G1/S cell cycle transition combines the findings of decades of study, and provides an updated foundation for cell cycle research.
  18. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2020 Nov 12.
      Introduction: Translesion synthesis (TLS) is a DNA damage tolerance mechanism that replaces the replicative DNA polymerase with a specialized, low-fidelity TLS DNA polymerase that can copy past DNA lesions during active replication. Recent studies have demonstrated a primary role for TLS in replicating past DNA lesions induced by first-line genotoxic agents, resulting in decreased efficacy and acquired chemoresistance. With this in mind, targeting TLS as a combination strategy with first-line genotoxic agents has emerged as a promising approach to develop a new class of anti-cancer adjuvant agents. Areas covered: In this review, we provide a brief background on TLS and its role in cancer. We also discuss the identification and development of inhibitors that target various TLS DNA polymerases or key protein-protein interactions (PPIs) in the TLS machinery. Expert opinion: TLS inhibitors have demonstrated initial promise; however, their continued study is essential to more fully understand the clinical potential of this emerging class of anti-cancer chemotherapeutics. It will be important to determine whether a specific protein involved in TLS is an optimal target. In addition, an expanded understanding of what current genotoxic chemotherapies synergize with TLS inhibitors will guide the clinical strategies for devising combination therapies.
    Keywords:  DNA damage tolerance; Translesion synthesis; cancer; chemoresistance; cisplatin; lesion bypass; small molecule inhibitors
  19. Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Nov 09. pii: gkaa965. [Epub ahead of print]
      Transcriptional regulation of DNA repair is of outmost importance for the restoration of DNA integrity upon genotoxic stress. Here we report that the potent environmental carcinogen benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) activates a cellular DNA damage response resulting in transcriptional repression of mismatch repair (MMR) genes (MSH2, MSH6, EXO1) and of RAD51, the central homologous recombination repair (HR) component, ultimately leading to downregulation of MMR and HR. B[a]P-induced gene repression is caused by abrogated E2F1 signalling. This occurs through proteasomal degradation of E2F1 in G2-arrested cells and downregulation of E2F1 mRNA expression in G1-arrested cells. Repression of E2F1-mediated transcription and silencing of repair genes is further mediated by the p21-dependent E2F4/DREAM complex. Notably, repression of DNA repair is also observed following exposure to the active B[a]P metabolite BPDE and upon ionizing radiation and occurs in response to a p53/p21-triggered, irreversible cell cycle arrest marking the onset of cellular senescence. Overall, our results suggest that repression of MMR and HR is an early event during genotoxic-stress induced senescence. We propose that persistent downregulation of DNA repair might play a role in the maintenance of the senescence phenotype, which is associated with an accumulation of unrepairable DNA lesions.
  20. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2020 Nov 09.
      In response to DNA damage or replication fork stalling, the basal activity of Mec1ATR is stimulated in a cell-cycle-dependent manner, leading to cell-cycle arrest and the promotion of DNA repair. Mec1ATR dysfunction leads to cell death in yeast and causes chromosome instability and embryonic lethality in mammals. Thus, ATR is a major target for cancer therapies in homologous recombination-deficient cancers. Here we identify a single mutation in Mec1, conserved in ATR, that results in constitutive activity. Using cryo-electron microscopy, we determine the structures of this constitutively active form (Mec1(F2244L)-Ddc2) at 2.8 Å and the wild type at 3.8 Å, both in complex with Mg2+-AMP-PNP. These structures yield a near-complete atomic model for Mec1-Ddc2 and uncover the molecular basis for low basal activity and the conformational changes required for activation. Combined with biochemical and genetic data, we discover key regulatory regions and propose a Mec1 activation mechanism.
  21. Cell Rep. 2020 Nov 10. pii: S2211-1247(20)31368-1. [Epub ahead of print]33(6): 108379
      The telomeric shelterin protein telomeric repeat-binding factor 2 (TRF2) recruits origin recognition complex (ORC) proteins, the foundational building blocks of DNA replication origins, to telomeres. We seek to determine whether TRF2-recruited ORC proteins give rise to functional origins in telomere repeat tracts. We find that reduction of telomeric recruitment of ORC2 by expression of an ORC interaction-defective TRF2 mutant significantly reduces telomeric initiation events in human cells. This reduction in initiation events is accompanied by telomere repeat loss, telomere aberrations and dysfunction. We demonstrate that telomeric origins are activated by induced replication stress to provide a key rescue mechanism for completing compromised telomere replication. Importantly, our studies also indicate that the chromatin remodeler SNF2H promotes telomeric initiation events by providing access for ORC2. Collectively, our findings reveal that active recruitment of ORC by TRF2 leads to formation of functional origins, providing an important mechanism for avoiding telomere dysfunction and rescuing challenged telomere replication.
  22. Mol Cancer Res. 2020 Nov 10. pii: molcanres.0414.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      AXL, a TAM family receptor tyrosine kinase, is increasingly being recognized as a key determinant of resistance to targeted therapies as well as chemotherapy and radiation in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and other cancers. We further show here that high levels of AXL and EMT were frequently expressed in subsets of both treatment-naïve and treatment-relapsed NSCLC. Previously, we and others have demonstrated a role for AXL in mediating DNA damage repair (DDR) as well as resistance to inhibition of WEE1, a replication stress response kinase. Here, we show that BGB324 (bemcentinib), a selective small-molecule AXL inhibitor, caused DNA damage and induced replication stress, indicated by ATR/CHK1 phosphorylation, more significantly in TP53-deficient NSCLC cell lines. Similar effects were also observed in large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) cell lines. High AXL protein levels were also associated with resistance to ATR inhibition. Combined inhibition of AXL and ATR significantly decreased cell proliferation of NSCLC and LCNEC cell lines. Mechanistically, combined inhibition of AXL and ATR significantly increased RPA32 hyper-phosphorylation and DNA double strand breaks and induced markers of mitotic catastrophe. Notably, NSCLC cell lines with low levels of SLFN11, a known predictive biomarker for platinum and PARP inhibitor sensitivity, were more sensitive to AXL/ATR co-targeting. These findings demonstrate a novel and unexpected role for AXL in replication stress tolerance, with potential therapeutic implications. Implications: These findings demonstrate that the combination of AXL and ATR inhibitors could be a promising therapeutic combination for NSCLC, LCNEC and other cancers.
  23. Nat Commun. 2020 11 12. 11(1): 5746
      The Mus81-Mms4 nuclease is activated in G2/M via Mms4 phosphorylation to allow resolution of persistent recombination structures. However, the fate of the activated phosphorylated Mms4 remains unknown. Here we find that Mms4 is engaged by (poly)SUMOylation and ubiquitylation and targeted for proteasome degradation, a process linked to the previously described Mms4 phosphorylation cycle. Mms4 is a mitotic substrate for the SUMO-Targeted Ubiquitin ligase Slx5/8, the SUMO-like domain-containing protein Esc2, and the Mms1-Cul8 ubiquitin ligase. In the absence of these activities, phosphorylated Mms4 accumulates on chromatin in an active state in the next G1, subsequently causing abnormal processing of replication-associated recombination intermediates and delaying the activation of the DNA damage checkpoint. Mus81-Mms4 mutants that stabilize phosphorylated Mms4 have similar detrimental effects on genome integrity. Overall, our findings highlight a replication protection function for Esc2-STUbL-Cul8 and emphasize the importance for genome stability of resetting phosphorylated Mms4 from one cycle to another.
  24. Semin Cancer Biol. 2020 Nov 05. pii: S1044-579X(20)30221-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic cancer. High-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC) is the most frequent histologic subtype and while it is a highly platinum-sensitive cancer at initial treatment, nearly 90 % of stage IIIC patients recur in 5 years and eventually become resistant to platinum treatment. Historically, the definition of platinum-resistant disease is based on the time interval between last platinum therapy and recurrence shorter than 6 months. Nowadays the use of sophisticated imaging techniques and serum markers to detect recurrence makes the accuracy of this clinical definition less clear and even more debatable as we begin to better understand the molecular landscape of HGSC and markers of platinum resistance and sensitivity. HGSC is characterized by a low frequency of recurrent mutations, great genomic instability with widespread copy number variations, universal TP53 mutations, and homologous recombination deficiency in more than 50 % of cases. Platinum agents form DNA adducts and intra- and inter-strand cross-links in the DNA. Most of DNA repair pathways are involved at some point in the repair of platinum induced DNA damaging, most notably homologous recombination, Fanconi Anemia, and nucleotide excision repair pathways. Mechanisms of platinum resistance are related mostly to the limitation of platinum-DNA adduct formation by changing cellular pharmacology, and to the prevention of cell death after DNA damage due to alterations in DNA repair pathways and cell cycle regulation. Understanding these mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance may help to define the utility of platinum re-challenge in each situation and guide new therapeutic opportunities. Moreover, the discovery of mechanisms of synthetic lethality related to alterations in DNA repair and cell cycle regulation pathways has opened up a new avenue for drug therapy in the last decade. In the present article, we review pathways involved in platinum-induced DNA damage repair and their relationship with genomic alterations present in HGSC. Moreover, we report new treatment strategies that are underway to target these alterations.
    Keywords:  CCNE1 amplification; DNA repair; Homologous recombination deficiency; Platinum-resistant ovarian cancer; Resistance mechanisms
  25. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Nov 07. pii: E8360. [Epub ahead of print]21(21):
      The most frequent DNA lesion resulting from an oxidative stress is 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG). 8-oxoG is a premutagenic base modification due to its capacity to pair with adenine. Thus, the repair of 8-oxoG is critical for the preservation of the genetic information. Nowadays, 8-oxoG is also considered as an oxidative stress-sensor with a putative role in transcription regulation. In mammalian cells, the modified base is excised by the 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1), initiating the base excision repair (BER) pathway. OGG1 confronts the massive challenge that is finding rare occurrences of 8-oxoG among a million-fold excess of normal guanines. Here, we review the current knowledge on the search and discrimination mechanisms employed by OGG1 to find its substrate in the genome. While there is considerable data from in vitro experiments, much less is known on how OGG1 is recruited to chromatin and scans the genome within the cellular nucleus. Based on what is known of the strategies used by proteins searching for rare genomic targets, we discuss the possible scenarios allowing the efficient detection of 8-oxoG by OGG1.
    Keywords:  8-oxoG; DNA repair; OGG1; base excision repair; search mechanism
  26. Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2020 Nov 12. 1-16
      The focus of this review is the human de novo purine biosynthetic pathway. The pathway enzymes are enumerated, as well as the reactions they catalyze and their physical properties. Early literature evidence suggested that they might assemble into a multi-enzyme complex called a metabolon. The finding that fluorescently-tagged chimeras of the pathway enzymes form discrete puncta, now called purinosomes, is further elaborated in this review to include: a discussion of their assembly; the role of ancillary proteins; their locus at the microtubule/mitochondria interface; the elucidation that at endogenous levels, purinosomes function to channel intermediates from phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate to AMP and GMP; and the evidence for the purinosomes to exist as a protein condensate. The review concludes with a consideration of probable signaling pathways that might promote the assembly and disassembly of the purinosome, in particular the identification of candidate kinases given the extensive phosphorylation of the enzymes. These collective findings substantiate our current view of the de novo purine biosynthetic metabolon whose properties will be representative of how other metabolic pathways might be organized for their function.
    Keywords:  metabolism de novo purine biosynthesis purinosome metabolon substrate channeling condensate signaling
  27. Vaccines (Basel). 2020 Nov 05. pii: E658. [Epub ahead of print]8(4):
      Adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) is a CD4+ T-cell neoplasm caused by human T-cell leukemia virus type I. As the prognosis for patients with ATL remains extremely poor due to resistance to conventional chemotherapy regimens, introduction of novel therapeutic agents is needed. Previous studies have reported that nucleosides 2'-deoxy-2'-methylidenecytidine (DMDC) and its derivative 2'-deoxy-2'-methylidene-5-fluorocytidine (FDMDC) exhibit antitumor activities in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and solid tumor cell lines. Another nucleoside, 1-(2-azido-2-deoxy-β-D-arabinofuranosyl)cytosine (cytarazid), is considered a therapeutic drug with antitumor activity in human solid tumors. In this study, we investigated the effects of these nucleosides on cell growth in vitro and in vivo using relevant leukemia cell lines and NOD/Shi-scid, IL-2Rgnull (NOG) mice, respectively. The nucleosides demonstrated significant cytotoxic effects in ATL and T-ALL cell lines. Intraperitoneal administration of FDMDC and DMDC into tumor-bearing NOG mice resulted in significant suppression of tumor growth without lethal side effects. Our findings support a therapeutic application of these nucleosides against tumor progression by targeting DNA polymerase-dependent DNA synthesis in patients with ATL.
    Keywords:  DMDC; FDMDC; NOG mice; adult T-cell leukemia; cytarazid
  28. Nat Commun. 2020 Nov 13. 11(1): 5755
      Translatome reprogramming is a primary determinant of protein levels during stimuli adaptation. This raises the question: what are the translatome remodelers that reprogram protein output to activate biochemical adaptations. Here, we identify a translational pathway that represses metabolism to safeguard genome integrity. A system-wide MATRIX survey identified the ancient eIF5A as a pH-regulated translation factor that responds to fermentation-induced acidosis. TMT-pulse-SILAC analysis identified several pH-dependent proteins, including the mTORC1 suppressor Tsc2 and the longevity regulator Sirt1. Sirt1 operates as a pH-sensor that deacetylates nuclear eIF5A during anaerobiosis, enabling the cytoplasmic export of eIF5A/Tsc2 mRNA complexes for translational engagement. Tsc2 induction inhibits mTORC1 to suppress cellular metabolism and prevent acidosis-induced DNA damage. Depletion of eIF5A or Tsc2 leads to metabolic re-initiation and proliferation, but at the expense of incurring substantial DNA damage. We suggest that eIF5A operates as a translatome remodeler that suppresses metabolism to shield the genome.
  29. J Virol. 2020 Nov 11. pii: JVI.01970-20. [Epub ahead of print]
      Sterile alpha motif and HD-domain-containing protein 1 (SAMHD1) restricts HIV-1 replication by limiting the intracellular dNTP pool. SAMHD1 also suppresses the activation of NF-κB in response to viral infections and inflammatory stimuli. However, the mechanisms by which SAMHD1 negatively regulates this pathway remain unclear. Here we show that SAMHD1-mediated suppression of NF-κB activation is modulated by two key mediators of NF-κB signaling, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) and transforming growth factor-ß-activated kinase-1 (TAK1). We compared NF-κB activation stimulated by interleukin (IL)-1ß in monocytic THP-1 control and SAMHD1 knockout (KO) cells with and without partial TRAF6 knockdown (KD), or in cells treated with TAK1 inhibitors. Relative to control cells, IL-1ß-treated SAMHD1 KO cells showed increased phosphorylation of the inhibitor of NF-κB (IκBα), an indication of pathway activation, and elevated levels of TNF-α mRNA. Moreover, SAMHD1 KO combined with TRAF6 KD or pharmacological TAK1 inhibition reduced IκBα phosphorylation and TNF-α mRNA to the level of control cells. SAMHD1 KO cells infected with single-cycle HIV-1 showed elevated infection and TNF-α mRNA levels compared to control cells, and the effects were significantly reduced by TRAF6 KD or TAK1 inhibition. We further demonstrated that overexpressed SAMHD1 inhibited TRAF6-stimulated NF-κB reporter activity in HEK293T cells in a dose-dependent manner. SAMHD1 contains a nuclear localization signal (NLS), but an NLS-defective SAMHD1 exhibited a suppressive effect similar to the wild-type protein. Our data suggest that the TRAF6-TAK1 axis contributes to SAMHD1-mediated suppression of NF-κB activation and HIV-1 infection.Importance Cells respond to pathogen infection by activating a complex innate immune signaling pathway, which culminates in the activation of transcription factors and secretion of a family of functionally and genetically related cytokines. However, excessive immune activation may cause tissue damage and detrimental effects on the host. Therefore, in order to maintain host homeostasis, the innate immune response is tightly regulated during viral infection. We have reported SAMHD1 as a novel negative regulator of the innate immune response. Here, we provide new insights into SAMHD1-mediated negative regulation of the NF-κB pathway at the TRAF6-TAK1 checkpoint. We show that SAMHD1 inhibits TAK1 activation and TRAF6 signaling in response to proinflammatory stimuli. Interestingly, TRAF6 knockdown in SAMHD1-deficient cells significantly inhibited HIV-1 infection and activation of NF-κB induced by virus infection. Our research reveals a new negative regulatory mechanism by which SAMHD1 participates in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis during HIV-1 infection and inflammation.