bims-numges Biomed News
on Nucleotide metabolism and genome stability
Issue of 2021‒02‒21
thirty-four papers selected by
Sean Rudd
Karolinska Institutet

  1. Cell. 2021 Feb 18. pii: S0092-8674(21)00084-2. [Epub ahead of print]184(4): 1081-1097.e19
      Mutations in DNA damage response (DDR) genes endanger genome integrity and predispose to cancer and genetic disorders. Here, using CRISPR-dependent cytosine base editing screens, we identify > 2,000 sgRNAs that generate nucleotide variants in 86 DDR genes, resulting in altered cellular fitness upon DNA damage. Among those variants, we discover loss- and gain-of-function mutants in the Tudor domain of the DDR regulator 53BP1 that define a non-canonical surface required for binding the deubiquitinase USP28. Moreover, we characterize variants of the TRAIP ubiquitin ligase that define a domain, whose loss renders cells resistant to topoisomerase I inhibition. Finally, we identify mutations in the ATM kinase with opposing genome stability phenotypes and loss-of-function mutations in the CHK2 kinase previously categorized as variants of uncertain significance for breast cancer. We anticipate that this resource will enable the discovery of additional DDR gene functions and expedite studies of DDR variants in human disease.
    Keywords:  53BP1; ATM; BE3 base editor; CHK2; CRISPR-dependent base editing; DNA damage response; TRAIP; clinically relevant variants; variants of uncertain significance
  2. Sci Adv. 2021 Feb;pii: eabc6381. [Epub ahead of print]7(8):
      Cancer cells display high levels of DNA damage and replication stress, vulnerabilities that could be exploited by drugs targeting DNA repair proteins. Human CtIP promotes homology-mediated repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and protects stalled replication forks from nucleolytic degradation, thus representing an attractive candidate for targeted cancer therapy. Here, we establish a peptide mimetic of the CtIP tetramerization motif that inhibits CtIP activity. The hydrocarbon-stapled peptide encompassing amino acid residues 18 to 28 of CtIP (SP18-28) stably binds to CtIP tetramers in vitro and facilitates their aggregation into higher-order structures. Efficient intracellular uptake of SP18-28 abrogates CtIP localization to damaged chromatin, impairs DSB repair, and triggers extensive fork degradation. Moreover, prolonged SP18-28 treatment causes hypersensitivity to DNA-damaging agents and selectively reduces the viability of BRCA1-mutated cancer cell lines. Together, our data provide a basis for the future development of CtIP-targeting compounds with the potential to treat patients with cancer.
  3. Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Feb 16. pii: gkab051. [Epub ahead of print]
      Aberrant end joining of DNA double strand breaks leads to chromosomal rearrangements and to insertion of nuclear or mitochondrial DNA into breakpoints, which is commonly observed in cancer cells and constitutes a major threat to genome integrity. However, the mechanisms that are causative for these insertions are largely unknown. By monitoring end joining of different linear DNA substrates introduced into HEK293 cells, as well as by examining end joining of CRISPR/Cas9 induced DNA breaks in HEK293 and HeLa cells, we provide evidence that the dNTPase activity of SAMHD1 impedes aberrant DNA resynthesis at DNA breaks during DNA end joining. Hence, SAMHD1 expression or low intracellular dNTP levels lead to shorter repair joints and impede insertion of distant DNA regions prior end repair. Our results reveal a novel role for SAMHD1 in DNA end joining and provide new insights into how loss of SAMHD1 may contribute to genome instability and cancer development.
  4. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 23. pii: e2017497118. [Epub ahead of print]118(8):
      The ubiquitin E3 ligase Bre1-mediated H2B monoubiquitination (H2Bub) is essential for proper DNA replication and repair in eukaryotes. Deficiency in H2Bub causes genome instability and cancer. How the Bre1-H2Bub pathway is evoked in response to DNA replication or repair remains unknown. Here, we identify that the single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding factor RPA acts as a key mediator that couples Bre1-mediated H2Bub to DNA replication and repair in yeast. We found that RPA interacts with Bre1 in vitro and in vivo, and this interaction is stimulated by ssDNA. This association ensures the recruitment of Bre1 to replication forks or DNA breaks but does not affect its E3 ligase activity. Disruption of the interaction abolishes the local enrichment of H2Bub, resulting in impaired DNA replication, response to replication stress, and repair by homologous recombination, accompanied by increased genome instability and DNA damage sensitivity. Notably, we found that RNF20, the human homolog of Bre1, interacts with RPA70 in a conserved mode. Thus, RPA functions as a master regulator for the spatial-temporal control of H2Bub chromatin landscape during DNA replication and recombination, extending the versatile roles of RPA in guarding genome stability.
    Keywords:  Bre1; DNA replication; H2B ubiquitination; RPA; homologous recombination
  5. DNA Repair (Amst). 2021 Feb 06. pii: S1568-7864(21)00019-7. [Epub ahead of print]100 103063
      The DNA replication stress-induced checkpoint activated through the TopBP1-ATR axis is important for maintaining genomic stability. However, the regulation of TopBP1 in DNA-damage responses remains unclear. In this study, we identify the deubiquitinating enzyme (DUB) USP13 as an important regulator of TopBP1. Mechanistically, USP13 binds to TopBP1 and stabilizes TopBP1 by deubiquitination. Depletion of USP13 impedes ATR activation and hypersensitizes cells to replication stress-inducing agents. Furthermore, high USP13 expression enhances the replication stress response, promotes cancer cell chemoresistance, and is correlated with poor prognosis of cancer patients. Overall, these findings suggest that USP13 is a novel deubiquitinating enzyme for TopBP1 and coordinates the replication stress response.
    Keywords:  DNA damage; Replication; TopBP1; USP13
  6. Cell Rep. 2021 Jan 26. pii: S2211-1247(20)31651-X. [Epub ahead of print]34(4): 108662
      Mammalian COP9 signalosome (CSN) exists as two variant complexes containing either CSN7A or CSN7B paralogs of unknown functional specialization. Constructing knockout cells, we found that CSN7A and CSN7B have overlapping functions in the deneddylation of cullin-RING ubiquitin ligases. Nevertheless, CSNCSN7B has a unique function in DNA double-strand break (DSB) sensing, being selectively required for ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM)-dependent formation of NBS1S343p and γH2AX as well as DNA-damage-induced apoptosis triggered by mitomycin C and ionizing radiation. Live-cell microscopy revealed rapid recruitment of CSN7B but not CSN7A to DSBs. Resistance of CSN7B knockout cells to DNA damage is explained by the failure to deneddylate an upstream DSB signaling component, causing a switch in DNA repair pathway choice with increased utilization of non-homologous end joining over homologous recombination. In mice, CSN7B knockout tumors are resistant to DNA-damage-inducing chemotherapy, thus providing an explanation for the poor prognosis of tumors with low CSN7B expression.
    Keywords:  COP9 signalosome; CSN7A; CSN7B; DNA damage; apoptosis; double strand breaks; mitomycin C; non-homologous end joining
  7. Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2021 Feb 17. 1-31
      SLX4 provides a molecular scaffold for the assembly of multiple protein complexes required for the maintenance of genome stability. It is involved in the repair of DNA crosslinks, the resolution of recombination intermediates, the response to replication stress and the maintenance of telomere length. To carry out these diverse functions, SLX4 interacts with three structure-selective endonucleases, MUS81-EME1, SLX1 and XPF-ERCC1, as well as the telomere binding proteins TRF2, RTEL1 and SLX4IP. Recently, SLX4 was shown to interact with MutSβ, a heterodimeric protein involved in DNA mismatch repair, trinucleotide repeat instability, crosslink repair and recombination. Importantly, MutSβ promotes the pathogenic expansion of CAG/CTG trinucleotide repeats, which is causative of myotonic dystrophy and Huntington's disease. The colocalization and specific interaction of MutSβ with SLX4, together with their apparently overlapping functions, are suggestive of a common role in reactions that promote DNA maintenance and genome stability. This review will focus on the role of SLX4 in DNA repair, the interplay between MutSβ and SLX4, and detail how they cooperate to promote recombinational repair and DNA crosslink repair. Furthermore, we speculate that MutSβ and SLX4 may provide an alternative cellular mechanism that modulates trinucleotide instability.
    Keywords:  DNA damage response; DNA repair; MUS81; SMX nuclease; XPF; crosslinks; recombination; telomeres
  8. DNA Repair (Amst). 2021 Feb 03. pii: S1568-7864(21)00011-2. [Epub ahead of print]100 103055
      The maintenance of telomeres, which are specialized stretches of DNA found at the ends of linear chromosomes, is a crucial step for the immortalization of cancer cells. Approximately 10-15 % of cancer cells use a homologous recombination-based mechanism known as the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) pathway to maintain their telomeres. Telomeres in general pose a challenge to DNA replication owing to their repetitive nature and potential for forming secondary structures. Telomeres in ALT+ cells especially are subject to elevated levels of replication stress compared to telomeres that are maintained by the enzyme telomerase, in part due to the incorporation of telomeric variant repeats at ALT+ telomeres, their on average longer lengths, and their modified chromatin states. Many DNA metabolic strategies exist to counter replication stress and to protect stalled replication forks. The role of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) as a platform for recruiting protein partners that participate in several of these DNA replication and repair pathways has been well-documented. We propose that many of these pathways may be active at ALT+ telomeres, either to facilitate DNA replication, to manage replication stress, or during telomere extension. Here, we summarize recent evidence detailing the role of PCNA in pathways including DNA secondary structure resolution, DNA damage bypass, replication fork restart, and DNA damage synthesis. We propose that an examination of PCNA and its post-translational modifications (PTMs) may offer a unique lens by which we might gain insight into the DNA metabolic landscape that is distinctively present at ALT+ telomeres.
    Keywords:  Alternative lengthening of telomeres; DNA damage bypass; DNA repair; PCNA; Replication stress; Telomere replication
  9. Cell Rep. 2021 Jan 26. pii: S2211-1247(20)31658-2. [Epub ahead of print]34(4): 108669
      Replication stress response ensures impediments to DNA replication do not compromise replication fork stability and genome integrity. In a process termed replication fork protection, newly synthesized DNA at stalled replication forks is stabilized and protected from nuclease-mediated degradation. We report the identification of DDB1- and CUL4-associated factor 14 (DCAF14), a substrate receptor for Cullin4-RING E3 ligase (CRL4) complex, integral in stabilizing stalled replication forks. DCAF14 localizes rapidly to stalled forks and promotes genome integrity by preventing fork collapse into double-strand breaks (DSBs). Importantly, CRL4DCAF14 mediates stalled fork protection in a RAD51-dependent manner to protect nascent DNA from MRE11 and DNA2 nucleases. Thus, our study shows replication stress response functions of DCAF14 in genome maintenance.
    Keywords:  BRCA2; CRL4; DCAF14; DNA2; MRE11; RAD51; fork protection; fork reversal; replication stress
  10. Cancer Res. 2021 Feb 17. pii: canres.CAN-20-2960-A.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      Proton Bragg peak irradiation has a higher ionizing density than conventional photon irradiation or the entrance of the proton beam profile. Whether targeting the DNA damage response could enhance vulnerability to the distinct pattern of damage induced by proton Bragg peak irradiation is currently unknown. Here we performed genetic or pharmacologic manipulation of key DNA damage response elements and evaluated DNA damage signaling, DNA repair, and tumor control in cell lines and xenografts treated with the same physical dose across a radiotherapy linear energy transfer spectrum. Radiotherapy consisted of 6 MV photons and the entrance beam or Bragg peak of a 76.8 MeV spot scanning proton beam. More complex DNA double strand breaks induced by Bragg peak proton irradiation preferentially underwent resection and engaged homologous recombination (HR) machinery. Unexpectedly, the ATM inhibitor AZD0156 but not an inhibitor of ATR rendered cells hypersensitive to more densely ionizing proton Bragg peak irradiation. ATM inhibition blocked resection and shunted more double strand breaks to processing by toxic ligation through nonhomologous end-joining, whereas loss of DNA ligation via XRCC4 or Lig4 knockdown rescued resection and abolished the enhanced Bragg peak cell killing. Proton Bragg peak monotherapy selectively sensitized cell lines and tumor xenografts with inherent HR defects, and the repair defect induced by ATM inhibitor co-administration showed enhanced efficacy in HR proficient models. In summary, inherent defects in HR or administration of an ATM inhibitor in HR proficient tumors selectively enhance the relative biological effectiveness of proton Bragg peak irradiation.
  11. DNA Repair (Amst). 2021 Feb 01. pii: S1568-7864(21)00012-4. [Epub ahead of print]100 103056
      The replicative polymerase δ (Polδ), consisting of four subunits, plays a pivotal role in chromosomal replication. Pold4, the smallest subunit of Polδ, is believed to contribute to the regulation of replication by facilitating repair in response to DNA damage. However, that contribution has not been fully elucidated. We here show that Pold4 contributes to the suppression of gene conversion in immunoglobulin-variable (IgV) gene diversification in the chicken DT40 lymphocyte cell line, where gene conversion diversifies the IgV gene through intragenic homologous recombination (HR) between diverged pseudo-V segments. IgV gene conversion is initiated by activation-induced cytidine deaminase-mediated uracil formation in the IgV gene, which in turn converts into an abasic site, leading to replication arrest. POLD4-/- cells exhibited an increased rate of IgV gene conversion. Moreover, the gene-conversion tract was lengthened and the usage of pseudo-V segments was altered, showing a preference, to use the diverged sequence as a donor in POLD4-/- cells. These data suggest that Pold4 is involved in the regulation of HR-mediated gene conversion in IgV diversification. By contrast, the rate in HR-mediated, sister-chromatid exchange and gene-targeting induced by an I-SceI endonclease-mediated DNA double-strand break exhibited by POLD4-/- cells was indistinguishable from that by wild-type cells. These findings indicate that the functionality of general HR is preserved in POLD4-/- cells. In conclusion, Pold4 is involved in the suppression of IgV-gene conversion without affecting the general functionality of HR.
    Keywords:  DNA damage; Gene conversion; Homologous recombination; Replication; Translesion DNA synthesis
  12. Cell Rep. 2021 Jan 26. pii: S2211-1247(20)31664-8. [Epub ahead of print]34(4): 108675
      DNA replication is challenged by numerous exogenous and endogenous factors that can interfere with the progression of replication forks. Substantial accumulation of single-stranded DNA during DNA replication activates the DNA replication stress checkpoint response that slows progression from S/G2 to M phase to protect genomic integrity. Whether and how mild replication stress restricts proliferation remains controversial. Here, we identify a cell cycle exit mechanism that prevents S/G2 phase arrested cells from undergoing mitosis after exposure to mild replication stress through premature activation of the anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/CCDH1). We find that replication stress causes a gradual decrease of the levels of the APC/CCDH1 inhibitor EMI1/FBXO5 through Forkhead box O (FOXO)-mediated inhibition of its transcription factor E2F1. By doing so, FOXOs limit the time during which the replication stress checkpoint is reversible and thereby play an important role in maintaining genomic stability.
    Keywords:  DNA damage checkpoint; DNA replication stress; EMI1; FOXO; cell cycle exit; checkpoint recovery; genomic instability; senescence
  13. Nature. 2021 Feb 17.
      The repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) is essential for safeguarding genome integrity. When a DSB forms, the PI3K-related ATM kinase rapidly triggers the establishment of megabase-sized, chromatin domains decorated with phosphorylated histone H2AX (γH2AX), which act as seeds for the formation of DNA-damage response foci1. It is unclear how these foci are rapidly assembled to establish a 'repair-prone' environment within the nucleus. Topologically associating domains are a key feature of 3D genome organization that compartmentalize transcription and replication, but little is known about their contribution to DNA repair processes2,3. Here we show that topologically associating domains are functional units of the DNA damage response, and are instrumental for the correct establishment of γH2AX-53BP1 chromatin domains in a manner that involves one-sided cohesin-mediated loop extrusion on both sides of the DSB. We propose a model in which H2AX-containing nucleosomes are rapidly phosphorylated as they actively pass by DSB-anchored cohesin. Our work highlights the importance of chromosome conformation in the maintenance of genome integrity and demonstrates the establishment of a chromatin modification by loop extrusion.
  14. Mol Cancer Res. 2021 Feb 16. pii: molcanres.0985.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      CF10 is a 2nd generation polymeric fluoropyrimidine (FP) that targets both thymidylate synthase (TS), the target of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), and DNA topoisomerase 1 (Top1), the target of irinotecan, two drugs that are key components of FOLFIRNOX, a standard of care regimen for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). We demonstrated that F10 and CF10 are potent inhibitors of PDAC cell survival (in multiple cell lines including patient derived lines) with IC50s in the nanomolar range and are nearly 1000-fold more potent than 5-FU. The increased potency of CF10 relative to 5-FU correlated with enhanced TS inhibition and strong Top1 cleavage complex formation. Further, CF10 displayed single agent activity in PDAC murine xenografts without inducing weight-loss. Through a focused drug synergy screen, we identified that combining CF10 with targeting the DNA repair enzyme, Poly (ADP-ribose) Glycohydrolase (PARG), induces substantial DNA damage and apoptosis. This work moves CF10 closer to a clinical trial for the treatment of PDAC. Implications: CF10 is a promising polymeric fluoropyrimidine with dual mechanisms of action (i.e., TS and Top1 inhibition) for the treatment of PDAC and synergizes with targeting of DNA repair.
  15. Cell Rep. 2021 Feb 16. pii: S2211-1247(21)00072-3. [Epub ahead of print]34(7): 108759
      As transcription and replication use DNA as substrate, conflicts between transcription and replication can occur, leading to genome instability with direct consequences for human health. To determine how the two processes are coordinated throughout S phase, we characterize both processes together at high resolution. We find that transcription occurs during DNA replication, with transcription start sites (TSSs) not fully replicated along with surrounding regions and remaining under-replicated until late in the cell cycle. TSSs undergo completion of DNA replication specifically when cells enter mitosis, when RNA polymerase II is removed. Intriguingly, G2/M DNA synthesis occurs at high frequency in unperturbed cell culture, but it is not associated with increased DNA damage and is fundamentally separated from mitotic DNA synthesis. TSSs duplicated in G2/M are characterized by a series of specific features, including high levels of antisense transcription, making them difficult to duplicate during S phase.
    Keywords:  DNA damage; DNA replication; G2/M DNA synthesis; RNA polymerase II transcription; Replication origins; transcription-associated genome instability
  16. Cell Rep. 2021 Jan 26. pii: S2211-1247(20)31669-7. [Epub ahead of print]34(4): 108680
      The cell-cycle phase is a major determinant of repair pathway choice at DNA double strand breaks, non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), or homologous recombination (HR). Chk1 responds to genotoxic stress in S/G2 phase, but here, we report a role of Chk1 in directly promoting NHEJ repair in G1 phase. ASF1A is a histone chaperone, but it promotes NHEJ through a pathway independent of its histone-chaperone activity. Chk1 activated by ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase on DNA breaks in G1 promotes NHEJ through direct phosphorylation of ASF1A at Ser-166. ASF1A phosphorylated at Ser-166 interacts with the repair protein MDC1 and thus enhances MDC1's interaction with ATM and the stable localization of ATM at DNA breaks. Chk1 deficiency suppresses all steps downstream of MDC1 following a DNA break in G1, namely histone ubiquitination, 53BP1 localization to the DNA break, and NHEJ. Thus, ASF1A phosphorylation by Chk1 is essential for DNA break repair by NHEJ in G1.
    Keywords:  53BP1; ASF1A; Chk1; DSB repair; G1 cell-cycle; MDC1; NHEJ; histone ubiquitination; non-homologous end joining; phosphorylation
  17. Trends Genet. 2021 Feb 16. pii: S0168-9525(20)30333-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Recent structural analysis of Fe-S centers in replication proteins and insights into the structure and function of DNA polymerase δ (DNA Pol δ) subunits have shed light on the key role played by this polymerase at replication forks under stress. The sequencing of cancer genomes reveals multiple point mutations that compromise the activity of POLD1, the DNA Pol δ catalytic subunit, whereas the loci encoding the accessory subunits POLD2 and POLD3 are amplified in a very high proportion of human tumors. Consistently, DNA Pol δ is key for the survival of replication stress and is involved in multiple long-patch repair pathways. Synthetic lethality arises from compromising the function and availability of the noncatalytic subunits of DNA Pol δ under conditions of replication stress, opening the door to novel therapies.
    Keywords:  DNA Pol δ; DNA polymerases; cancer mutations; complex stability; replication stress
  18. J Biol Chem. 2021 Feb 15. pii: S0021-9258(21)00200-3. [Epub ahead of print] 100427
      DNA ligase I (LIG1) completes the base excision repair (BER) pathway at the last nick sealing step following DNA polymerase (pol) β gap filling DNA synthesis. However, the mechanism by which LIG1 fidelity mediates the faithful substrate-product channeling and ligation of repair intermediates at the final steps of the BER pathway remains unclear. We previously reported that pol β 8-oxo-2'-deoxyribonucleoside 5'-triphosphate (8-oxodGTP) insertion confounds LIG1 leading to the formation of ligation failure products with a 5'-adenylate (AMP) block. Here, using reconstituted BER assays in vitro, we report the mutagenic ligation of pol β 8-oxodGTP insertion products and an inefficient ligation of pol β Watson-Crick-like dG:T mismatch insertion by the LIG1 mutant with a perturbed fidelity (E346A/E592A). Moreover, our results reveal that the substrate discrimination of LIG1 for the nicked repair intermediates with preinserted 3'-8-oxodG or mismatches is governed by mutations at both E346 and E592 residues. Finally, we found that Aprataxin (APTX) and Flap Endonuclease 1 (FEN1), as compensatory DNA-end processing enzymes, can remove the 5'-AMP block from the abortive ligation products harboring 3'-8-oxodG or the 12 possible non-canonical base pairs. These findings contribute to the understanding of the role of LIG1 as an important determinant in faithful BER, and how a multi-protein complex (LIG1, pol β, APTX and FEN1) can coordinate to prevent the formation of mutagenic repair intermediates with damaged or mismatched ends at the downstream steps of the BER pathway.
  19. Cell Rep. 2021 Feb 16. pii: S2211-1247(21)00026-7. [Epub ahead of print]34(7): 108713
      AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an energy sensor that plays roles in multiple biological processes beyond metabolism. Several studies have suggested that AMPK is involved in the DNA damage response (DDR), but the mechanisms remain unclear. Herein, we demonstrate that AMPK promotes classic non-homologous end joining (c-NHEJ) in double-strand break (DSB) repair through recruiting a key chromatin-based mediator named p53-binding protein 1 (53BP1), which facilitates the end joining of distal DNA ends during DDR. We find that the interaction of AMPK and 53BP1 spatially occurs under DSB stress. In the context of DSBs, AMPK directly phosphorylates 53BP1 at Ser1317 and promotes 53BP1 recruitment during DDR for an efficient c-NHEJ, thus maintaining genomic stability and diversity of the immune repertoire. Taken together, our study demonstrates that AMPK is a regulator of 53BP1 and controls c-NHEJ choice by phospho-regulation.
    Keywords:  53BP1; AMPK; DNA double-strand break repair; genomic stability; phosphorylation
  20. DNA Repair (Amst). 2021 Feb 03. pii: S1568-7864(21)00006-9. [Epub ahead of print]100 103052
      DNA polymerase ζ (Pol ζ) is a specialized Pol that is involved in translesion DNA synthesis (TLS), in particular, in the extension of primer DNA after bypassing DNA lesions. Previously, we established human cells that express a variant form of Pol ζ with an amino acid change of leucine 2618 to methionine (L2618M) in the catalytic subunit REV3L (DNA Repair, 45, 34-43, 2016). This amino acid change made the cells more sensitive to the mutagenicity of benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide (BPDE). In this study, we embedded BPDE-N2-guanine at a defined position in the supF gene on the shuttle plasmid and introduced it to REV3 L2618M cells or the wild-type (WT) cells to examine how far Pol ζ L2618M extends the primer DNA after bypassing the lesion. The adduct induced primarily G to T and G to C at the adducted site in both cell lines, but generated additional sequence changes such as base substitutions, deletions and additions in the extension patch much more often in REV3 L2618M cells than in the WT cells. Mutations in the extension patch in REV3 L2618M cells occurred most often within 10 bps from the adducted site. Then, the number of mutations gradually decreased and no mutations were observed between 30 and 40 bps from the lesion. We concluded that human Pol ζ L2618M and perhaps WT Pol ζ extend the primer DNA up to approximately 30 bps from the lesion in vivo. The possibility of involvement of Pol ζ L2618M in the insertion step of TLS is discussed.
    Keywords:  Bypass patch; Complex mutations; DNA polymerase ζ; REV3L; Translesion DNA synthesis
  21. Biochem J. 2021 Feb 16. pii: BCJ20200491. [Epub ahead of print]
      Y-family DNA polymerase iota (Pol ι) is involved in DNA damage response and tolerance. Mutations and altered expression level of POLI gene are linked to a higher incidence of cancer. We biochemically characterized five active site polymorphic variants of human Pol ι: R71G (rs3218778), P118L (rs554252419), I236M (rs3218784), E251K (rs3218783) and P365R (rs200852409). We analyzed fidelity of nucleotide incorporation on undamaged DNA, efficiency and accuracy of DNA damage bypass, as well as 5'-deoxyribophosphate lyase (dRP-lyase) activity. The I236M and P118L variants were indistinguishable from the wild-type Pol ι in activity. The E251K and P365R substitutions altered the spectrum of nucleotide incorporation opposite several undamaged DNA bases. The P365R variant also reduced the dRP-lyase activity and possessed the decreased TLS activity opposite 8-oxo-G. The R71G mutation dramatically affected the catalytic activities of Pol ι. The reduced DNA polymerase activity of the R71G variant correlated with an enhanced fidelity of nucleotide incorporation on undamaged DNA, altered lesion-bypass activity and reduced dRP-lyase activity. Therefore, this amino acid substitution likely alters Pol ι functions in vivo.
    Keywords:  DNA damage; dna polymerase; translesion synthesis
  22. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 23. pii: e2020185118. [Epub ahead of print]118(8):
      The DNA damage checkpoint induces many cellular changes to cope with genotoxic stress. However, persistent checkpoint signaling can be detrimental to growth partly due to blockage of cell cycle resumption. Checkpoint dampening is essential to counter such harmful effects, but its mechanisms remain to be understood. Here, we show that the DNA helicase Srs2 removes a key checkpoint sensor complex, RPA, from chromatin to down-regulate checkpoint signaling in budding yeast. The Srs2 and RPA antagonism is supported by their numerous suppressive genetic interactions. Importantly, moderate reduction of RPA binding to single-strand DNA (ssDNA) rescues hypercheckpoint signaling caused by the loss of Srs2 or its helicase activity. This rescue correlates with a reduction in the accumulated RPA and the associated checkpoint kinase on chromatin in srs2 mutants. Moreover, our data suggest that Srs2 regulation of RPA is separable from its roles in recombinational repair and critically contributes to genotoxin resistance. We conclude that dampening checkpoint by Srs2-mediated RPA recycling from chromatin aids cellular survival of genotoxic stress and has potential implications in other types of DNA transactions.
    Keywords:  RPA regulation; Srs2; checkpoint dampening; genotoxic stress; recombinational repair
  23. Clin Epigenetics. 2021 Feb 17. 13(1): 37
      BACKGROUND: BRG1 (encoded by SMARCA4) is a catalytic component of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodelling complex, with key roles in modulating DNA accessibility. Dysregulation of BRG1 is observed, but functionally uncharacterised, in a wide range of malignancies. We have probed the functions of BRG1 on a background of prostate cancer to investigate how BRG1 controls gene expression programmes and cancer cell behaviour.RESULTS: Our investigation of SMARCA4 revealed that BRG1 is over-expressed in the majority of the 486 tumours from The Cancer Genome Atlas prostate cohort, as well as in a complementary panel of 21 prostate cell lines. Next, we utilised a temporal model of BRG1 depletion to investigate the molecular effects on global transcription programmes. Depleting BRG1 had no impact on alternative splicing and conferred only modest effect on global expression. However, of the transcriptional changes that occurred, most manifested as down-regulated expression. Deeper examination found the common thread linking down-regulated genes was involvement in proliferation, including several known to increase prostate cancer proliferation (KLK2, PCAT1 and VAV3). Interestingly, the promoters of genes driving proliferation were bound by BRG1 as well as the transcription factors, AR and FOXA1. We also noted that BRG1 depletion repressed genes involved in cell cycle progression and DNA replication, but intriguingly, these pathways operated independently of AR and FOXA1. In agreement with transcriptional changes, depleting BRG1 conferred G1 arrest.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our data have revealed that BRG1 promotes cell cycle progression and DNA replication, consistent with the increased cell proliferation associated with oncogenesis.
    Keywords:  BRG1; Cancer; Cell cycle; Chromatin remodelling; DNA replication; Gene expression; SMARCA4; Transcription
  24. Cell Rep. 2021 Jan 26. pii: S2211-1247(21)00004-8. [Epub ahead of print]34(4): 108691
      In contrast to our extensive knowledge on covalent small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) target proteins, we are limited in our understanding of non-covalent SUMO-binding proteins. We identify interactors of different SUMO isoforms-monomeric SUMO1, monomeric SUMO2, or linear trimeric SUMO2 chains-using a mass spectrometry-based proteomics approach. We identify 379 proteins that bind to different SUMO isoforms, mainly in a preferential manner. Interestingly, XRCC4 is the only DNA repair protein in our screen with a preference for SUMO2 trimers over mono-SUMO2, as well as the only protein in our screen that belongs to the non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) DNA double-strand break repair pathway. A SUMO interaction motif (SIM) in XRCC4 regulates its recruitment to sites of DNA damage and phosphorylation of S320 by DNA-PKcs. Our data highlight the importance of non-covalent and covalent sumoylation for DNA double-strand break repair via the NHEJ pathway and provide a resource of SUMO isoform interactors.
    Keywords:  DNA damage response; SUMO; SUMO Interaction Motif; SUMO1; SUMO2; chain; mass spectrometry; non-homologous end joining; small ubiquitin-like modifier; ubiquitin
  25. Cell Rep. 2021 Jan 26. pii: S2211-1247(20)31667-3. [Epub ahead of print]34(4): 108678
      Osteosarcoma is the most common pediatric and adult primary malignant bone cancer. Curative regimens target the folate pathway, downstream of serine metabolism, with high-dose methotrexate. Here, the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of serine from glucose, 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), is examined, and an inverse correlation between PHGDH expression and relapse-free and overall survival in osteosarcoma patients is found. PHGDH inhibition in osteosarcoma cell lines attenuated cellular proliferation without causing cell death, prompting a robust metabolic analysis to characterize pro-survival compensation. Using metabolomic and lipidomic profiling, cellular response to PHGDH inhibition is identified as accumulation of unsaturated lipids, branched chain amino acids, and methionine cycle intermediates, leading to activation of pro-survival mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling. Increased mTORC1 activation sensitizes cells to mTORC1 pathway inhibition, resulting in significant, synergistic cell death in vitro and in vivo. Identifying a therapeutic combination for PHGDH-high cancers offers preclinical justification for a dual metabolism-based combination therapy for osteosarcoma.
    Keywords:  GATOR; PHGDH; SAMTOR; lipid metabolism; mTORC1; methotrexate; one-carbon metabolism; osteosarcoma; perhexiline; serine biosynthesis
  26. Sci Rep. 2021 Feb 19. 11(1): 4242
      Faithful genome duplication requires regulation of origin firing to determine loci, timing and efficiency of replisome generation. Established kinase targets for eukaryotic origin firing regulation are the Mcm2-7 helicase, Sld3/Treslin/TICRR and Sld2/RecQL4. We report that metazoan Sld7, MTBP (Mdm2 binding protein), is targeted by at least three kinase pathways. MTBP was phosphorylated at CDK consensus sites by cell cycle cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) and Cdk8/19-cyclin C. Phospho-mimetic MTBP CDK site mutants, but not non-phosphorylatable mutants, promoted origin firing in human cells. MTBP was also phosphorylated at DNA damage checkpoint kinase consensus sites. Phospho-mimetic mutations at these sites inhibited MTBP's origin firing capability. Whilst expressing a non-phospho MTBP mutant was insufficient to relieve the suppression of origin firing upon DNA damage, the mutant induced a genome-wide increase of origin firing in unperturbed cells. Our work establishes MTBP as a regulation platform of metazoan origin firing.
  27. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(2): e0247132
      Protein sumoylation, especially when catalyzed by the Mms21 SUMO E3 ligase, plays a major role in suppressing duplication-mediated gross chromosomal rearrangements (dGCRs). How Mms21 targets its substrates in the cell is insufficiently understood. Here, we demonstrate that Esc2, a protein with SUMO-like domains (SLDs), recruits the Ubc9 SUMO conjugating enzyme to specifically facilitate Mms21-dependent sumoylation and suppress dGCRs. The D430R mutation in Esc2 impairs its binding to Ubc9 and causes a synergistic growth defect and accumulation of dGCRs with mutations that delete the Siz1 and Siz2 E3 ligases. By contrast, esc2-D430R does not appreciably affect sensitivity to DNA damage or the dGCRs caused by the catalytically inactive mms21-CH. Moreover, proteome-wide analysis of intracellular sumoylation demonstrates that esc2-D430R specifically down-regulates sumoylation levels of Mms21-preferred targets, including the nucleolar proteins, components of the SMC complexes and the MCM complex that acts as the catalytic core of the replicative DNA helicase. These effects closely resemble those caused by mms21-CH, and are relatively unaffected by deleting Siz1 and Siz2. Thus, by recruiting Ubc9, Esc2 facilitates Mms21-dependent sumoylation to suppress the accumulation of dGCRs independent of Siz1 and Siz2.
  28. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 23. pii: e2012469118. [Epub ahead of print]118(8):
      Emerging evidence suggests that intratumoral interferon (IFN) signaling can trigger targetable vulnerabilities. A hallmark of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is its extensively reprogrammed metabolic network, in which nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and its reduced form, NADH, are critical cofactors. Here, we show that IFN signaling, present in a subset of PDAC tumors, substantially lowers NAD(H) levels through up-regulating the expression of NAD-consuming enzymes PARP9, PARP10, and PARP14. Their individual contributions to this mechanism in PDAC have not been previously delineated. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the NAD salvage pathway, a dominant source of NAD in cancer cells. We found that IFN-induced NAD consumption increased dependence upon NAMPT for its role in recycling NAM to salvage NAD pools, thus sensitizing PDAC cells to pharmacologic NAMPT inhibition. Their combination decreased PDAC cell proliferation and invasion in vitro and suppressed orthotopic tumor growth and liver metastases in vivo.
    Keywords:  NAD; NAMPT; PARP; interferon; pancreatic cancer
  29. Nat Commun. 2021 02 15. 12(1): 1028
      Upon binding to DNA breaks, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) ADP-ribosylates itself and other factors to initiate DNA repair. Serine is the major residue for ADP-ribosylation upon DNA damage, which strictly depends on HPF1. Here, we report the crystal structures of human HPF1/PARP1-CAT ΔHD complex at 1.98 Å resolution, and mouse and human HPF1 at 1.71 Å and 1.57 Å resolution, respectively. Our structures and mutagenesis data confirm that the structural insights obtained in a recent HPF1/PARP2 study by Suskiewicz et al. apply to PARP1. Moreover, we quantitatively characterize the key residues necessary for HPF1/PARP1 binding. Our data show that through salt-bridging to Glu284/Asp286, Arg239 positions Glu284 to catalyze serine ADP-ribosylation, maintains the local conformation of HPF1 to limit PARP1 automodification, and facilitates HPF1/PARP1 binding by neutralizing the negative charge of Glu284. These findings, along with the high-resolution structural data, may facilitate drug discovery targeting PARP1.
  30. Mol Cell. 2021 Jan 16. pii: S1097-2765(20)30991-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      ATR checkpoint signaling is crucial for cellular responses to DNA replication impediments. Using an optogenetic platform, we show that TopBP1, the main activator of ATR, self-assembles extensively to yield micrometer-sized condensates. These opto-TopBP1 condensates are functional entities organized in tightly packed clusters of spherical nano-particles. TopBP1 condensates are reversible, occasionally fuse, and co-localize with TopBP1 partner proteins. We provide evidence that TopBP1 condensation is a molecular switch that amplifies ATR activity to phosphorylate checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) and slow down replication forks. Single amino acid substitutions of key residues in the intrinsically disordered ATR activation domain disrupt TopBP1 condensation and consequently ATR/Chk1 signaling. In physiologic salt concentration and pH, purified TopBP1 undergoes liquid-liquid phase separation in vitro. We propose that the actuation mechanism of ATR signaling is the assembly of TopBP1 condensates driven by highly regulated multivalent and cooperative interactions.
    Keywords:  ATR; DNA damage response; DNA replication; S phase checkpoint; TopBP1; biomolecular condensates; liquid phase separation; optogenetics; proximity-labeling proteomics; signal transduction
  31. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2021 Feb 12. pii: S1084-9521(21)00025-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Chromothripsis is a unique form of genome instability characterized by tens to hundreds of DNA double-strand breaks on one or very few chromosomes, followed by error-prone repair. The derivative chromosome(s) display massive rearrangements, which lead to the loss of tumor suppressor function and to the activation of oncogenes. Chromothripsis plays a major role in cancer as well as in other conditions, such as congenital diseases. In this review, we discuss the repair processes involved in the rejoining of the chromosome fragments, the role of DNA repair and checkpoint defects as a cause for chromothripsis as well as DNA repair defects resulting from chromothripsis. Finally, we consider clinical implications and potential therapeutic vulnerabilities that could be utilized to eliminate tumor cells with chromothripsis.
    Keywords:  Chromothripsis; Complex genome rearrangements; DNA repair; Genome instability
  32. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Feb 15. 12(2): 183
      Monotherapy with poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors results in a limited objective response rate (≤60% in most cases) in patients with homologous recombination repair (HRR)-deficient cancer, which suggests a high rate of resistance in this subset of patients to PARP inhibitors (PARPi). To overcome resistance to PARPi and to broaden their clinical use, we performed high-throughput screening of 99 anticancer drugs in combination with PARPi to identify potential therapeutic combinations. Here, we found that GSK3 inhibitors (GSK3i) exhibited a strong synergistic effect with PARPi in a panel of colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines with diverse genetic backgrounds. The combination of GSK3β and PARP inhibition causes replication stress and DNA double-strand breaks, resulting in increased anaphase bridges and abnormal spindles. Mechanistically, inhibition or genetic depletion of GSK3β was found to impair the HRR of DNA and reduce the mRNA and protein level of BRCA1. Finally, we demonstrated that inhibition or depletion of GSK3β could enhance the in vivo sensitivity to simmiparib without toxicity. Our results provide a mechanistic understanding of the combination of PARP and GSK3 inhibition, and support the clinical development of this combination therapy for CRC patients.
  33. Mol Cell. 2021 Feb 18. pii: S1097-2765(21)00044-7. [Epub ahead of print]81(4): 739-755.e7
      Cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) recognition of cytosolic DNA is critical for the immune response to cancer and pathogen infection. Here, we discover that cGAS-DNA phase separation is required to resist negative regulation and allow efficient sensing of immunostimulatory DNA. We map the molecular determinants of cGAS condensate formation and demonstrate that phase separation functions to limit activity of the cytosolic exonuclease TREX1. Mechanistically, phase separation forms a selective environment that suppresses TREX1 catalytic function and restricts DNA degradation to an outer shell at the droplet periphery. We identify a TREX1 mutation associated with the severe autoimmune disease Aicardi-Goutières syndrome that increases penetration of TREX1 into the repressive droplet interior and specifically impairs degradation of phase-separated DNA. Our results define a critical function of cGAS-DNA phase separation and reveal a molecular mechanism that balances cytosolic DNA degradation and innate immune activation.
    Keywords:  TREX1; cGAS; innate immunity; phase separation
  34. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(2): e0247169
      Phosphoribosylaminoimidazole carboxylase, phosphoribosylaminoimidazole succinocarboxamide synthetase (PAICS) encodes an enzyme that catalyzes de novo purine biosynthesis. Although PAICS has been implicated as a potential therapeutic target in several cancers, its clinical and prognostic significance in colorectal cancer (CRC) is not fully understood. To elucidate the roles of PAICS in CRC, we investigated PAICS expression in four cohorts consisting of a total of 1659 samples based on quantitative RT-PCR, microarray and RNA-seq analysis. Despite upregulated PAICS levels in tumor compared to those of normal mucosa, we found a decreasing trend of PAICS expression during tumor progression and metastasis. We conducted immunohistochemistry on 252 specimens, showing that PAICS protein was strongly expressed in the majority of CRCs, but not in adjacent mucosa. Notably, 29.0% of tumors lacked PAICS staining, and PAICS-negative expression in tumor had significant prognostic impact on poor cancer-specific survival in stage III CRC. Correspondingly, decreased levels of PAICS transcript were also correlated with poor relapse-free survival particularly in stage III patients, and this finding was robustly confirmed in three microarray datasets of a total of 802 stage II-III patients. Bioinformatics analysis of CRC tissues and cell lines consistently indicated a correlation between decreased PAICS expression and copy number loss of chromosome arm 4q. In conclusion, our results suggest that PAICS expression is downregulated during tumor progression due to genetic deletion of chromosome 4q in microsatellite stable but chromosomally unstable tumors. Furthermore, decreased expression of PAICS transcript or loss of PAICS protein may provide prognostic stratification for postoperative patients with stage III CRC.