bims-ginsta Biomed News
on Genome instability
Issue of 2023‒12‒03
eighteen papers selected by
Jinrong Hu, National University of Singapore

  1. Nat Commun. 2023 Dec 01. 14(1): 7947
      The centromere components cohesin, CENP-A, and centromeric DNA are essential for biorientation of sister chromatids on the mitotic spindle and accurate sister chromatid segregation. Insight into the 3D organization of centromere components would help resolve how centromeres function on the mitotic spindle. We use ChIP-seq and super-resolution microscopy with single particle averaging to examine the geometry of essential centromeric components on human chromosomes. Both modalities suggest cohesin is enriched at pericentromeric DNA. CENP-A localizes to a subset of the α-satellite DNA, with clusters separated by ~562 nm and a perpendicular intervening ~190 nM wide axis of cohesin in metaphase chromosomes. Differently sized α-satellite arrays achieve a similar core structure. Here we present a working model for a common core configuration of essential centromeric components that includes CENP-A nucleosomes, α-satellite DNA and pericentromeric cohesion. This configuration helps reconcile how centromeres function and serves as a foundation to add components of the chromosome segregation machinery.
  2. Mol Cell. 2023 Nov 20. pii: S1097-2765(23)00918-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitotic cell division is tightly monitored by checkpoints that safeguard the genome from instability. Failures in accurate chromosome segregation during mitosis can cause numerical aneuploidy, which was hypothesized by Theodor Boveri over a century ago to promote tumorigenesis. Recent interrogation of pan-cancer genomes has identified unexpected classes of chromosomal abnormalities, including complex rearrangements arising through chromothripsis. This process is driven by mitotic errors that generate abnormal nuclear structures that provoke extensive yet localized shattering of mis-segregated chromosomes. Here, we discuss emerging mechanisms underlying chromothripsis from micronuclei and chromatin bridges, as well as highlight how this mutational cascade converges on the DNA damage response. A fundamental understanding of these catastrophic processes will provide insight into how initial errors in mitosis can precipitate rapid cancer genome evolution.
    Keywords:  DNA repair; aneuploidy; cancer evolution; cell cycle; chromatin bridge; chromosome segregation; chromothripsis; genome rearrangements; micronuclei; mitosis
  3. Sci Adv. 2023 Dec;9(48): eadh5313
      Mammals have limited capacity for heart regeneration, whereas zebrafish have extraordinary regeneration abilities. During zebrafish heart regeneration, endothelial cells promote cardiomyocyte cell cycle reentry and myocardial repair, but the mechanisms responsible for promoting an injury microenvironment conducive to regeneration remain incompletely defined. Here, we identify the matrix metalloproteinase Mmp14b as an essential regulator of heart regeneration. We identify a TEAD-dependent mmp14b endothelial enhancer induced by heart injury in zebrafish and mice, and we show that the enhancer is required for regeneration, supporting a role for Hippo signaling upstream of mmp14b. Last, we show that MMP-14 function in mice is important for the accumulation of Agrin, an essential regulator of neonatal mouse heart regeneration. These findings reveal mechanisms for extracellular matrix remodeling that promote heart regeneration.
  4. Development. 2023 Dec 01. pii: dev201899. [Epub ahead of print]150(23):
      De novo variants affecting monoubiquitylation of histone H2B (H2Bub1) are enriched in human congenital heart disease. H2Bub1 is required in stem cell differentiation, cilia function, post-natal cardiomyocyte maturation and transcriptional elongation. However, how H2Bub1 affects cardiogenesis is unknown. We show that the H2Bub1-deposition complex (RNF20-RNF40-UBE2B) is required for mouse cardiogenesis and for differentiation of human iPSCs into cardiomyocytes. Mice with cardiac-specific Rnf20 deletion are embryonic lethal and have abnormal myocardium. We then analyzed H2Bub1 marks during differentiation of human iPSCs into cardiomyocytes. H2Bub1 is erased from most genes at the transition from cardiac mesoderm to cardiac progenitor cells but is preserved on a subset of long cardiac-specific genes. When H2Bub1 is reduced in iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes, long cardiac-specific genes have fewer full-length transcripts. This correlates with H2Bub1 accumulation near the center of these genes. H2Bub1 accumulation near the center of tissue-specific genes was also observed in embryonic fibroblasts and fetal osteoblasts. In summary, we show that normal H2Bub1 distribution is required for cardiogenesis and cardiomyocyte differentiation, and suggest that H2Bub1 regulates tissue-specific gene expression by increasing the amount of full-length transcripts.
    Keywords:  Cardiac morphogenesis; Cardiomyocyte; Congenital heart disease; Epigenetics
  5. Nat Cell Biol. 2023 Nov 27.
      Drugs that selectively kill senescent cells (senolytics) improve the outcomes of cancer, fibrosis and age-related diseases. Despite their potential, our knowledge of the molecular pathways that affect the survival of senescent cells is limited. To discover senolytic targets, we performed RNAi screens and identified coatomer complex I (COPI) vesicle formation as a liability of senescent cells. Genetic or pharmacological inhibition of COPI results in Golgi dispersal, dysfunctional autophagy, and unfolded protein response-dependent apoptosis of senescent cells, and knockdown of COPI subunits improves the outcomes of cancer and fibrosis in mouse models. Drugs targeting COPI have poor pharmacological properties, but we find that N-myristoyltransferase inhibitors (NMTi) phenocopy COPI inhibition and are potent senolytics. NMTi selectively eliminated senescent cells and improved outcomes in models of cancer and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Our results suggest that senescent cells rely on a hyperactive secretory apparatus and that inhibiting trafficking kills senescent cells with the potential to treat various senescence-associated diseases.
  6. Nat Commun. 2023 Nov 25. 14(1): 7730
      Replication fork stalling can provoke fork reversal to form a four-way DNA junction. This remodelling of the replication fork can facilitate repair, aid bypass of DNA lesions, and enable replication restart, but may also pose a risk of over-replication during fork convergence. We show that replication fork stalling at a site-specific barrier in fission yeast can induce gene duplication-deletion rearrangements that are independent of replication restart-associated template switching and Rad51-dependent multi-invasion. Instead, they resemble targeted gene replacements (TGRs), requiring the DNA annealing activity of Rad52, the 3'-flap nuclease Rad16-Swi10, and mismatch repair protein Msh2. We propose that excess DNA, generated during the merging of a canonical fork with a reversed fork, can be liberated by a nuclease and integrated at an ectopic site via a TGR-like mechanism. This highlights how over-replication at replication termination sites can threaten genome stability in eukaryotes.
  7. Mol Biol Cell. 2023 Nov 29. mbcE23070282
      Myosin 10 (Myo10) couples microtubules and integrin-based adhesions to movement along actin filaments via its microtubule-binding MyTH4 domain and integrin-binding FERM domain, respectively. Here we show that Myo10 depleted HeLa cells and mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) both exhibit a pronounced increase in the frequency of multipolar spindles. Staining of unsynchronized metaphase cells showed that the primary driver of spindle multipolarity in Myo10 depleted MEFs and in Myo10 depleted HeLa cells lacking supernumerary centrosomes is pericentriolar material (PCM) fragmentation, which creates y-tubulin-positive acentriolar foci that serve as extra spindle poles. For HeLa cells possessing supernumerary centrosomes, Myo10 depletion further accentuates spindle multipolarity by impairing the clustering of the extra spindle poles. Complementation experiments show that Myo10 must interact with both microtubules and integrins to promote PCM/pole integrity. Conversely, Myo10 only needs interact with integrins to promote supernumerary centrosome clustering. Importantly, images of metaphase Halo-Myo10 knockin cells show that the myosin localizes exclusively to the spindle and the tips of adhesive retraction fibers. We conclude that Myo10 promotes PCM/pole integrity in part by interacting with spindle microtubules, and that it promotes supernumerary centrosome clustering by supporting retraction fiber-based cell adhesion, which likely serves to anchor the microtubule-based forces driving pole focusing.
  8. bioRxiv. 2023 Nov 16. pii: 2023.11.15.567233. [Epub ahead of print]
      Genome organization can regulate gene expression and promote cell fate transitions. The differentiation of germline stem cells (GSCs) to oocytes in Drosophila involves changes in genome organization mediated by heterochromatin and the nuclear pore complex (NPC). Heterochromatin represses germ-cell genes during differentiation and NPCs anchor these silenced genes to the nuclear periphery, maintaining silencing to allow for oocyte development. Surprisingly, we find that genome organization also contributes to NPC formation, mediated by the transcription factor Stonewall (Stwl). As GSCs differentiate, Stwl accumulates at boundaries between silenced and active gene compartments. Stwl at these boundaries plays a pivotal role in transitioning germ-cell genes into a silenced state and activating a group of oocyte genes and Nucleoporins (Nups). The upregulation of these Nups during differentiation is crucial for NPC formation and further genome organization. Thus, crosstalk between genome architecture and NPCs is essential for successful cell fate transitions.
  9. Nat Commun. 2023 Nov 30. 14(1): 7882
      Keeping replication fork stable is essential for safeguarding genome integrity; hence, its protection is highly regulated. The CTC1-STN1-TEN1 (CST) complex protects stalled forks from aberrant MRE11-mediated nascent strand DNA degradation (NSD). However, the activation mechanism for CST at forks is unknown. Here, we report that STN1 is phosphorylated in its intrinsic disordered region. Loss of STN1 phosphorylation reduces the replication stress-induced STN1 localization to stalled forks, elevates NSD, increases MRE11 access to stalled forks, and decreases RAD51 localization at forks, leading to increased genome instability under perturbed DNA replication condition. STN1 is phosphorylated by both the ATR-CHK1 and the calcium-sensing kinase CaMKK2 in response to hydroxyurea/aphidicolin treatment or elevated cytosolic calcium concentration. Cancer-associated STN1 variants impair STN1 phosphorylation, conferring inability of fork protection. Collectively, our study uncovers that CaMKK2 and ATR-CHK1 target STN1 to enable its fork protective function, and suggests an important role of STN1 phosphorylation in cancer development.
  10. Elife. 2023 Nov 30. pii: RP89373. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Spermatogenesis in the Drosophila male germline proceeds through a unique transcriptional program controlled both by germline-specific transcription factors and by testis-specific versions of core transcriptional machinery. This program includes the activation of genes on the heterochromatic Y chromosome, and reduced transcription from the X chromosome, but how expression from these sex chromosomes is regulated has not been defined. To resolve this, we profiled active chromatin features in the testes from wildtype and meiotic arrest mutants and integrate this with single-cell gene expression data from the Fly Cell Atlas. These data assign the timing of promoter activation for genes with germline-enriched expression throughout spermatogenesis, and general alterations of promoter regulation in germline cells. By profiling both active RNA polymerase II and histone modifications in isolated spermatocytes, we detail widespread patterns associated with regulation of the sex chromosomes. Our results demonstrate that the X chromosome is not enriched for silencing histone modifications, implying that sex chromosome inactivation does not occur in the Drosophila male germline. Instead, a lack of dosage compensation in spermatocytes accounts for the reduced expression from this chromosome. Finally, profiling uncovers dramatic ubiquitinylation of histone H2A and lysine-16 acetylation of histone H4 across the Y chromosome in spermatocytes that may contribute to the activation of this heterochromatic chromosome.
    Keywords:  D. melanogaster; chromatin; chromosomes; gene expression; gene regulation; genetics; genomics; germline development
  11. Nat Commun. 2023 Nov 28. 14(1): 7819
      Cells rapidly respond to replication stress actively slowing fork progression and inducing fork reversal. How replication fork plasticity is achieved in the context of nuclear organization is currently unknown. Using nuclear actin probes in living and fixed cells, we visualized nuclear actin filaments in unperturbed S phase and observed their rapid extension in number and length upon genotoxic treatments, frequently taking contact with replication factories. Chemically or genetically impairing nuclear actin polymerization shortly before these treatments prevents active fork slowing and abolishes fork reversal. Defective fork remodeling is linked to deregulated chromatin loading of PrimPol, which promotes unrestrained and discontinuous DNA synthesis and limits the recruitment of RAD51 and SMARCAL1 to nascent DNA. Moreover, defective nuclear actin polymerization upon mild replication interference induces chromosomal instability in a PRIMPOL-dependent manner. Hence, by limiting PrimPol activity, nuclear F-actin orchestrates replication fork plasticity and is a key molecular determinant in the rapid cellular response to genotoxic treatments.
  12. Mol Cell. 2023 Nov 16. pii: S1097-2765(23)00916-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      In eukaryotic genomes, transcriptional machinery and nucleosomes compete for binding to DNA sequences; thus, a crucial aspect of gene regulatory element function is to modulate chromatin accessibility for transcription factor (TF) and RNA polymerase binding. Recent structural studies have revealed multiple modes of TF engagement with nucleosomes, but how initial "pioneering" results in steady-state DNA accessibility for further TF binding and RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) engagement has been unclear. Even less well understood is how distant sites of open chromatin interact with one another, such as when developmental enhancers activate promoters to release RNAPII for productive elongation. Here, we review evidence for the centrality of the conserved SWI/SNF family of nucleosome remodeling complexes, both in pioneering and in mediating enhancer-promoter contacts. Consideration of the nucleosome unwrapping and ATP hydrolysis activities of SWI/SNF complexes, together with their architectural features, may reconcile steady-state TF occupancy with rapid TF dynamics observed by live imaging.
    Keywords:  ATP-dependent remodeling; cancer; chromatin; development; gene regulation; histone; nucleosome; transcription factor
  13. Nature. 2023 Nov 29.
      FOXP3 is a transcription factor that is essential for the development of regulatory T cells, a branch of T cells that suppress excessive inflammation and autoimmunity1-5. However, the molecular mechanisms of FOXP3 remain unclear. Here we here show that FOXP3 uses the forkhead domain-a DNA-binding domain that is commonly thought to function as a monomer or dimer-to form a higher-order multimer after binding to TnG repeat microsatellites. The cryo-electron microscopy structure of FOXP3 in a complex with T3G repeats reveals a ladder-like architecture, whereby two double-stranded DNA molecules form the two 'side rails' bridged by five pairs of FOXP3 molecules, with each pair forming a 'rung'. Each FOXP3 subunit occupies TGTTTGT within the repeats in a manner that is indistinguishable from that of FOXP3 bound to the forkhead consensus motif (TGTTTAC). Mutations in the intra-rung interface impair TnG repeat recognition, DNA bridging and the cellular functions of FOXP3, all without affecting binding to the forkhead consensus motif. FOXP3 can tolerate variable inter-rung spacings, explaining its broad specificity for TnG-repeat-like sequences in vivo and in vitro. Both FOXP3 orthologues and paralogues show similar TnG repeat recognition and DNA bridging. These findings therefore reveal a mode of DNA recognition that involves transcription factor homomultimerization and DNA bridging, and further implicates microsatellites in transcriptional regulation and diseases.
  14. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2023 Dec 01.
      Mitochondria are cellular organelles critical for ATP production and are particularly relevant to cardiovascular diseases including heart failure, atherosclerosis, ischemia reperfusion injury, and cardiomyopathies. With advancing age, even in the absence of clinical disease, mitochondrial homeostasis becomes disrupted (e.g. redox balance, mitochondrial DNA damage, oxidative metabolism, and mitochondrial quality control). Mitochondrial dysregulation leads to the accumulation of damaged and dysfunctional mitochondria, producing excessive reactive oxygen species and perpetuating mitochondrial dysfunction. Additionally, mitochondrial DNA, cardiolipin, and N-formyl peptides are potent activators of cell-intrinsic and extrinsic inflammatory pathways. These age-related mitochondrial changes contribute to development of cardiovascular diseases. This review covers the impact of aging on mitochondria and links these mechanisms to therapeutic implications for age-associated cardiovascular diseases.
    Keywords:  Cardiovascular; aging; metabolism; mitochondria; senescence
  15. bioRxiv. 2023 Nov 13. pii: 2023.11.09.566494. [Epub ahead of print]
      During mitosis, condensin activity interferes with interphase chromatin structures. Here, we generated condensin-free mitotic chromosomes to investigate genome folding principles. Co- depletion of condensin I and II, but neither alone, triggered mitotic chromosome compartmentalization in ways that differ from interphase. Two distinct euchromatic compartments, indistinguishable in interphase, rapidly emerged upon condensin loss with different interaction preferences and dependence on H3K27ac. Constitutive heterochromatin gradually self-aggregated and co-compartmentalized with the facultative heterochromatin, contrasting with their separation during interphase. While topologically associating domains (TADs) and CTCF/cohesin mediated structural loops remained undetectable, cis-regulatory element contacts became apparent, providing an explanation for their quick re-establishment during mitotic exit. HP1 proteins, which are thought to partition constitutive heterochromatin, were absent from mitotic chromosomes, suggesting, surprisingly, that constitutive heterochromatin can self-aggregate without HP1. Indeed, in cells traversing from M- to G1-phase in the combined absence of HP1α, HP1Π and HP1γ, re-established constitutive heterochromatin compartments normally. In sum, "clean-slate" condensin-deficient mitotic chromosomes illuminate mechanisms of genome compartmentalization not revealed in interphase cells.
  16. Nat Genet. 2023 Nov 30.
      Conventional methods fall short in unraveling the dynamics of rare cell types related to aging and diseases. Here we introduce EasySci, an advanced single-cell combinatorial indexing strategy for exploring age-dependent cellular dynamics in the mammalian brain. Profiling approximately 1.5 million single-cell transcriptomes and 400,000 chromatin accessibility profiles across diverse mouse brains, we identified over 300 cell subtypes, uncovering their molecular characteristics and spatial locations. This comprehensive view elucidates rare cell types expanded or depleted upon aging. We also investigated cell-type-specific responses to genetic alterations linked to Alzheimer's disease, identifying associated rare cell types. Additionally, by profiling 118,240 human brain single-cell transcriptomes, we discerned cell- and region-specific transcriptomic changes tied to Alzheimer's pathogenesis. In conclusion, this research offers a valuable resource for probing cell-type-specific dynamics in both normal and pathological aging.
  17. bioRxiv. 2023 Nov 26. pii: 2023.11.13.566882. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cytokinesis is the process where the mother cell's cytoplasm separates into daughter cells. This is driven by an actomyosin contractile ring that produces cortical contractility and drives cleavage furrow ingression, resulting in the formation of a thin intercellular bridge. While cytoskeletal reorganization during cytokinesis has been extensively studied, little is known about the spatiotemporal dynamics of the plasma membrane. Here, we image and model plasma membrane lipid and protein dynamics on the cell surface during leukemia cell cytokinesis. We reveal an extensive accumulation and folding of plasma membrane at the cleavage furrow and the intercellular bridge, accompanied by a depletion and unfolding of plasma membrane at the cell poles. These membrane dynamics are caused by two actomyosin-driven biophysical mechanisms: the radial constriction of the cleavage furrow causes local compression of the apparent cell surface area and accumulation of the plasma membrane at the furrow, while actomyosin cortical flows drag the plasma membrane towards the cell division plane as the furrow ingresses. The magnitude of these effects depends on the plasma membrane fluidity and cortex adhesion. Overall, our work reveals cell intrinsic mechanical regulation of plasma membrane accumulation at the cleavage furrow that generates localized membrane tension differences across the cytokinetic cell. This may locally alter endocytosis, exocytosis and mechanotransduction, while also serving as a self-protecting mechanism against cytokinesis failures that arise from high membrane tension at the intercellular bridge.
  18. Trends Biochem Sci. 2023 Nov 30. pii: S0968-0004(23)00285-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      DNA single-strand breaks (SSBs) are among the most common lesions arising in human cells, with tens to hundreds of thousands arising in each cell, each day. Cells have efficient mechanisms for the sensing and repair of these ubiquitous DNA lesions, but the failure of these processes to rapidly remove SSBs can lead to a variety of pathogenic outcomes. The threat posed by unrepaired SSBs is illustrated by the existence of at least six genetic diseases in which SSB repair (SSBR) is defective, all of which are characterised by neurodevelopmental and/or neurodegenerative pathology. Here, I review current understanding of how SSBs arise and impact on critical molecular processes, such as DNA replication and gene transcription, and their links to human disease.
    Keywords:  DNA replication stress; DNA single-strand breaks; PARP hyperactivation; R-loops; neurological disease; transcription stress