RAG-mediated DNA double strand breaks activate a cell-type-specific checkpoint to inhibit pre-B cell receptor signals
ABSTRACT: Pre-B cell receptor (pre-BCR) signals initiate immunoglobulin light (Igl) chain gene assembly leading to RAG-mediated DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). These signals also promote cell cycle entry, which could cause aberrant DSB repair and genome instability in pre-B cells. Here we show that RAG DSBs inhibit pre-BCR signals through the ATM- and NF-κB2-dependent induction of SPIC, a hematopoietic-specific transcriptional repressor. SPIC inhibits expression of the SYK tyrosine kinase and BLNK adaptor to prevent the pre-BCR from inducing additional Igl chain gene rearrangements and driving pre-B cells with RAG DSBs into cycle. We propose that pre-B cells toggle between pre-BCR signals and this RAG DSB-dependent checkpoint to maintain genome stability while iteratively assembling Igl chain genes. Three independent IL-7 cultures for each genotype (Rag1-/-:μIgH:Bcl2, Art-/-:μIgH:Bcl2 and Art-/-:Nfkb2-/-:μIgH:Bcl2) were withdrawn from IL-7 for 2 days. RNA was isolated using RNeasy (Qiagen). Gene expression profiling was performed using Illumina MouseRef-8 expression microarrays.
Project description:Pre-B cell receptor (pre-BCR) signals initiate immunoglobulin light (Igl) chain gene assembly leading to RAG-mediated DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). These signals also promote cell cycle entry, which could cause aberrant DSB repair and genome instability in pre-B cells. Here we show that RAG DSBs inhibit pre-BCR signals through the ATM- and NF-κB2-dependent induction of SPIC, a hematopoietic-specific transcriptional repressor. SPIC inhibits expression of the SYK tyrosine kinase and BLNK adaptor to prevent the pre-BCR from inducing additional Igl chain gene rearrangements and driving pre-B cells with RAG DSBs into cycle. We propose that pre-B cells toggle between pre-BCR signals and this RAG DSB-dependent checkpoint to maintain genome stability while iteratively assembling Igl chain genes. Overall design: Three independent IL-7 cultures for each genotype (Rag1-/-:μIgH:Bcl2, Art-/-:μIgH:Bcl2 and Art-/-:Nfkb2-/-:μIgH:Bcl2) were withdrawn from IL-7 for 2 days. RNA was isolated using RNeasy (Qiagen). Gene expression profiling was performed using Illumina MouseRef-8 expression microarrays.
Project description:DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) activate a canonical DNA damage response, including highly conserved cell cycle checkpoint pathways that prevent cells with DSBs from progressing through the cell cycle. In developing B cells, pre-B cell receptor (pre-BCR) signals initiate immunoglobulin light (Igl) chain gene assembly, leading to RAG-mediated DNA DSBs. The pre-BCR also promotes cell cycle entry, which could cause aberrant DSB repair and genome instability in pre-B cells. Here, we show that RAG DSBs inhibit pre-BCR signals through the ATM- and NF-?B2-dependent induction of SPIC, a hematopoietic-specific transcriptional repressor. SPIC inhibits expression of the SYK tyrosine kinase and BLNK adaptor, resulting in suppression of pre-BCR signaling. This regulatory circuit prevents the pre-BCR from inducing additional Igl chain gene rearrangements and driving pre-B cells with RAG DSBs into cycle. We propose that pre-B cells toggle between pre-BCR signals and a RAG DSB-dependent checkpoint to maintain genome stability while iteratively assembling Igl chain genes.
Project description:Early B cell development is regulated by stage-specific transcription factors. PU.1, an ETS-family transcription factor, is essential for coordination of early B cell maturation and immunoglobulin gene (Ig) rearrangement. Here we show that RAG DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) generated during Ig light chain gene (Igl) rearrangement in pre-B cells induce global changes in PU.1 chromatin binding. RAG DSBs activate a SPIC/BCLAF1 transcription factor complex that displaces PU.1 throughout the genome and regulates broad transcriptional changes. SPIC recruits BCLAF1 to gene-regulatory elements that control expression of key B cell developmental genes. The SPIC/BCLAF1 complex suppresses expression of the SYK tyrosine kinase and enforces the transition from large to small pre-B cells. These studies reveal that RAG DSBs direct genome-wide changes in ETS transcription factor activity to promote early B cell development.
Project description:The RAG1/RAG2 endonuclease (RAG) initiates the V(D)J recombination reaction that assembles immunoglobulin heavy (IgH) and light (IgL) chain variable region exons from germline gene segments to generate primary antibody repertoires. IgH V(D)J assembly occurs in progenitor (pro-) B cells followed by that of IgL in precursor (pre-) B cells. Expression of IgH μ and IgL (Igκ or Igλ) chains generates IgM, which is expressed on immature B cells as the B-cell antigen-binding receptor (BCR). Rag expression can continue in immature B cells, allowing continued Igκ V(D)J recombination that replaces the initial VκJκ exon with one that generates a new specificity. This 'receptor editing' process, which can also lead to Igλ V(D)J recombination and expression, provides a mechanism whereby antigen encounter at the Rag-expressing immature B-cell stage helps shape pre-immune BCR repertoires. As the major site of postnatal B-cell development, the bone marrow is the principal location of primary immunoglobulin repertoire diversification in mice. Here we report that early B-cell development also occurs within the mouse intestinal lamina propria (LP), where the associated V(D)J recombination/receptor editing processes modulate primary LP immunoglobulin repertoires. At weanling age in normally housed mice, the LP contains a population of Rag-expressing B-lineage cells that harbour intermediates indicative of ongoing V(D)J recombination and which contain cells with pro-B, pre-B and editing phenotypes. Consistent with LP-specific receptor editing, Rag-expressing LP B-lineage cells have similar VH repertoires, but significantly different Vκ repertoires, compared to those of Rag2-expressing bone marrow counterparts. Moreover, colonization of germ-free mice leads to an increased ratio of Igλ-expressing versus Igκ-expressing B cells specifically in the LP. We conclude that B-cell development occurs in the intestinal mucosa, where it is regulated by extracellular signals from commensal microbes that influence gut immunoglobulin repertoires.
Project description:Pre-BCR signaling is a critical checkpoint in B cell development in which B-lineage cells expressing functional IgH μ-chain are selectively expanded. B cell development is delayed in mutant ali/ali rabbits because the a-allotype encoding V(H)1 gene, which is normally used in VDJ gene rearrangements in wt rabbits, is deleted, and instead, most B-lineage cells use the a-allotype encoding V(H)4 gene [V(H)4(a)], which results in a severe developmental block at the pre-B cell stage. We found that V(H)4(a)-utilizing pre-B cells exhibit reduced pre-BCR signaling and do not undergo normal expansion in vitro. Transduction of murine 38B9 pre-B cells with chimeric rabbit-VDJ mouse-Cμ encoding retroviruses showed V(H)4(a)-encoded μ-chains do not readily form signal-competent pre-BCR, thereby explaining the reduction in pre-BCR signaling and pre-B cell expansion. Development of V(H)4(a)-utilizing B cells can be rescued in vivo by the expression of an Igκ transgene, indicating that V(H)4(a)-μ chains are not defective for conventional BCR formation and signaling. The ali/ali rabbit model system is unique because V(H)4(a)-μ chains have the capacity to pair with a variety of conventional IgL chains and yet lack the capacity to form a signal-competent pre-BCR. This system could allow for identification of critical structural parameters that govern pre-BCR formation/signaling.
Project description:Mammalian cells have evolved a common DNA damage response (DDR) that sustains cellular function, maintains genomic integrity, and suppresses malignant transformation. In pre-B cells, DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) induced at Ig? loci by the Rag1/Rag2 (RAG) endonuclease engage this DDR to modulate transcription of genes that regulate lymphocyte-specific processes. We previously reported that RAG DSBs induced at one Ig? allele signal through the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase to feedback-inhibit RAG expression and RAG cleavage of the other Ig? allele. In this article, we show that DSBs induced by ionizing radiation, etoposide, or bleomycin suppress Rag1 and Rag2 mRNA levels in primary pre-B cells, pro-B cells, and pro-T cells, indicating that inhibition of Rag1 and Rag2 expression is a prevalent DSB response among immature lymphocytes. DSBs induced in pre-B cells signal rapid transcriptional repression of Rag1 and Rag2, causing downregulation of both Rag1 and Rag2 mRNA, but only Rag1 protein. This transcriptional inhibition requires the ATM kinase and the NF-?B essential modulator protein, implicating a role for ATM-mediated activation of canonical NF-?B transcription factors. Finally, we demonstrate that DSBs induced in pre-B cells by etoposide or bleomycin inhibit recombination of Ig? loci and a chromosomally integrated substrate. Our data indicate that immature lymphocytes exploit a common DDR signaling pathway to limit DSBs at multiple genomic locations within developmental stages wherein monoallelic Ag receptor locus recombination is enforced. We discuss the implications of our findings for mechanisms that orchestrate the differentiation of monospecific lymphocytes while suppressing oncogenic Ag receptor locus translocations.
Project description:Variable, diversity and joining gene segment (V(D)J) recombination assembles immunoglobulin heavy or light chain (IgH or IgL) variable region exons in developing bone marrow B cells, whereas class switch recombination (CSR) exchanges IgH constant region exons in peripheral B cells. Both processes use directed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) repaired by non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). Errors in either V(D)J recombination or CSR can initiate chromosomal translocations, including oncogenic IgH locus (Igh) to c-myc (also known as Myc) translocations of peripheral B cell lymphomas. Collaboration between these processes has also been proposed to initiate translocations. However, the occurrence of V(D)J recombination in peripheral B cells is controversial. Here we show that activated NHEJ-deficient splenic B cells accumulate V(D)J-recombination-associated breaks at the lambda IgL locus (Igl), as well as CSR-associated Igh breaks, often in the same cell. Moreover, Igl and Igh breaks are frequently joined to form translocations, a phenomenon associated with specific Igh-Igl co-localization. Igh and c-myc also co-localize in these cells; correspondingly, the introduction of frequent c-myc DSBs robustly promotes Igh-c-myc translocations. Our studies show peripheral B cells that attempt secondary V(D)J recombination, and determine a role for mechanistic factors in promoting recurrent translocations in tumours.
Project description:The pre-B cell receptor (pre-BCR) is an immature form of the BCR critical for early B lymphocyte development. It is composed of the membrane-bound immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy chain, surrogate light chain components, and the signaling subunits Igα and Igβ. We developed monovalent quantum dot (QD)-labeled probes specific for Igβ to study the behavior of pre-BCRs engaged in autonomous, ligand-independent signaling in live B cells. Single-particle tracking revealed that QD-labeled pre-BCRs engaged in transient, but frequent, homotypic interactions. Receptor motion was correlated at short separation distances, consistent with the formation of dimers and higher-order oligomers. Repeated encounters between diffusing pre-BCRs appeared to reflect transient co-confinement in plasma membrane domains. In human B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) cells, we showed that frequent, short-lived, homotypic pre-BCR interactions stimulated survival signals, including expression of BCL6, which encodes a transcriptional repressor. These survival signals were blocked by inhibitory monovalent antigen-binding antibody fragments (Fabs) specific for the surrogate light chain components of the pre-BCR or by inhibitors of the tyrosine kinases Lyn and Syk. For comparison, we evaluated pre-BCR aggregation mediated by dimeric galectin-1, which has binding sites for carbohydrate and for the surrogate light chain λ5 component. Galectin-1 binding resulted in the formation of large, highly immobile pre-BCR aggregates, which was partially relieved by the addition of lactose to prevent the cross-linking of galectin-BCR complexes to other glycosylated membrane components. Analysis of the pre-BCR and its signaling partners suggested that they could be potential targets for combination therapy in BCP-ALL.
Project description:The temporal control of RAG (Rag) expression in developing lymphocytes prevents DNA breaks during periods of proliferation that could threaten genomic integrity. In developing B cells, the IL-7R and precursor B cell Ag receptor (pre-BCR) synergize to induce proliferation and the repression of Rag at the protein and mRNA levels for a brief period following successful Ig H chain gene rearrangement. Whereas the mechanism of RAG2 protein downregulation is well defined, little is known about the pathways and transcription factors that mediate transcriptional repression of Rag. Using Abelson murine leukemia virus-transformed B cells to model this stage of development, we identified early B cell factor 1 (Ebf1) as a strong repressor of Rag transcription. Short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of either Ebf1 or its downstream target c-Myb was sufficient to induce Rag transcription in these highly proliferative cells. Ebf1 and c-Myb antagonize Rag transcription by negatively regulating the binding of Foxo1 to the Rag locus. Ebf1 accomplishes this through both direct negative regulation of Foxo1 expression and direct positive regulation of Gfi1b expression. Ebf1 expression is driven by the IL-7R downstream effector Stat5, providing a link between the negative regulation of Rag transcription by IL-7 and a novel repressive pathway involving Ebf1 and c-Myb.
Project description:Ag receptor loci poised for V(D)J rearrangement undergo germline transcription (GT) of unrearranged genes, and the accessible gene segments are associated with posttranslational modifications (PTM) on histones. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of the dynamic changes of four PTM throughout B and T cell differentiation in freshly isolated ex vivo cells. Methylation of lysines 4 and 79 of histone H3, and acetylation of H3, demonstrated stage and lineage specificity, and were most pronounced at the J segments of loci poised for, or undergoing, rearrangement, except for dimethylation of H3K4, which was more equally distributed on V, D, and J genes. Focusing on the IgL loci, we demonstrated there are no active PTM in the absence of pre-BCR signaling. The kappa locus GT and PTM on Jkappa genes are rapidly induced following pre-BCR signaling in large pre-B cells. In contrast, the lambda locus shows greatly delayed onset of GT and PTM, which do not reach high levels until the immature B cell compartment, the stage at which receptor editing is initiated. Analysis of MiEkappa(-/-) mice shows that this enhancer plays a key role in inducing not only GT, but PTM. Using an inducible pre-B cell line, we demonstrate that active PTM on Jkappa genes occur after GT is initiated, indicating that histone PTM do not make the Jkappa region accessible, but conversely, GT may play a role in adding PTM. Our data indicate that the epigenetic profile of IgL genes is dramatically modulated by pre-BCR signaling and B cell differentiation status.