ATM and ATR promote Mre11 dependent restart of collapsed replication forks and prevent accumulation of DNA breaks.
ABSTRACT: Ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM), ataxia-telangiectasia Rad3-related (ATR) and the Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 complex ensure genome stability in response to DNA damage. However, their essential role in DNA metabolism remains unknown. Here we show that ATM and ATR prevent accumulation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) during chromosomal replication. Replicating chromosomes accumulate DSBs in Xenopus laevis egg extracts depleted of ATM and ATR. Addition of ATM and ATR proteins to depleted extracts prevents DSB accumulation by promoting restart of collapsed replication forks that arise during DNA replication. We show that collapsed forks maintain MCM complex but lose Pol epsilon, and that Pol epsilon reloading requires ATM and ATR. Replication fork restart is abolished in Mre11 depleted extracts and is restored by supplementation with recombinant human Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 complex. Using a novel fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based technique, we demonstrate that ATM and ATR induce Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 complex redistribution to restarting forks. This study provides direct biochemical evidence that ATM and ATR prevent accumulation of chromosomal abnormalities by promoting Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 dependent recovery of collapsed replication forks.
Project description:The interaction of ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and the Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 (MRN) complex is critical for the response of cells to DNA double-strand breaks; however, little is known of the role of these proteins in response to DNA replication stress. Here, we report a mutant allele of MRE11 found in a colon cancer cell line that sensitizes cells to agents causing replication fork stress. The mutant Mre11 weakly interacts with Rad50 relative to wild type and shows little affinity for Nbs1. The mutant protein lacks 3'-5' exonuclease activity as a result of loss of part of the conserved nuclease domain; however, it retains binding affinity for single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), double-stranded DNA with a 3' single-strand overhang, and fork-like structures containing ssDNA regions. In cells, the mutant protein shows a time- and dose-dependent accumulation in chromatin after thymidine treatment that corresponds with increased recruitment and hyperphosphorylation of replication protein A. ATM autophosphorylation, Mre11 foci, and thymidine-induced homologous recombination are suppressed in cells expressing the mutant allele. Together, our results suggest that the mutant Mre11 suppresses the cellular response to replication stress by binding to ssDNA regions at disrupted forks and impeding replication restart in a dominant negative manner.
Project description:The activation of Chk1 in response to stalled replication forks in Xenopus egg extracts involves a complex pathway containing ATM and Rad3-related (ATR), topoisomerase II?-binding protein 1 (TopBP1), Rad17, the Rad9-Hus1-Rad1 (9-1-1) complex, and Claspin. We have observed that egg extracts lacking the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex show greatly, although not completely, reduced activation of Chk1 in response to replication blockages. Depletion of both Rad17 and MRN leads to a further, essentially complete, reduction in the activation of Chk1. Thus, Rad17 and MRN act in at least a partially additive manner in promoting activation of Chk1. There was not an obvious change in the binding of RPA, ATR, Rad17, or the 9-1-1 complex to chromatin in aphidicolin (APH)-treated, MRN-depleted extracts. However, there was a substantial reduction in the binding of TopBP1. In structure-function studies of the MRN complex, we found that the Mre11 subunit is necessary for the APH-induced activation of Chk1. Moreover, a nuclease-deficient mutant of Mre11 cannot substitute for wild-type Mre11 in this process. These results indicate that the MRN complex, in particular the nuclease activity of Mre11, plays an important role in the activation of Chk1 in response to stalled replication forks. These studies reveal a previously unknown property of the MRN complex in genomic stability.
Project description:The Mre11 complex (Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 or MRN) binds double-strand breaks where it interacts with CtIP/Ctp1/Sae2 and ATM/Tel1 to preserve genome stability through its functions in homology-directed repair, checkpoint signaling and telomere maintenance. Here, we combine biochemical, structural and in vivo functional studies to uncover key properties of Mre11-W243R, a mutation identified in two pediatric cancer patients with enhanced ataxia telangiectasia-like disorder. Purified human Mre11-W243R retains nuclease and DNA binding activities in vitro. X-ray crystallography of Pyrococcus furiosus Mre11 indicates that an analogous mutation leaves the overall Mre11 three-dimensional structure and nuclease sites intact but disorders surface loops expected to regulate DNA and Rad50 interactions. The equivalent W248R allele in fission yeast allows Mre11 to form an MRN complex that efficiently binds double-strand breaks, activates Tel1/ATM and maintains telomeres; yet, it causes hypersensitivity to ionizing radiation and collapsed replication forks, increased Rad52 foci, defective Chk1 signaling and meiotic failure. W248R differs from other ataxia telangiectasia-like disorder analog alleles by the reduced stability of its interaction with Rad50 in cell lysates. Collective results suggest a separation-of-function mutation that disturbs interactions amongst the MRN subunits and Ctp1 required for DNA end processing in vivo but maintains interactions sufficient for Tel1/ATM checkpoint and telomere maintenance functions.
Project description:Mre11 forms the core of the multifunctional Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex that detects DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), activates the ATM checkpoint kinase, and initiates homologous recombination (HR) repair of DSBs. To define the roles of Mre11 in both DNA bridging and nucleolytic processing during initiation of DSB repair, we combined small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and crystal structures of Pyrococcus furiosus Mre11 dimers bound to DNA with mutational analyses of fission yeast Mre11. The Mre11 dimer adopts a four-lobed U-shaped structure that is critical for proper MRN complex assembly and for binding and aligning DNA ends. Further, mutations blocking Mre11 endonuclease activity impair cell survival after DSB induction without compromising MRN complex assembly or Mre11-dependant recruitment of Ctp1, an HR factor, to DSBs. These results show how Mre11 dimerization and nuclease activities initiate repair of DSBs and collapsed replication forks, as well as provide a molecular foundation for understanding cancer-causing Mre11 mutations in ataxia telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD).
Project description:Replication protein A (RPA) is a heterotrimeric protein consisting of RPA1, RPA2, and RPA3 subunits that binds to single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) with high affinity. The response to replication stress requires the recruitment of RPA and the MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex. RPA bound to ssDNA stabilizes stalled replication forks by recruiting checkpoint proteins involved in fork stabilization. MRN can bind DNA structures encountered at stalled or collapsed replication forks, such as ssDNA-double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) junctions or breaks, and promote the restart of DNA replication. Here, we demonstrate that RPA2 phosphorylation regulates the assembly of DNA damage-induced RPA and MRN foci. Using purified proteins, we observe a direct interaction between RPA with both NBS1 and MRE11. By utilizing RPA bound to ssDNA, we demonstrate that substituting RPA with phosphorylated RPA or a phosphomimetic weakens the interaction with the MRN complex. Also, the N-terminus of RPA1 is a critical component of the RPA-MRN protein-protein interaction. Deletion of the N-terminal oligonucleotide-oligosaccharide binding fold (OB-fold) of RPA1 abrogates interactions of RPA with MRN and individual proteins of the MRN complex. Further identification of residues critical for MRN binding in the N-terminus of RPA1 shows that substitution of Arg31 and Arg41 with alanines disrupts the RPA-MRN interaction and alters cell cycle progression in response to DNA damage. Thus, the N-terminus of RPA1 and phosphorylation of RPA2 regulate RPA-MRN interactions and are important in the response to DNA damage.
Project description:Collapsed replication forks, which are a major source of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), are repaired by sister chromatid recombination (SCR). The Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) protein complex, assisted by CtIP/Sae2/Ctp1, initiates SCR by nucleolytically resecting the single-ended DSB (seDSB) at the collapsed fork. The molecular architecture of the MRN intercomplex, in which zinc hooks at the apices of long Rad50 coiled-coils connect two Mre11<sub>2</sub>-Rad50<sub>2</sub> complexes, suggests that MRN also structurally assists SCR. Here, Rad50 ChIP assays in <i>Schizosaccharomyces pombe</i> show that MRN sequentially localizes with the seDSB and sister chromatid at a collapsed replication fork. Ctp1, which has multivalent DNA-binding and DNA-bridging activities, has the same DNA interaction pattern. Provision of an intrachromosomal repair template alleviates the nonnucleolytic requirement for MRN to repair the broken fork. Mutations of zinc-coordinating cysteines in the Rad50 hook severely impair SCR. These data suggest that the MRN complex facilitates SCR by linking the seDSB and sister chromatid.
Project description:The ATM- and Rad3-related (ATR) kinase is a master regulator of the DNA damage response, yet how ATR is activated toward different substrates is still poorly understood. Here, we show that ATR phosphorylates Chk1 and RPA32 through distinct mechanisms at replication-associated DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs). In contrast to the rapid phosphorylation of Chk1, RPA32 is progressively phosphorylated by ATR at Ser33 during DSB resection prior to the phosphorylation of Ser4/Ser8 by DNA-PKcs. Surprisingly, despite its reliance on ATR and TopBP1, substantial RPA32 Ser33 phosphorylation occurs in a Rad17-independent but Nbs1-dependent manner in vivo and in vitro. Importantly, the role of Nbs1 in RPA32 phosphorylation can be separated from ATM activation and DSB resection, and it is dependent upon the interaction of Nbs1 with RPA. An Nbs1 mutant that is unable to bind RPA fails to support proper recovery of collapsed replication forks, suggesting that the Nbs1-mediated mode of ATR activation is important for the repair of replication-associated DSBs.
Project description:The activation of ATR-ATRIP in response to double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) depends upon ATM in human cells and Xenopus egg extracts. One important aspect of this dependency involves regulation of TopBP1 by ATM. In Xenopus egg extracts, ATM associates with TopBP1 and thereupon phosphorylates it on S1131. This phosphorylation enhances the capacity of TopBP1 to activate the ATR-ATRIP complex. We show that TopBP1 also interacts with the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex in egg extracts in a checkpoint-regulated manner. This interaction involves the Nbs1 subunit of the complex. ATM can no longer interact with TopBP1 in Nbs1-depleted egg extracts, which suggests that the MRN complex helps to bridge ATM and TopBP1 together. The association between TopBP1 and Nbs1 involves the first pair of BRCT repeats in TopBP1. In addition, the two tandem BRCT repeats of Nbs1 are required for this binding. Functional studies with mutated forms of TopBP1 and Nbs1 suggested that the BRCT-dependent association of these proteins is critical for a normal checkpoint response to DSBs. These findings suggest that the MRN complex is a crucial mediator in the process whereby ATM promotes the TopBP1-dependent activation of ATR-ATRIP in response to DSBs.
Project description:Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) is characterised by microcephaly, developmental delay, characteristic facial features, immunodeficiency and radiosensitivity. Nbs1, the protein defective in NBS, functions in ataxia telangiectasia mutated protein (ATM)-dependent signalling likely facilitating ATM phosphorylation events. While NBS shares overlapping characteristics with ataxia telangiectasia, it also has features overlapping with ATR-Seckel (ATR: ataxia-telangiectasia and Rad3-related protein) syndrome, a subclass of Seckel syndrome mutated in ATR. We show that Nbs1 also facilitates ATR-dependent phosphorylation. NBS cell lines show a similar defect in ATR phosphorylation of Chk1, c-jun and p-53 in response to UV irradiation- and hydroxyurea (HU)-induced replication stalling. They are also impaired in ubiquitination of FANCD2 after HU treatment, which is ATR dependent. Following HU-induced replication arrest, NBS and ATR-Seckel cells show similarly impaired G2/M checkpoint arrest and an impaired ability to restart DNA synthesis at stalled replication forks. Moreover, NBS cells fail to retain ATR in the nucleus following HU treatment and extraction. Our findings suggest that Nbs1 functions in both ATR- and ATM-dependent signalling. We propose that the NBS clinical features represent the result of these combined defects.
Project description:ATM and ATR are two redundant checkpoint kinases essential for the stable maintenance of telomeres in eukaryotes. Previous studies have established that MRN (Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1) and ATRIP (ATR Interacting Protein) interact with ATM and ATR, respectively, and recruit their partner kinases to sites of DNA damage. Here, we investigated how Tel1(ATM) and Rad3(ATR) recruitment to telomeres is regulated in fission yeast. Quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays unexpectedly revealed that the MRN complex could also contribute to the recruitment of Tel1(ATM) to telomeres independently of the previously established Nbs1 C-terminal Tel1(ATM) interaction domain. Recruitment of Tel1(ATM) to telomeres in nbs1-c60Delta cells, which lack the C-terminal 60 amino acid Tel1(ATM) interaction domain of Nbs1, was dependent on Rad3(ATR)-Rad26(ATRIP), but the kinase domain of Rad3(ATR) was dispensable. Thus, our results establish that the Rad3(ATR)-Rad26(ATRIP) complex contributes to the recruitment of Tel1(ATM) independently of Rad3(ATR) kinase activity, by a mechanism redundant with the Tel1(ATM) interaction domain of Nbs1. Furthermore, we found that the N-terminus of Nbs1 contributes to the recruitment of Rad3(ATR)-Rad26(ATRIP) to telomeres. In response to replication stress, mammalian ATR-ATRIP also contributes to ATM activation by a mechanism that is dependent on the MRN complex but independent of the C-terminal ATM interaction domain of Nbs1. Since telomere protection and DNA damage response mechanisms are very well conserved between fission yeast and mammalian cells, mammalian ATR-ATRIP may also contribute to the recruitment of ATM to telomeres and to sites of DNA damage independently of ATR kinase activity.