DNA damage, homology-directed repair, and DNA methylation.
ABSTRACT: To explore the link between DNA damage and gene silencing, we induced a DNA double-strand break in the genome of Hela or mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells using I-SceI restriction endonuclease. The I-SceI site lies within one copy of two inactivated tandem repeated green fluorescent protein (GFP) genes (DR-GFP). A total of 2%-4% of the cells generated a functional GFP by homology-directed repair (HR) and gene conversion. However, approximately 50% of these recombinants expressed GFP poorly. Silencing was rapid and associated with HR and DNA methylation of the recombinant gene, since it was prevented in Hela cells by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. ES cells deficient in DNA methyl transferase 1 yielded as many recombinants as wild-type cells, but most of these recombinants expressed GFP robustly. Half of the HR DNA molecules were de novo methylated, principally downstream to the double-strand break, and half were undermethylated relative to the uncut DNA. Methylation of the repaired gene was independent of the methylation status of the converting template. The methylation pattern of recombinant molecules derived from pools of cells carrying DR-GFP at different loci, or from an individual clone carrying DR-GFP at a single locus, was comparable. ClustalW analysis of the sequenced GFP molecules in Hela and ES cells distinguished recombinant and nonrecombinant DNA solely on the basis of their methylation profile and indicated that HR superimposed novel methylation profiles on top of the old patterns. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and RNA analysis revealed that DNA methyl transferase 1 was bound specifically to HR GFP DNA and that methylation of the repaired segment contributed to the silencing of GFP expression. Taken together, our data support a mechanistic link between HR and DNA methylation and suggest that DNA methylation in eukaryotes marks homologous recombined segments.
Project description:In this work, we examine regulation of DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) by the DNA damage inducible protein, GADD45?. We used a system to induce homologous recombination (HR) at a unique double-strand DNA break in a GFP reporter in mammalian cells. After HR, the repaired DNA is hypermethylated in recombinant clones showing low GFP expression (HR-L expressor class), while in high expressor recombinants (HR-H clones) previous methylation patterns are erased. GADD45?, which is transiently induced by double-strand breaks, binds to chromatin undergoing HR repair. Ectopic overexpression of GADD45? during repair increases the HR-H fraction of cells (hypomethylated repaired DNA), without altering the recombination frequency. Conversely, silencing of GADD45? increases methylation of the recombined segment and amplifies the HR-L expressor (hypermethylated) population. GADD45? specifically interacts with the catalytic site of DNMT1 and inhibits methylation activity in vitro. We propose that double-strand DNA damage and the resulting HR process involves precise, strand selected DNA methylation by DNMT1 that is regulated by GADD45?. Since GADD45? binds with high avidity to hemimethylated DNA intermediates, it may also provide a barrier to spreading of methylation during or after HR repair.
Project description:Homologous recombination (HR) is essential for accurate genome duplication and maintenance of genome stability. In eukaryotes, chromosomal double strand breaks (DSBs) are central to HR during specialized developmental programs of meiosis and antigen receptor gene rearrangements, and form at unusual DNA structures and stalled replication forks. DSBs also result from exposure to ionizing radiation, reactive oxygen species, some anti-cancer agents, or inhibitors of topoisomerase II. Literature predicts that repair of such breaks normally will occur by non-homologous end-joining (in G1), intrachromosomal HR (all phases), or sister chromatid HR (in S/G(2)). However, no in vivo model is in place to directly determine the potential for DSB repair in somatic cells of mammals to occur by HR between repeated sequences on heterologs (i.e., interchromosomal HR). To test this, we developed a mouse model with three transgenes-two nonfunctional green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenes each containing a recognition site for the I-SceI endonuclease, and a tetracycline-inducible I-SceI endonuclease transgene. If interchromosomal HR can be utilized for DSB repair in somatic cells, then I-SceI expression and induction of DSBs within the GFP reporters may result in a functional GFP+ gene. Strikingly, GFP+ recombinant cells were observed in multiple organs with highest numbers in thymus, kidney, and lung. Additionally, bone marrow cultures demonstrated interchromosomal HR within multiple hematopoietic subpopulations including multi-lineage colony forming unit-granulocyte-erythrocyte-monocyte-megakaryocte (CFU-GEMM) colonies. This is a direct demonstration that somatic cells in vivo search genome-wide for homologous sequences suitable for DSB repair, and this type of repair can occur within early developmental populations capable of multi-lineage differentiation.
Project description:Homology-directed repair (HDR) is a critical pathway for the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in mammalian cells. Efficient HDR is thought to be crucial for maintenance of genomic integrity during organismal development and tumor suppression. However, most mammalian HDR studies have focused on transformed and immortalized cell lines. We report here the generation of a Direct Repeat (DR)-GFP reporter-based mouse model to study HDR in primary cell types derived from diverse lineages. Embryonic and adult fibroblasts from these mice as well as cells derived from mammary epithelium, ovary, and neonatal brain were observed to undergo HDR at I-SceI endonuclease-induced DSBs at similar frequencies. When the DR-GFP reporter was crossed into mice carrying a hypomorphic mutation in the breast cancer susceptibility gene Brca1, a significant reduction in HDR was detected, showing that BRCA1 is critical for HDR in somatic cell types. Consistent with an HDR defect, Brca1 mutant mice are highly sensitive to the cross-linking agent mitomycin C. By contrast, loss of the DSB signaling ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) kinase did not significantly alter HDR levels, indicating that ATM is dispensable for HDR. Notably, chemical inhibition of ATM interfered with HDR. The DR-GFP mouse provides a powerful tool for dissecting the genetic requirements of HDR in a diverse array of somatic cell types in a normal, nontransformed cellular milieu.
Project description:The agouti viable (Avy) locus is considered a model to understand how retroelements function as controlling elements in mammals. Epigenetic factors, principally CpG methylation, are widely held to play a dominant regulatory role in controlling the locus' activity. The purpose of this study was to examine its behavior in ES cells and determine if this locus could be exploited for use in screen-based investigations. We have derived multiple Avy ES cell lines from the C57BL/6 strain and generated a cell line carrying a GFP-reporter gene (Avy/AGFP). Use of the DNA demethylating drug 5-azacitidine on various ES cell lines does not induce either agouti or GFP expression. Methylation analysis reveals that although most lines display normal methylation at IAP elements in general, the Avy IAP element is essentially unmethylated. In addition, we find that different repeat compartments are epigenetically unstable in a number of derived cell lines.
Project description:This study describes the DNA methylation profiling using whole-genome bisulfite sequencing of mouse ES cells, either derived and maintained in 2i serum-free NDiff medium, or in the presence of serum and LIF, or maintained and derived in the presence of serum and LIF and subsequently adapted to 2i serum-free NDiff medium, or maintained and derived in the presence of 2i and LIF and subsequently adapted to 2i serum. DNA methylation profiling using whole-genome bisulfite sequencing of 14 samples, 3 different lines (E14, XT67E1, Rex/GFP-2i) of pluripotent mouse ES cells as well during conversion from 2i to serum and vice versa.
Project description:Gene targeting is a genetic technique to modify an endogenous DNA sequence in its genomic location via homologous recombination (HR) and is useful both for functional analysis and gene therapy applications. HR is inefficient in most organisms and cell types, including mammalian cells, often limiting the effectiveness of gene targeting. Therefore, increasing HR efficiency remains a major challenge to DNA editing. Here, we present a new concept for gene correction based on the development of DNA aptamers capable of binding to a site-specific DNA binding protein to facilitate the exchange of homologous genetic information between a donor molecule and the desired target locus (aptamer-guided gene targeting). We selected DNA aptamers to the I-SceI endonuclease. Bifunctional oligonucleotides containing an I-SceI aptamer sequence were designed as part of a longer single-stranded DNA molecule that contained a region with homology to repair an I-SceI generated double-strand break and correct a disrupted gene. The I-SceI aptamer-containing oligonucleotides stimulated gene targeting up to 32-fold in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and up to 16-fold in human cells. This work provides a novel concept and research direction to increase gene targeting efficiency and lays the groundwork for future studies using aptamers for gene targeting.
Project description:We report that homology-directed repair of a DNA double-strand break within a single copy Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) gene in HeLa cells alters the methylation pattern at the site of recombination. DNA methyl transferase (DNMT)1, DNMT3a and two proteins that regulate methylation, Np95 and GADD45A, are recruited to the site of repair and are responsible for selective methylation of the promoter-distal segment of the repaired DNA. The initial methylation pattern of the locus is modified in a transcription-dependent fashion during the 15-20 days following repair, at which time no further changes in the methylation pattern occur. The variation in DNA modification generates stable clones with wide ranges of GFP expression. Collectively, our data indicate that somatic DNA methylation follows homologous repair and is subjected to remodeling by local transcription in a discrete time window during and after the damage. We propose that DNA methylation of repaired genes represents a DNA damage code and is source of variation of gene expression.
Project description:In addition to genetic mutations, epigenetic revision plays a major role in the development and progression of cancer; specifically, inappropriate DNA methylation or demethylation of CpG residues may alter the expression of genes that promote tumorigenesis. We hypothesize that DNA repair, specifically the repair of DNA double strand breaks (DSB) by Non-Homologous End Joining (NHEJ) may play a role in this process. Using a GFP reporter system inserted into the genome of HeLa cells, we are able to induce targeted DNA damage that enables the cells, after successfully undergoing NHEJ repair, to express WT GFP. These GFP+ cells were segregated into two expression classes, one with robust expression (Bright) and the other with reduced expression (Dim). Using a DNA hypomethylating drug (AzadC) we demonstrated that the different GFP expression levels was due to differential methylation statuses of CpGs in regions on either side of the break site. Deep sequencing analysis of this area in sorted Bright and Dim populations revealed a collection of different epi-alleles that display patterns of DNA methylation following repair by NHEJ. These patterns differ between Bright and Dim cells which are hypo- and hypermethylated, respectively, and between the post-repair populations and the original, uncut cells. These data suggest that NHEJ repair facilitates a rewrite of the methylation landscape in repaired genes, elucidating a potential source for the altered methylation patterns seen in cancer cells, and understanding the mechanism by which this occurs could provide new therapeutic targets for preventing this process from contributing to tumorigenesis.
Project description:Modulating chromatin through histone methylation orchestrates numerous cellular processes. SETD2-dependent trimethylation of histone H3K36 is associated with active transcription. Here, we define a role for H3K36 trimethylation in homologous recombination (HR) repair in human cells. We find that depleting SETD2 generates a mutation signature resembling RAD51 depletion at I-SceI-induced DNA double-strand break (DSB) sites, with significantly increased deletions arising through microhomology-mediated end-joining. We establish a presynaptic role for SETD2 methyltransferase in HR, where it facilitates the recruitment of C-terminal binding protein interacting protein (CtIP) and promotes DSB resection, allowing Replication Protein A (RPA) and RAD51 binding to DNA damage sites. Furthermore, reducing H3K36me3 levels by overexpressing KDM4A/JMJD2A, an oncogene and H3K36me3/2 demethylase, or an H3.3K36M transgene also reduces HR repair events. We propose that error-free HR repair within H3K36me3-decorated transcriptionally active genomic regions promotes cell homeostasis. Moreover, these findings provide insights as to why oncogenic mutations cluster within the H3K36me3 axis.
Project description:Bioorthogonal control of metal-ion sensors for imaging metal ions in living cells is important for understanding the distribution and fluctuation of metal ions. Reported here is the endogenous and bioorthogonal activation of a DNAzyme fluorescent sensor containing an 18-base pair recognition site of a homing endonuclease (I-SceI), which is found by chance only once in 7×1010 ?bp of genomic sequences, and can thus form a near bioorthogonal pair with I-SceI for DNAzyme activation with minimal effect on living cells. Once I-SceI is expressed inside cells, it cleaves at the recognition site, allowing the DNAzyme to adopt its active conformation. The activated DNAzyme sensor is then able to specifically catalyze cleavage of a substrate strand in the presence of Mg2+ to release the fluorophore-labeled DNA fragment and produce a fluorescent turn-on signal for Mg2+ . Thus I-SceI bioorthogonally activates the 10-23 DNAzyme for imaging of Mg2+ in HeLa cells.