Replication blocking lesions present a unique substrate for homologous recombination.
ABSTRACT: Homologous recombination (HR) plays a critical role in the restart of blocked replication forks, but how this is achieved remains poorly understood. We show that mutants in the single Rad51 paralog in Caenorhabditis elegans, rfs-1, permit discrimination between HR substrates generated at DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), or following replication fork collapse from HR substrates assembled at replication fork barriers (RFBs). Unexpectedly, RFS-1 is dispensable for RAD-51 recruitment to meiotic and ionizing radiation (IR)-induced DSBs and following replication fork collapse, yet, is essential for RAD-51 recruitment to RFBs formed by DNA crosslinking agents and other replication blocking lesions. Deletion of rfs-1 also suppresses the accumulation of toxic HR intermediates in him-6; top-3 mutants and accelerates deletion formation at presumed endogenous RFBs formed by poly G/C tracts in the absence of DOG-1. These data suggest that RFS-1 is not a general mediator of HR-dependent DSB repair, but acts specifically to promote HR at RFBs. HR substrates generated at conventional DSBs or following replication fork collapse are therefore intrinsically different from those produced during normal repair of blocked replication forks.
Project description:Homologous recombination (HR) is a major mechanism utilized to repair blockage of DNA replication forks. Here, we report that a sister chromatid exchange (SCE) generated by crossover-associated HR efficiently occurs in response to replication fork stalling before any measurable DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Interestingly, SCE produced by replication fork collapse following DNA DSBs creation is specifically suppressed by ATR, a central regulator of the replication checkpoint. BRCA1 depletion leads to decreased RPA2 phosphorylation (RPA2-P) following replication fork stalling but has no obvious effect on RPA2-P following replication fork collapse. Importantly, we found that BRCA1 promotes RAD51 recruitment and SCE induced by replication fork stalling independent of ATR. In contrast, BRCA1 depletion leads to a more profound defect in RAD51 recruitment and SCE induced by replication fork collapse when ATR is depleted. We concluded that BRCA1 plays a dual role in two distinct HR-mediated repair upon replication fork stalling and collapse. Our data established a molecular basis for the observation that defective BRCA1 leads to a high sensitivity to agents that cause replication blocks without being associated with DSBs, and also implicate a novel mechanism by which loss of cell cycle checkpoints promotes BRCA1-associated tumorigenesis via enhancing HR defect resulting from BRCA1 deficiency.
Project description:Homologous recombination (HR) is essential for the repair of blocked or collapsed replication forks and for the production of crossovers between homologs that promote accurate meiotic chromosome segregation. Here, we identify HIM-18, an ortholog of MUS312/Slx4, as a critical player required in vivo for processing late HR intermediates in Caenorhabditis elegans. DNA damage sensitivity and an accumulation of HR intermediates (RAD-51 foci) during premeiotic entry suggest that HIM-18 is required for HR-mediated repair at stalled replication forks. A reduction in crossover recombination frequencies-accompanied by an increase in HR intermediates during meiosis, germ cell apoptosis, unstable bivalent attachments, and subsequent chromosome nondisjunction-support a role for HIM-18 in converting HR intermediates into crossover products. Such a role is suggested by physical interaction of HIM-18 with the nucleases SLX-1 and XPF-1 and by the synthetic lethality of him-18 with him-6, the C. elegans BLM homolog. We propose that HIM-18 facilitates processing of HR intermediates resulting from replication fork collapse and programmed meiotic DSBs in the C. elegans germline.
Project description:Faithful DNA replication is essential to all life. Hydroxyurea (HU) depletes the cells of dNTPs, which initially results in stalled replication forks that, after prolonged treatment, collapse into DSBs. Here, we report that stalled replication forks are efficiently restarted in a RAD51-dependent process that does not trigger homologous recombination (HR). The XRCC3 protein, which is required for RAD51 foci formation, is also required for replication restart of HU-stalled forks, suggesting that RAD51-mediated strand invasion supports fork restart. In contrast, replication forks collapsed by prolonged replication blocks do not restart, and global replication is rescued by new origin firing. We find that RAD51-dependent HR is triggered for repair of collapsed replication forks, without apparent restart. In conclusion, our data suggest that restart of stalled replication forks and HR repair of collapsed replication forks require two distinct RAD51-mediated pathways.
Project description:Mammalian RAD51 paralogs are implicated in the repair of collapsed replication forks by homologous recombination. However, their physiological roles in replication fork maintenance prior to fork collapse remain obscure. Here, we report on the role of RAD51 paralogs in short-term replicative stress devoid of DSBs. We show that RAD51 paralogs localize to nascent DNA and common fragile sites upon replication fork stalling. Strikingly, RAD51 paralogs deficient cells exhibit elevated levels of 53BP1 nuclear bodies and increased DSB formation, the latter being attributed to extensive degradation of nascent DNA at stalled forks. RAD51C and XRCC3 promote the restart of stalled replication in an ATP hydrolysis dependent manner by disengaging RAD51 and other RAD51 paralogs from the halted forks. Notably, we find that Fanconi anemia (FA)-like disorder and breast and ovarian cancer patient derived mutations of RAD51C fails to protect replication fork, exhibit under-replicated genomic regions and elevated micro-nucleation. Taken together, RAD51 paralogs prevent degradation of stalled forks and promote the restart of halted replication to avoid replication fork collapse, thereby maintaining genomic integrity and suppressing tumorigenesis.
Project description: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, CRL4<sup>DCAF14</sup> 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.
Project description:Replication origins are under tight regulation to ensure activation occurs only once per cell cycle [1, 2]. Origin re-firing in a single S phase leads to the generation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and activation of the DNA damage checkpoint [2-7]. If the checkpoint is blocked, cells enter mitosis with partially re-replicated DNA that generates chromosome breaks and fusions . These types of chromosomal aberrations are common in numerous human cancers, suggesting that re-replication events contribute to cancer progression. It was proposed that fork instability and DSBs formed during re-replication are the result of head-to-tail collisions and collapse of adjacent replication forks . However, previously studied systems lack the resolution to determine whether the observed DSBs are generated at sites of fork collisions. Here, we utilize the Drosophila ovarian follicle cells, which exhibit re-replication under precise developmental control [8-10], to model the consequences of re-replication at actively elongating forks. Re-replication occurs from specific replication origins at six genomic loci, termed Drosophila amplicons in follicle cells (DAFCs) [10-12]. Precise developmental timing of DAFC origin firing permits identification of forks at defined points after origin initiation [13, 14]. Here, we show that DAFC re-replication causes fork instability and generates DSBs at sites of potential fork collisions. Immunofluorescence and ChIP-seq demonstrate the DSB marker ?H2Av is enriched at elongating forks. Fork progression is reduced in the absence of DNA damage checkpoint components and nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ), but not homologous recombination. NHEJ appears to continually repair forks during re-replication to maintain elongation.
Project description:ATM and ATR are key components of the DNA damage checkpoint. ATR primarily responds to UV damage and replication stress, yet may also function with ATM in the checkpoint response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), although this is less clear. Here, we show that atl-1 (Caenorhabditis elegans ATR) and rad-5/clk-2 prevent mitotic catastrophe, function in the S-phase checkpoint and also cooperate with atm-1 in the checkpoint response to DSBs after ionizing radiation (IR) to induce cell cycle arrest or apoptosis via the cep-1(p53)/egl-1 pathway. ATL-1 is recruited to stalled replication forks by RPA-1 and functions upstream of rad-5/clk-2 in the S-phase checkpoint. In contrast, mre-11 and atm-1 are dispensable for ATL-1 recruitment to stalled replication forks. However, mre-11 is required for RPA-1 association and ATL-1 recruitment to DSBs. Thus, DNA processing controlled by mre-11 is important for ATL-1 activation at DSBs but not following replication fork stalling. We propose that atl-1 and rad-5/clk-2 respond to single-stranded DNA generated by replication stress and function with atm-1 following DSB resection.
Project description:Replication inhibitors cause replication fork stalling and double-strand breaks (DSB) that result from processing of stalled forks. During recovery from replication blocks, the homologous recombination (HR) factor RAD51 mediates fork restart and DSB repair. HR defects therefore sensitize cells to replication inhibitors, with clear implications for cancer therapy. Gemcitabine is a potent replication inhibitor used to treat cancers with mutations in HR genes such as BRCA2. Here, we investigate why, paradoxically, mutations in HR genes protect cells from killing by gemcitabine. Using DNA replication and DNA damage assays in mammalian cells, we show that even short gemcitabine treatments cause persistent replication inhibition. BRCA2 and RAD51 are recruited to chromatin early after removal of the drug, actively inhibit replication fork progression, and promote the formation of MUS81- and XPF-dependent DSBs that remain unrepaired. Our data suggest that HR intermediates formed at gemcitabine-stalled forks are converted into DSBs and thus contribute to gemcitabine-induced cell death, which could have implications for the treatment response of HR-deficient tumors.
Project description:Heat shock (HS) is one of the better-studied exogenous stress factors. However, little is known about its effects on DNA integrity and the DNA replication process. In this study, we show that in G1 and G2 cells, HS induces a countable number of double-stranded breaks (DSBs) in the DNA that are marked by γH2AX. In contrast, in S-phase cells, HS does not induce DSBs but instead causes an arrest or deceleration of the progression of the replication forks in a temperature-dependent manner. This response also provoked phosphorylation of H2AX, which appeared at the sites of replication. Moreover, the phosphorylation of H2AX at or close to the replication fork rescued the fork from total collapse. Collectively our data suggest that in an asynchronous cell culture, HS might affect DNA integrity both directly and via arrest of replication fork progression and that the phosphorylation of H2AX has a protective effect on the arrested replication forks in addition to its known DNA damage signaling function.
Project description:DNA polymerase ? (POLQ) plays an important role in alternative nonhomologous end joining or microhomology-mediated end joining (alt-NHEJ/MMEJ). Here, we show that POLQ is not only required for MMEJ to repair DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) generated by endonucleases such as I-SceI or Cas9, but is also needed for repair of DSBs derived from DNA nicks generated by Cas9 nickase. Consistently, we found that POLQ deficiency leads to sensitivity to topoisomerase inhibitors that cause DNA single-strand break (SSB) accumulation at replication forks and to ATR inhibitors that induce replication fork collapse. These studies support the function of POLQ in coping with replication stress and repairing DSBs upon fork collapse. POLQ overexpression is present in many cancer types and is associated with poor prognosis, including breast cancer regardless of BRCA1 status. We provide proof-of-concept evidence to support a novel cancer treatment strategy that combines POLQ inhibition with administration of topoisomerase or ATR inhibitors, which induces replication stress and fork collapse. Given the prevalence of POLQ overexpression in tumors, such strategy may have a significant impact on developing targeted cancer treatment.