Shifts in targeting of class switch recombination sites in mice that lack mu switch region tandem repeats or Msh2.
ABSTRACT: The mechanisms that target class switch recombination (CSR) to antibody gene switch (S) regions are unknown. Analyses of switch site locations in wild-type mice and in mice that lack the Smu tandem repeats show shifts indicating that a 4-5-kb DNA domain (bounded upstream by the Imu promoter) is accessible for switching independent of Smu sequences. This CSR-accessible domain is reminiscent of the promoter-defined domains that target somatic hypermutation. Within the 4-5-kb CSR domain, the targeting of S site locations also depends on the Msh2 mismatch repair protein because Msh2-deficient mice show an increased focus of sites to the Smu tandem repeat region. We propose that Msh2 affects S site location because sequences with few activation-induced cytidine deaminase targets generate mostly switch DNA cleavages that require Msh2-directed processing to allow CSR joining.
Project description:The Msh2 mismatch repair (MMR) protein is critical for class switch recombination (CSR) events that occur in mice that lack the Smu tandem repeat (SmuTR) region (SmuTR(-/-) mice). The pattern of microhomology among switch junction sites in Msh2-deficient mice is also dependent on the presence or absence of SmuTR sequences. It is not known whether these CSR effects reflect an individual function of Msh2 or the function of Msh2 within the MMR machinery. In the absence of the SmuTR sequences, Msh2 deficiency nearly ablates CSR. We now show that Mlh1 or Exo1 deficiencies also eliminate CSR in the absence of the SmuTR. Furthermore, in SmuTR(-/-) mice, deficiencies of Mlh1 or Exo1 result in increased switch junction microhomology as has also been seen with Msh2 deficiency. These results are consistent with a CSR model in which the MMR machinery is important in processing DNA nicks to produce double-stranded breaks, particularly in sequences where nicks are infrequent. We propose that double-stranded break paucity in MMR-deficient mice leads to increased use of an alternative joining pathway where microhomologies are important for CSR break ligation. Interestingly, when the SmuTR region is present, deficiency of Msh2 does not lead to the increased microhomology seen with Mlh1 or Exo1 deficiencies, suggesting that Msh2 might have an additional function in CSR. It is also possible that the inability to initiate MMR in the absence of Msh2 results in CSR junctions with less microhomology than joinings that occur when MMR is initiated but then proceeds abnormally due to Mlh1 or Exo1 deficiencies.
Project description:Class switch DNA recombination (CSR) is the mechanism that diversifies the biological effector functions of antibodies. Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), a key protein in CSR, targets immunoglobulin H (IgH) switch regions, which contain 5'-AGCT-3' repeats in their core. How AID is recruited to switch regions remains unclear. Here we show that 14-3-3 adaptor proteins have an important role in CSR. 14-3-3 proteins specifically bound 5'-AGCT-3' repeats, were upregulated in B cells undergoing CSR and were recruited with AID to the switch regions that are involved in CSR events (Smu-->Sgamma1, Smu-->Sgamma3 or Smu-->Salpha). Moreover, blocking 14-3-3 by difopein, 14-3-3gamma deficiency or expression of a dominant-negative 14-3-3sigma mutant impaired recruitment of AID to switch regions and decreased CSR. Finally, 14-3-3 proteins interacted directly with AID and enhanced AID-mediated in vitro DNA deamination, further emphasizing the important role of these adaptors in CSR.
Project description:Immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) class switch recombination (CSR) replaces the initially expressed IgH Cmu exons with a set of downstream IgH constant region (C(H)) exons. Individual sets of C(H) exons are flanked upstream by long (1-10-kb) repetitive switch (S) regions, with CSR involving a deletional recombination event between the donor Smu region and a downstream S region. Targeting CSR to specific S regions might be mediated by S region-specific factors. To test the role of endogenous S region sequences in targeting specific CSR events, we generated mutant B cells in which the endogenous 10-kb Sgamma1 region was replaced with wild-type (WT) or synthetic 2-kb Sgamma3 sequences or a synthetic 2-kb Sgamma1 sequence. We found that both the inserted endogenous and synthetic Sgamma3 sequences functioned similarly to a size-matched synthetic Sgamma1 sequence to mediate substantial CSR to IgG1 in mutant B cells activated under conditions that stimulate IgG1 switching in WT B cells. We conclude that Sgamma3 can function similarly to Sgamma1 in mediating endogenous CSR to IgG1. The approach that we have developed will facilitate assays for IgH isotype-specific functions of other endogenous S regions.
Project description:To elucidate the mechanisms underlying chromosomal translocations in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), we investigated the nature and extent of immunoglobulin class switch recombination (CSR) in these tumors. We used Southern blotting to detect legitimate and illegitimate CSR events in tumor samples of the activated B cell-like (ABC), germinal center B cell-like (GCB), and primary mediastinal B cell lymphoma (PMBL) subgroups of DLBCL. The frequency of legitimate CSR was lower in ABC DLBCL than in GCB DLBCL and PMBL. In contrast, ABC DLBCL had a higher frequency of internal deletions within the switch mu (Smu) region compared with GCB DLBCL and PMBL. ABC DLBCLs also had frequent deletions within Sgamma and other illegitimate switch recombinations. Sequence analysis revealed ongoing Smu deletions within ABC DLBCL tumor clones, which were accompanied by ongoing duplications and activation-induced cytidine deaminase-dependent somatic mutations. Unexpectedly, short fragments derived from multiple chromosomes were interspersed within Smu in one case. These findings suggest that ABC DLBCLs have abnormalities in the regulation of CSR that could predispose to chromosomal translocations. Accordingly, aberrant switch recombination was responsible for translocations in ABC DLBCLs involving BCL6, MYC, and a novel translocation partner, SPIB.
Project description:The mechanism by which the cytidine deaminase activation-induced deaminase (AID) acts at immunoglobulin heavy-chain class switch regions during mammalian class switch recombination (CSR) remains unclear. R-loops have been proposed as a basis for this targeting. Here, we show that the difference between various forms of the Smu locus that can or cannot undergo CSR correlates well with the locations and detectability of R-loops. The Smu R-loops can initiate hundreds of base pairs upstream of the core repeat switch regions, and the area where the R-loops initiate corresponds to the zone where the AID mutation frequency begins to rise, despite a constant density of WRC sites in this region. The frequency of R-loops is 1 in 25 alleles, regardless of the presence of the core Smu repeats, again consistent with the initiation of most R-loops upstream of the core repeats. These findings explain the surprisingly high levels of residual CSR in B cells from mice lacking the core Smu repeats but the marked reduction in CSR in mice with deletions of the region upstream of the core Smu repeats. These studies also provide the first analysis of how R-loop formation in the eukaryotic chromosome depends on the DNA sequence.
Project description:Somatic hypermutation (SHM) and class switch recombination (CSR) are initiated by activation-induced cytidine deaminase-mediated cytidine deamination of immunoglobulin genes. MutS homologue (Msh) 2-/- mice have reduced A-T mutations and CSR. This suggests that Msh2 may play a role in repairing activation-induced cytidine deaminase-generated G-U mismatches. However, because Msh2 not only initiates mismatch repair but also has other functions, such as signaling for apoptosis, it is not known which activity of Msh2 is responsible for the effects observed, and consequently, many models have been proposed. To further dissect the role of Msh2 in SHM and CSR, mice with a "knockin" mutation in the Msh2 gene that inactivates the adenosine triphosphatase domain were examined. This mutation (i.e., Msh2G674A), which does not affect apoptosis signaling, allows mismatches to be recognized but prevents Msh2 from initiating mismatch repair. Here, we show that, similar to Msh2-/- mice, SHM in Msh2G674A mice is biased toward G-C mutations. However, CSR is partially reduced, and switch junctions are more similar to those of postmeiotic segregation 2-/- mice than to Msh2-/- mice. These results indicate that Msh2 adenosine triphosphatase activity is required for A-T mutations, and suggest that Msh2 has more than one role in CSR.
Project description:Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) triggers antibody diversification in B cells by catalysing deamination and subsequently mutating immunoglobulin (Ig) genes. Association of AID with RNA Pol II and occurrence of epigenetic changes during Ig gene diversification suggest participation of AID in epigenetic regulation. AID is mutated in hyper-IgM type 2 (HIGM2) syndrome. Here, we investigated the potential role of AID in the acquisition of epigenetic changes. We discovered that AID binding to the IgH locus promotes an increase in H4K20me3. In 293F cells, we demonstrate interaction between co-transfected AID and the three SUV4-20 histone H4K20 methyltransferases, and that SUV4-20H1.2, bound to the IgH switch (S) mu site, is replaced by SUV4-20H2 upon AID binding. Analysis of HIGM2 mutants shows that the AID truncated form W68X is impaired to interact with SUV4-20H1.2 and SUV4-20H2 and is unable to bind and target H4K20me3 to the Smu site. We finally show in mouse primary B cells undergoing class-switch recombination (CSR) that AID deficiency associates with decreased H4K20me3 levels at the Smu site. Our results provide a novel link between SUV4-20 enzymes and CSR and offer a new aspect of the interplay between AID and histone modifications in setting the epigenetic status of CSR sites.
Project description:DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) introduced in the switch (S) regions are intermediates during immunoglobulin class switch recombination (CSR). These breaks are subsequently recognized, processed, and joined, leading to recombination of the two S regions. Nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) is believed to be the principle mechanism involved in DSB repair during CSR. One important component in NHEJ, Artemis, has however been considered to be dispensable for efficient CSR. In this study, we have characterized the S recombinational junctions from Artemis-deficient human B cells. Smu-Salpha junctions could be amplified from all patients tested and were characterized by a complete lack of "direct" end-joining and a remarkable shift in the use of an alternative, microhomology-based end-joining pathway. Smu-Sgamma junctions could only be amplified from one patient who carries "hypomorphic" mutations. Although these Smu-Sgamma junctions appear to be normal, a significant increase of an unusual type of sequential switching from immunoglobulin (Ig)M, through one IgG subclass, to a different IgG subclass was observed, and the Sgamma-Sgamma junctions showed long microhomologies. Thus, when the function of Artemis is impaired, varying modes of CSR junction resolution may be used for different S regions. Our findings strongly link Artemis to the predominant NHEJ pathway during CSR.
Project description:Mismatch repair (MMR) safeguards against genomic instability and is required for efficient Ig class switch recombination (CSR). Methyl CpG binding domain protein 4 (MBD4) binds to MutL homologue 1 (MLH1) and controls the post-transcriptional level of several MMR proteins, including MutS homologue 2 (MSH2). We show that in WT B cells activated for CSR, MBD4 is induced and interacts with MMR proteins, thereby implying a role for MBD4 in CSR. However, CSR is in the normal range in Mbd4 deficient mice deleted for exons 2-5 despite concomitant reduction of MSH2. We show by comparison in Msh2(+/-) B cells that a two-fold reduction of MSH2 and MBD4 proteins is correlated with impaired CSR. It is therefore surprising that CSR occurs at normal frequencies in the Mbd4 deficient B cells where MSH2 is reduced. We find that a variant Mbd4 transcript spanning exons 1,6-8 is expressed in Mbd4 deficient B cells. This transcript can be ectopically expressed and produces a truncated MBD4 peptide. Thus, the 3' end of the Mbd4 locus is not silent in Mbd4 deficient B cells and may contribute to CSR. Our findings highlight a complex relationship between MBD4 and MMR proteins in B cells and a potential reconsideration of their role in CSR.
Project description:Vertebrates developed immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) class switch recombination (CSR) to express different IgH constant regions. Most double-strand breaks for Ig CSR occur within the repetitive portion of the switch regions located upstream of each set of constant domain exons for the Ig?, Ig? or Ig? heavy chain. Unlike mammalian switch regions, Xenopus switch regions do not have a high G-density on the non-template DNA strand. In previous studies, when Xenopus S? DNA was moved to the genome of mice, it is able to support substantial CSR when it is used to replace the murine S?1 region. Here, we tested both the 2kb repetitive portion and the 4.6 kb full-length portions of the Xenopus S? in both their natural (forward) orientation relative to the constant domain exons, as well as the opposite (reverse) orientation. Consistent with previous work, we find that the 4.6 kb full-length S? mediates similar levels of CSR in both the forward and reverse orientations. Whereas, the forward orientation of the 2kb portion can restore the majority of the CSR level of the 4.6 kb full-length S?, the reverse orientation poorly supports R-looping and no CSR. The forward orientation of the 2kb repetitive portion has more GG dinucleotides on the non-template strand than the reverse orientation. The correlation of R-loop formation with CSR efficiency, as demonstrated in the 2kb repetitive fragment of the Xenopus switch region, confirms a role played by R-looping in CSR that appears to be conserved through evolution.