Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1-dependent processing of DNA breaks generates oligonucleotides that stimulate ATM activity.
ABSTRACT: DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) can be processed by the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex, which is essential to promote ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) activation. However, the molecular mechanisms linking MRN activity to ATM are not fully understood. Here, using Xenopus laevis egg extract we show that MRN-dependent processing of DSBs leads to the accumulation of short single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides (ssDNA oligos). The MRN complex isolated from the extract containing DSBs is bound to ssDNA oligos and stimulates ATM activity. Elimination of ssDNA oligos results in rapid extinction of ATM activity. Significantly, ssDNA oligos can be isolated from human cells damaged with ionizing radiation and injection of small synthetic ssDNA oligos into undamaged cells also induces ATM activation. These results suggest that MRN-dependent generation of ssDNA oligos, which constitute a unique signal of ongoing DSB repair not encountered in normal DNA metabolism, stimulates ATM activity.
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:MCM8-9 complex is required for homologous recombination (HR)-mediated repair of double-strand breaks (DSBs). Here we report that MCM8-9 is required for DNA resection by MRN (MRE11-RAD50-NBS1) at DSBs to generate ssDNA. MCM8-9 interacts with MRN and is required for the nuclease activity and stable association of MRN with DSBs. The ATPase motifs of MCM8-9 are required for recruitment of MRE11 to foci of DNA damage. Homozygous deletion of the MCM9 found in various cancers sensitizes a cancer cell line to interstrand-crosslinking (ICL) agents. A cancer-derived point mutation or an SNP on MCM8 associated with premature ovarian failure (POF) diminishes the functional activity of MCM8. Therefore, the MCM8-9 complex facilitates DNA resection by the MRN complex during HR repair, genetic or epigenetic inactivation of MCM8 or MCM9 are seen in human cancers, and genetic inactivation of MCM8 may be the basis of a POF syndrome.
Project description:The cellular activity of Yondelis (trabectedin, Ecteinascidin 743, Et743) is known to depend on transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair (TCR). However, the subsequent cellular effects of Et743 are not fully understood. Here we show that Et743 induces both transcription- and replication-coupled DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) that are detectible by neutral COMET assay and as gamma-H2AX foci that colocalize with 53BP1, Mre11, Ser(1981)-pATM, and Thr(68)-pChk2. The transcription coupled-DSBs (TC-DSBs) induced by Et743 depended both on TCR and Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) and were associated with DNA-PK-dependent gamma-H2AX foci. In contrast to DNA-PK, ATM phosphorylated H2AX both in NER-proficient and -deficient cells, but its full activation was dependent on H2AX as well as DNA-PK, suggesting a positive feedback loop: DNA-PK-gamma-H2AX-ATM. Knocking-out H2AX or inactivating DNA-PK reduced Et743's antiproliferative activity, whereas ATM and MRN tended to act as survival factors. Our results highlight the interplays between ATM and DNA-PK and their impacts on H2AX phosphorylation and cell survival. They also suggest that gamma-H2AX may serve as a biomarker in patients treated with Et743 and that molecular profiling of tumors for TCR, MRN, ATM, and DNA-PK might be useful to anticipate tumor response to Et743 treatment.
Project description:The MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex is essential for the detection of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and initiation of DNA damage signaling. Here, we show that Rad17, a replication checkpoint protein, is required for the early recruitment of the MRN complex to the DSB site that is independent of MDC1 and contributes to ATM activation. Mechanistically, Rad17 is phosphorylated by ATM at a novel Thr622 site resulting in a direct interaction of Rad17 with NBS1, facilitating recruitment of the MRN complex and ATM to the DSB, thereby enhancing ATM signaling. Repetition of these events creates a positive feedback for Rad17-dependent activation of MRN/ATM signaling which appears to be a requisite for the activation of MDC1-dependent MRN complex recruitment. A point mutation of the Thr622 residue of Rad17 leads to a significant reduction in MRN/ATM signaling and homologous recombination repair, suggesting that Thr622 phosphorylation is important for regulation of the MRN/ATM signaling by Rad17. These findings suggest that Rad17 plays a critical role in the cellular response to DNA damage via regulation of the MRN/ATM pathway.
Project description:The MRN (Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1)-ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated) pathway is essential for sensing and signaling from DNA double-strand breaks. The MRN complex acts as a DNA damage sensor, maintains genome stability during DNA replication, promotes homology-dependent DNA repair and activates ATM. MRN is essential for cell viability, which has limited functional studies of the complex. Small-molecule inhibitors of MRN could circumvent this experimental limitation and could also be used as cellular radio- and chemosensitization compounds. Using cell-free systems that recapitulate faithfully the MRN-ATM signaling pathway, we designed a forward chemical genetic screen to identify inhibitors of the pathway, and we isolated 6-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-thioxo-2,3-dihydro-4(1H)-pyrimidinone (mirin, 1) as an inhibitor of MRN. Mirin prevents MRN-dependent activation of ATM without affecting ATM protein kinase activity, and it inhibits Mre11-associated exonuclease activity. Consistent with its ability to target the MRN complex, mirin abolishes the G2/M checkpoint and homology-dependent repair in mammalian cells.
Project description:The Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) protein complex and ATM/Tel1 kinase protect genome integrity through their functions in DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair, checkpoint signaling, and telomere maintenance. Nbs1 has a conserved C-terminal motif that binds ATM/Tel1, but the full extent and significance of ATM/Tel1 interactions with MRN are unknown. Here, we show that Tel1 overexpression bypasses the requirement for Nbs1 in DNA damage signaling and telomere maintenance. These activities require Mre11-Rad50, which localizes to DSBs and bind Tel1 in the absence of Nbs1. Fusion of the Tel1-binding motif of Nbs1 to Mre11 is sufficient to restore Tel1 signaling in nbs1? cells. Tel1 overexpression does not restore Tel1 signaling in cells carrying the rad50-I1192W mutation, which impairs the ability of Mre11-Rad50 to form the ATP-bound closed conformation. From these findings, we propose that Tel1 has a high-affinity interaction with the C-terminus of Nbs1 and a low-affinity association with Mre11-Rad50, which together accomplish efficient localization and activation of Tel1 at DSBs and telomeres.
Project description:hSSB1 is a newly discovered single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-binding protein that is essential for efficient DNA double-strand break signalling through ATM. However, the mechanism by which hSSB1 functions to allow efficient signalling is unknown. Here, we show that hSSB1 is recruited rapidly to sites of double-strand DNA breaks (DSBs) in all interphase cells (G1, S and G2) independently of, CtIP, MDC1 and the MRN complex (Rad50, Mre11, NBS1). However expansion of hSSB1 from the DSB site requires the function of MRN. Strikingly, silencing of hSSB1 prevents foci formation as well as recruitment of MRN to sites of DSBs and leads to a subsequent defect in resection of DSBs as evident by defective RPA and ssDNA generation. Our data suggests that hSSB1 functions upstream of MRN to promote its recruitment at DSBs and is required for efficient resection of DSBs. These findings, together with previous work establish essential roles of hSSB1 in controlling ATM activation and activity, and subsequent DSB resection and homologous recombination (HR).
Project description:The Mre11/Rad50/NBS1 (MRN) complex is thought to be a critical sensor that detects damaged DNA and recruits ATM to DNA foci for activation. However, it remains to be established how the MRN complex regulates ATM recruitment to the DNA foci during DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Here we show that Skp2 E3 ligase is a key component for the MRN complex-mediated ATM activation in response to DSBs. Skp2 interacts with NBS1 and triggers K63-linked ubiquitination of NBS1 upon DSBs, which is critical for the interaction of NBS1 with ATM, thereby facilitating ATM recruitment to the DNA foci for activation. Finally, we show that Skp2 deficiency exhibits a defect in homologous recombination (HR) repair, thereby increasing IR sensitivity. Our results provide molecular insights into how Skp2 and the MRN complex coordinate to activate ATM, and identify Skp2-mediatetd NBS1 ubiquitination as a vital event for ATM activation in response to DNA damage.
Project description:The proper cellular response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) is critical for maintaining the integrity of the genome. RecQL4, a DNA helicase of which mutations are associated with Rothmund-Thomson syndrome (RTS), is required for the DNA DSB response. However, the mechanism by which RecQL4 performs these essential roles in the DSB response remains unknown. Here, we show that RecQL4 and its helicase activity are required for maintaining the stability of the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex on DSB sites during a DSB response. We found using immunocytochemistry and live-cell imaging that the MRN complex is prematurely disassembled from DSB sites in a manner dependent upon Skp2-mediated ubiquitination of Nbs1 in RecQL4-defective cells. This early disassembly of the MRN complex could be prevented by altering the ubiquitination site of Nbs1 or by expressing a deubiquitinase, Usp28, which sufficiently restored homologous recombination repair and ATM, a major checkpoint kinase against DNA DSBs, activation abilities in RTS, and RecQL4-depleted cells. These results suggest that the essential role of RecQL4 in the DSB response is to maintain the stability of the MRN complex on DSB sites and that defects in the DSB response in cells of patients with RTS can be recovered by controlling the stability of the MRN complex.
Project description:DNA palindromes are rare in humans but are associated with meiosis-specific translocations. The conserved Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 (MRN) complex is likely directly involved in processing palindromes through the homologous recombination pathway of DNA repair. Using the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe as a model system, we show that a 160-bp palindrome (M-pal) is a meiotic recombination hotspot and is preferentially eliminated by gene conversion. Importantly, this hotspot depends on the MRN complex for full activity and reveals a new pathway for generating meiotic DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), separately from the Rec12 (ortholog of Spo11) pathway. We show that MRN-dependent DSBs are formed at or near the M-pal in vivo, and in contrast to the Rec12-dependent breaks, they appear early, during premeiotic replication. Analysis of mrn mutants indicates that the early DSBs are generated by the MRN nuclease activity, demonstrating the previously hypothesized MRN-dependent breakage of hairpins during replication. Our studies provide a genetic and physical basis for frequent translocations between palindromes in human meiosis and identify a conserved meiotic process that constantly selects against palindromes in eukaryotic genomes.