AID expression levels determine the extent of cMyc oncogenic translocations and the incidence of B cell tumor development.
ABSTRACT: Immunoglobulin (Ig) isotype switching is a recombination event that changes the constant domain of antibody genes and is catalyzed by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID). Upon recruitment to Ig genes, AID deaminates cytidines at switch (S) recombination sites, leading to the formation of DNA breaks. In addition to their role in isotype switching, AID-induced lesions promote Igh-cMyc chromosomal translocations and tumor development. However, cMyc translocations are also present in lymphocytes from healthy humans and mice, and thus, it remains unclear whether AID directly contributes to the dynamics of B cell transformation. Using a plasmacytoma mouse model, we show that AID(+/-) mice have reduced AID expression levels and display haploinsufficiency both in the context of isotype switching and plasmacytomagenesis. At the Ig loci, AID(+/-) lymphocytes show impaired intra- and inter-switch recombination, and a substantial decrease in the frequency of S mutations and chromosomal breaks. In AID(+/-) mice, these defects correlate with a marked decrease in the accumulation of B cell clones carrying Igh-cMyc translocations during tumor latency. These results thus provide a causality link between the extent of AID enzymatic activity, the number of emerging Igh-cMyc-translocated cells, and the incidence of B cell transformation.
Project description:Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) initiates DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in the IgH gene (Igh) to stimulate isotype class switch recombination (CSR), and widespread breaks in non-Igh (off-target) loci throughout the genome. Because the DSBs that initiate class switching occur during the G? phase of the cell cycle, and are repaired via end joining, CSR is considered a predominantly G? reaction. By contrast, AID-induced non-Igh DSBs are repaired by homologous recombination. Although little is known about the connection between the cell cycle and either induction or resolution of AID-mediated non-Igh DSBs, their repair by homologous recombination implicates post-G? phases. Coordination of DNA breakage and repair during the cell cycle is critical to promote normal class switching and prevent genomic instability. To understand how AID-mediated events are regulated through the cell cycle, we have investigated G?-to-S control in AID-dependent genome-wide DSBs. We find that AID-mediated off-target DSBs, like those induced in the Igh locus, are generated during G?. These data suggest that AID-mediated DSBs can evade G?/S checkpoint activation and persist beyond G?, becoming resolved during S phase. Interestingly, DSB resolution during S phase can promote not only non-Igh break repair, but also Ig CSR. Our results reveal novel cell cycle dynamics in response to AID-initiated DSBs, and suggest that the regulation of the repair of these DSBs through the cell cycle may ensure proper class switching while preventing AID-induced genomic instability.
Project description:BCL6 translocations are common in B-cell lymphomas and frequently have chromosomal breaks in immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) switch regions, suggesting that they occur during class-switch recombination. We analyze 120 BCL6 translocation breakpoints clustered in a 2156-bp segment of BCL6 intron 1, including 62 breakpoints (52%) joined to IgH, 12 (10%) joined to Ig light chains, and 46 (38%) joined to non-Ig partners. The BCL6 breaks in Ig-BCL6 translocations prefer known activation-induced cytosine deaminase (AID) hotspots such as WGCW and WRC (W = A/T, R = A/G), whereas BCL6 breaks in non-Ig rearrangements occur at CpG/CGC sites in addition to WGCW. Unlike previously identified CpG breaks in pro-B/pre-B-cell translocations, the BCL6 breaks do not show evidence of recombination activating gene or terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase activity. Both WGCW/WRC and CpG/CGC breaks at BCL6 are most likely initiated by AID in germinal center B-cells, and their differential use suggests subtle mechanistic differences between Ig-BCL6 and non-Ig-BCL6 rearrangements.
Project description:Chromosome translocations between Ig (Ig) and non-Ig genes are frequently associated with B-cell lymphomas in humans and mice. The best characterized of these is c-myc/IgH translocation, which is associated with Burkitt's lymphoma. These translocations are caused by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), which produces double-strand DNA breaks in both genes. c-myc/IgH translocations are rare events, in part because ATM, p53, and p19 actively suppress them. To further define the mechanism of protection against the accumulation of cells that bear c-myc/IgH translocation, we assayed B cells from mice that carry mutations in cell-cycle and apoptosis regulator proteins that act downstream of p53. We find that PUMA, Bim, and PKCdelta are required for protection against c-myc/IgH translocation, whereas Bcl-XL and BAFF enhance c-myc/IgH translocation. Whether these effects are general or specific to c-myc/IgH translocation and whether AID produces dsDNA breaks in genes other than c-myc and Ig is not known. To examine these questions, we developed an assay for translocation between IgH and Igbeta, both of which are somatically mutated by AID. Igbeta/IgH, like c-myc/IgH translocations, are AID-dependent, and AID is responsible for lesions on IgH and the non-IgH translocation partners. However, ATM, p53, and p19 do not protect against Igbeta/IgH translocations. Instead, B cells are protected against Igbeta/IgH translocations by a BAFF- and PKCdelta-dependent pathway. We conclude that AID-induced double-strand breaks in non-Ig genes other than c-myc lead to their translocation, and that at least two nonoverlapping pathways protect against translocations in primary B cells.
Project description:Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is a mutator enzyme that initiates class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation of immunoglobulin genes (Ig) in B lymphocytes. However, AID also produces off-target DNA damage, including mutations in oncogenes and double-stranded breaks that can serve as substrates for oncogenic chromosomal translocations. AID is strictly regulated by a number of mechanisms, including phosphorylation at serine 38 and threonine 140, which increase activity. Here we show that phosphorylation can also suppress AID activity in vivo. Serine 3 is a novel phospho-acceptor which, when mutated to alanine, leads to increased class switching and c-myc/IgH translocations without affecting AID levels or catalytic activity. Conversely, increasing AID phosphorylation specifically on serine 3 by interfering with serine/threonine protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) leads to decreased class switching. We conclude that AID activity and its oncogenic potential can be downregulated by phosphorylation of serine 3 and that this process is controlled by PP2A.
Project description:Class switch recombination (CSR) requires activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) to trigger DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) at the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH) in B cells. Joining of AID-dependent DSBs within IGH facilitate CSR and effective humoral immunity, but ligation to DSBs in non-IGH chromosomes leads to chromosomal translocations. Thus, the mechanism by which AID-dependent DSBs are repaired requires careful examination. The random activity of AID in IGH leads to a spectrum of DSB structures. In this report, we investigated how DSB structure impacts end-joining leading to CSR and chromosomal translocations in human B cells, for which models of CSR are inefficient and not readily available. Using CRISPR/Cas9 to model AID-dependent DSBs in IGH and non-IGH genes, we found that DSBs with 5' and 3' overhangs led to increased processing during end-joining compared to blunt DSBs. We observed that 5' overhangs were removed and 3' overhangs were filled in at recombination junctions, suggesting that different subsets of enzymes are required for repair based on DSB polarity. Surprisingly, while Cas9-mediated switching preferentially utilized NHEJ regardless of DSB structure, A-EJ strongly preferred repairing blunt DSBs leading to translocations in the absence of NHEJ. We found that DSB polarity influenced frequency of Cas9-mediated switching and translocations more than overhang length. Lastly, recombination junctions from staggered DSBs exhibited templated insertions, suggesting iterative resection and filling in during repair. Our results demonstrate that DSB structure biases repair towards NHEJ or A-EJ to complete recombination leading to CSR and translocations, thus helping to elucidate the mechanism of genome rearrangements in human B cells.
Project description:Activation-induced deaminase (AID) triggers antibody class switch recombination (CSR) in B cells by initiating DNA double strand breaks that are repaired by nonhomologous end-joining pathways. A role for AID at the repair step is unclear. We show that specific inactivation of the C-terminal AID domain encoded by exon 5 (E5) allows very efficient deamination of the AID target regions but greatly impacts the efficiency and quality of subsequent DNA repair. Specifically eliminating E5 not only precludes CSR but also, causes an atypical, enzymatic activity-dependent dominant-negative effect on CSR. Moreover, the E5 domain is required for the formation of AID-dependent Igh-cMyc chromosomal translocations. DNA breaks at the Igh switch regions induced by AID lacking E5 display defective end joining, failing to recruit DNA damage response factors and undergoing extensive end resection. These defects lead to nonproductive resolutions, such as rearrangements and homologous recombination that can antagonize CSR. Our results can explain the autosomal dominant inheritance of AID variants with truncated E5 in patients with hyper-IgM syndrome 2 and establish that AID, through the E5 domain, provides a link between DNA damage and repair during CSR.
Project description:Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), which is essential to both class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation of the Ig gene, is expressed in many types of human B cell lymphoma/leukemia. AID is a potent mutator because it is involved in DNA breakage not only of Ig but also of other genes, including proto-oncogenes. Recent studies suggest that AID is required for chromosomal translocation involving cmyc and Ig loci. However, it is unclear whether AID plays other roles in tumorigenesis. We examined the effect of AID deficiency on the generation of surface Ig-positive B cell lymphomas in Emu-cmyc transgenic mice. Almost all lymphomas that developed in AID-deficient transgenic mice were pre-B cell lymphomas, whereas control transgenic mice had predominantly B cell lymphomas, indicating that AID is required for development of B but not pre-B cell lymphomas from cmyc overexpressing tumor progenitors. Thus, AID may play multiple roles in B cell lymphomagenesis.
Project description:Class switch recombination (CSR) allows the humoral immune response to exploit different effector pathways through specific secondary antibody isotypes. However, the molecular mechanisms and factors that control immunoglobulin (Ig) isotype choice for CSR are unclear. We report that deficiency for the Ikaros transcription factor results in increased and ectopic CSR to IgG(2b) and IgG(2a), and reduced CSR to all other isotypes, regardless of stimulation. Ikaros suppresses active chromatin marks, transcription, and activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) accessibility at the gamma2b and gamma2a genes to inhibit class switching to these isotypes. Further, Ikaros directly regulates isotype gene transcription as it directly binds the Igh 3' enhancer and interacts with isotype gene promoters. Finally, Ikaros-mediated repression of gamma2b and gamma2a transcription promotes switching to other isotype genes by allowing them to compete for AID-mediated recombination at the single-cell level. Thus, our results reveal transcriptional competition between constant region genes in individual cells to be a critical and general mechanism for isotype specification during CSR. We show that Ikaros is a master regulator of this competition.
Project description:Chromosomal translocations involving the immunoglobulin switch region are a hallmark feature of B-cell malignancies. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism by which primary B cells acquire or guard against these lesions. Here we find that translocations between c-myc and the IgH locus (Igh) are induced in primary B cells within hours of expression of the catalytically active form of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), an enzyme that deaminates cytosine to produce uracil in DNA. Translocation also requires uracil DNA glycosylase (UNG), which removes uracil from DNA to create abasic sites that are then processed to double-strand breaks. The pathway that mediates aberrant joining of c-myc and Igh differs from intrachromosomal repair during immunoglobulin class switch recombination in that it does not require histone H2AX, p53 binding protein 1 (53BP1) or the non-homologous end-joining protein Ku80. In addition, translocations are inhibited by the tumour suppressors ATM, Nbs1, p19 (Arf) and p53, which is consistent with activation of DNA damage- and oncogenic stress-induced checkpoints during physiological class switching. Finally, we demonstrate that accumulation of AID-dependent, IgH-associated chromosomal lesions is not sufficient to enhance c-myc-Igh translocations. Our findings reveal a pathway for surveillance and protection against AID-dependent DNA damage, leading to chromosomal translocations.
Project description:Chromosomal translocation requires formation of paired double-strand DNA breaks (DSBs) on heterologous chromosomes. One of the most well characterized oncogenic translocations juxtaposes c-myc and the immunoglobulin heavy-chain locus (IgH) and is found in Burkitt's lymphomas in humans and plasmacytomas in mice. DNA breaks in IgH leading to c-myc/IgH translocations are created by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) during antibody class switch recombination or somatic hypermutation. However, the source of DNA breaks at c-myc is not known. Here, we provide evidence for the c-myc promoter region being required in targeting AID-mediated DNA damage to produce DSBs in c-myc that lead to c-myc/IgH translocations in primary B lymphocytes. Thus, in addition to producing somatic mutations and DNA breaks in antibody genes, AID is also responsible for the DNA lesions in oncogenes that are required for their translocation.