Aag-initiated base excision repair drives alkylation-induced retinal degeneration in mice.
ABSTRACT: Vision loss affects >3 million Americans and many more people worldwide. Although predisposing genes have been identified their link to known environmental factors is unclear. In wild-type animals DNA alkylating agents induce photoreceptor apoptosis and severe retinal degeneration. Alkylation-induced retinal degeneration is totally suppressed in the absence of the DNA repair protein alkyladenine DNA glycosylase (Aag) in both differentiating and postmitotic retinas. Moreover, transgenic expression of Aag activity restores the alkylation sensitivity of photoreceptors in Aag null animals. Aag heterozygotes display an intermediate level of retinal degeneration, demonstrating haploinsufficiency and underscoring that Aag expression confers a dominant retinal degeneration phenotype.
Project description:Alkylating agents are commonly used to treat cancer. Although base excision repair (BER) is a major pathway for repairing DNA alkylation damage, under certain conditions, the initiation of BER produces toxic repair intermediates that damage healthy tissues. The initiation of BER by the alkyladenine DNA glycosylase (AAG, a.k.a. MPG) can mediate alkylation-induced cytotoxicity in specific cells in the retina and cerebellum of male mice. Cytotoxicity in both wild-type and <i>Aag</i>-transgenic (<i>AagTg</i>) mice is abrogated in the absence of Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP1). Here, we tested whether PARP inhibitors can also prevent alkylation-induced retinal and cerebellar degeneration in male and female WT and <i>AagTg</i> mice. Importantly, we found that WT mice display sex-dependent alkylation-induced retinal damage (but not cerebellar damage), with WT males being more sensitive than females. Accordingly, estradiol treatment protects males against alkylation-induced retinal degeneration. In <i>AagTg</i> male and female mice, the alkylation-induced tissue damage in both the retina and cerebellum is exacerbated and the sex difference in the retina is abolished. PARP inhibitors, much like <i>Parp1</i> gene deletion, protect against alkylation-induced AAG-dependent neuronal degeneration in WT and <i>AagTg</i> mice, regardless of the gender, but their efficacy in preventing alkylation-induced neuronal degeneration depends on PARP inhibitor characteristics and doses. The recent surge in the use of PARP inhibitors in combination with cancer chemotherapeutic alkylating agents might represent a powerful tool for obtaining increased therapeutic efficacy while avoiding the collateral effects of alkylating agents in healthy tissues.
Project description:Alkylating agents comprise a major class of front-line cancer chemotherapeutic compounds, and while these agents effectively kill tumor cells, they also damage healthy tissues. Although base excision repair (BER) is essential in repairing DNA alkylation damage, under certain conditions, initiation of BER can be detrimental. Here we illustrate that the alkyladenine DNA glycosylase (AAG) mediates alkylation-induced tissue damage and whole-animal lethality following exposure to alkylating agents. Aag-dependent tissue damage, as observed in cerebellar granule cells, splenocytes, thymocytes, bone marrow cells, pancreatic β-cells, and retinal photoreceptor cells, was detected in wild-type mice, exacerbated in Aag transgenic mice, and completely suppressed in Aag⁻/⁻ mice. Additional genetic experiments dissected the effects of modulating both BER and Parp1 on alkylation sensitivity in mice and determined that Aag acts upstream of Parp1 in alkylation-induced tissue damage; in fact, cytotoxicity in WT and Aag transgenic mice was abrogated in the absence of Parp1. These results provide in vivo evidence that Aag-initiated BER may play a critical role in determining the side-effects of alkylating agent chemotherapies and that Parp1 plays a crucial role in Aag-mediated tissue damage.
Project description:Nephrotoxicity is a common toxic side-effect of chemotherapeutic alkylating agents. Although the base excision repair (BER) pathway is essential in repairing DNA alkylation damage, under certain conditions the initiation of BER produces toxic repair intermediates that damage healthy tissues. We have shown that the alkyladenine DNA glycosylase, Aag (a.k.a. Mpg), an enzyme that initiates BER, mediates alkylation-induced whole-animal lethality and cytotoxicity in the pancreas, spleen, retina, and cerebellum, but not in the kidney. Cytotoxicity in both wild-type and Aag-transgenic mice (AagTg) was abrogated in the absence of Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (Parp1). Here we report that Parp1-deficient mice expressing increased Aag (AagTg/Parp1-/-) develop sex-dependent kidney failure upon exposure to the alkylating agent, methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), and suffer increased whole-animal lethality compared to AagTg and wild-type mice. Macroscopic, histological, electron microscopic and immunohistochemical analyses revealed morphological kidney damage including dilated tubules, proteinaceous casts, vacuolation, collapse of the glomerular tuft, and deterioration of podocyte structure. Moreover, mice exhibited clinical signs of kidney disease indicating functional damage, including elevated blood nitrogen urea and creatinine, hypoproteinemia and proteinuria. Pharmacological Parp inhibition in AagTg mice also resulted in sensitivity to MMS-induced nephrotoxicity. These findings provide in vivo evidence that Parp1 modulates Aag-dependent MMS-induced nephrotoxicity in a sex-dependent manner and highlight the critical roles that Aag-initiated BER and Parp1 may play in determining the side-effects of chemotherapeutic alkylating agents.
Project description:DNA-alkylating agents are commonly used to kill cancer cells, but the base excision repair (BER) pathway they trigger can also produce toxic intermediates that cause tissue damage, such as retinal degeneration (RD). Apoptosis, a process of programmed cell death, is assumed to be the main mechanism of this alkylation-induced photoreceptor (PR) cell death in RD. Here, we studied the involvement of necroptosis (another programmed cell death process) and inflammation in alkylation-induced RD. Male mice exposed to a methylating agent exhibited a reduced number of PR cell rows, active gliosis, and cytokine induction and macrophage infiltration in the retina. Dying PRs exhibited a necrotic morphology, increased 8-hydroxyguanosine abundance (an oxidative damage marker), and overexpression of the necroptosis-associated genes Rip1 and Rip3 The activity of PARP1, which mediates BER, cell death, and inflammation, was increased in PR cells and associated with the release of proinflammatory chemokine HMGB1 from PR nuclei. Mice lacking the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 exhibited more severe RD, whereas deficiency of RIP3 (also known as RIPK3) conferred partial protection. Female mice were partially protected from alkylation-induced RD, showing reduced necroptosis and inflammation compared to males. PRs in mice lacking the BER-initiating DNA glycosylase AAG did not exhibit alkylation-induced necroptosis or inflammation. Our findings show that AAG-initiated BER at alkylated DNA bases induces sex-dependent RD primarily by triggering necroptosis and activating an inflammatory response that amplifies the original damage and, furthermore, reveal new potential targets to prevent this side effect of chemotherapy.
Project description:The human 3-methyladenine DNA glycosylase [alkyladenine DNA glycosylase (AAG)] catalyzes the first step of base excision repair by cleaving damaged bases from DNA. Unlike other DNA glycosylases that are specific for a particular type of damaged base, AAG excises a chemically diverse selection of substrate bases damaged by alkylation or deamination. The 2.1-A crystal structure of AAG complexed to DNA containing 1,N(6)-ethenoadenine suggests how modified bases can be distinguished from normal DNA bases in the enzyme active site. Mutational analyses of residues contacting the alkylated base in the crystal structures suggest that the shape of the damaged base, its hydrogen-bonding characteristics, and its aromaticity all contribute to the selective recognition of damage by AAG.
Project description:Due to a harsh environment mitochondrial genomes accumulate high levels of DNA damage, in particular oxidation, hydrolytic deamination, and alkylation adducts. While repair of alkylated bases in nuclear DNA has been explored in detail, much less is known about the repair of DNA alkylation damage in mitochondria. Alkyladenine DNA glycosylase (AAG) recognizes and removes numerous alkylated bases, but to date AAG has only been detected in the nucleus, even though mammalian mitochondria are known to repair DNA lesions that are specific substrates of AAG. Here we use immunofluorescence to show that AAG localizes to mitochondria, and we find that native AAG is present in purified human mitochondrial extracts, as well as that exposure to alkylating agent promotes AAG accumulation in the mitochondria. We identify mitochondrial single-stranded binding protein (mtSSB) as a novel interacting partner of AAG; interaction between mtSSB and AAG is direct and increases upon methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) treatment. The consequence of this interaction is specific inhibition of AAG glycosylase activity in the context of a single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), but not a double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) substrate. By inhibiting AAG-initiated processing of damaged bases, mtSSB potentially prevents formation of DNA breaks in ssDNA, ensuring that base removal primarily occurs in dsDNA. In summary, our findings suggest the existence of AAG-initiated BER in mitochondria and further support a role for mtSSB in DNA repair.
Project description:DNA alkylation damage is repaired by base excision repair (BER) initiated by alkyladenine DNA glycosylase (AAG). Despite its role in DNA repair, AAG-initiated BER promotes cytotoxicity in a process dependent on poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1); a NAD<sup>+</sup>-consuming enzyme activated by strand break intermediates of the AAG-initiated repair process. Importantly, PARP-1 activation has been previously linked to impaired glycolysis and mitochondrial dysfunction. However, whether alkylation affects cellular metabolism in the absence of AAG-mediated BER initiation is unclear. To address this question, we temporally profiled repair and metabolism in wild-type and Aag<sup>-/-</sup> cells treated with the alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). We show that, although Aag<sup>-/-</sup> cells display similar levels of alkylation-induced DNA breaks as wild type, PARP-1 activation is undetectable in AAG-deficient cells. Accordingly, Aag<sup>-/-</sup> cells are protected from MMS-induced NAD<sup>+</sup> depletion and glycolysis inhibition. MMS-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, however, is AAG-independent. Furthermore, treatment with FK866, a selective inhibitor of the NAD<sup>+</sup> salvage pathway enzyme nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), synergizes with MMS to induce cytotoxicity and Aag<sup>-/-</sup> cells are resistant to this combination FK866 and MMS treatment. Thus, AAG plays an important role in the metabolic response to alkylation that could be exploited in the treatment of conditions associated with NAD<sup>+</sup> dysregulation.
Project description:Environmental and endogenous genotoxic agents can result in a variety of alkylated and carboxymethylated DNA lesions, including N3-ethylthymidine (N3-EtdT), O(2)-EtdT, and O(4)-EtdT as well as N3-carboxymethylthymidine (N3-CMdT) and O(4)-CMdT. By using nonreplicative double-stranded vectors harboring a site-specifically incorporated DNA lesion, we assessed the potential roles of alkyladenine DNA glycosylase (Aag); alkylation repair protein B homologue 2 (Alkbh2); or Alkbh3 in modulating the effects of N3-EtdT, O(2)-EtdT, O(4)-EtdT, N3-CMdT, or O(4)-CMdT on DNA transcription in mammalian cells. We found that the depletion of Aag did not significantly change the transcriptional inhibitory or mutagenic properties of all five examined lesions, suggesting a negligible role of Aag in the repair of these DNA adducts in mammalian cells. In addition, our results revealed that N3-EtdT, but not other lesions, could be repaired by Alkbh2 and Alkbh3 in mammalian cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated the direct reversal of N3-EtdT by purified human Alkbh2 protein in vitro. These findings provided important new insights into the repair of the carboxymethylated and alkylated thymidine lesions in mammalian cells.
Project description:Human alkyladenine DNA glycosylase (AAG) initiates the base excision repair pathway by excising alkylated and deaminated purine lesions. In vitro biochemical experiments demonstrate that AAG uses facilitated diffusion to efficiently search DNA to find rare sites of damage and suggest that electrostatic interactions are critical to the searching process. However, it remains an open question whether DNA searching limits the rate of DNA repair in vivo. We constructed AAG mutants with altered searching ability and measured their ability to protect yeast from alkylation damage in order to address this question. Each of the conserved arginine and lysine residues that are near the DNA binding interface were mutated, and the functional impacts were evaluated using kinetic and thermodynamic analysis. These mutations do not perturb catalysis of N-glycosidic bond cleavage, but they decrease the ability to capture rare lesion sites. Nonspecific and specific DNA binding properties are closely correlated, suggesting that the electrostatic interactions observed in the specific recognition complex are similarly important for DNA searching complexes. The ability of the mutant proteins to complement repair-deficient yeast cells is positively correlated with the ability of the proteins to search DNA in vitro, suggesting that cellular resistance to DNA alkylation is governed by the ability to find and efficiently capture cytotoxic lesions. It appears that chromosomal access is not restricted and toxic sites of alkylation damage are readily accessible to a searching protein.
Project description:Somatic hypermutation (SHM) and class switch recombination (CSR) of immunoglobulin (Ig) genes require the cytosine deaminase AID, which deaminates cytosine to uracil in Ig gene DNA. Paradoxically, proteins involved normally in error-free base excision repair and mismatch repair, seem to be co-opted to facilitate SHM and CSR, by recruiting error-prone translesion polymerases to DNA sequences containing deoxy-uracils created by AID. Major evidence supports at least one mechanism whereby the uracil glycosylase Ung removes AID-generated uracils creating abasic sites which may be used either as uninformative templates for DNA synthesis, or processed to nicks and gaps that prime error-prone DNA synthesis. We investigated the possibility that deamination at adenines also initiates SHM. Adenosine deamination would generate hypoxanthine (Hx), a substrate for the alkyladenine DNA glycosylase (Aag). Aag would generate abasic sites which then are subject to error-prone repair as above for AID-deaminated cytosine processed by Ung. If the action of an adenosine deaminase followed by Aag were responsible for significant numbers of mutations at A, we would find a preponderance of A:T>G:C transition mutations during SHM in an Aag deleted background. However, this was not observed and we found that the frequencies of SHM and CSR were not significantly altered in Aag-/- mice. Paradoxically, we found that Aag is expressed in B lymphocytes undergoing SHM and CSR and that its activity is upregulated in activated B cells. Moreover, we did find a statistically significant, albeit low increase of T:A>C:G transition mutations in Aag-/- animals, suggesting that Aag may be involved in creating the SHM A>T bias seen in wild type mice.