Human RAD50 deficiency in a Nijmegen breakage syndrome-like disorder.
ABSTRACT: The MRE11/RAD50/NBN (MRN) complex plays a key role in recognizing and signaling DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Hypomorphic mutations in NBN (previously known as NBS1) and MRE11A give rise to the autosomal-recessive diseases Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) and ataxia-telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD), respectively. To date, no disease due to RAD50 deficiency has been described. Here, we report on a patient previously diagnosed as probably having NBS, with microcephaly, mental retardation, 'bird-like' face, and short stature. At variance with this diagnosis, she never had severe infections, had normal immunoglobulin levels, and did not develop lymphoid malignancy up to age 23 years. We found that she is compound heterozygous for mutations in the RAD50 gene that give rise to low levels of unstable RAD50 protein. Cells from the patient were characterized by chromosomal instability; radiosensitivity; failure to form DNA damage-induced MRN foci; and impaired radiation-induced activation of and downstream signaling through the ATM protein, which is defective in the human genetic disorder ataxia-telangiectasia. These cells were also impaired in G1/S cell-cycle-checkpoint activation and displayed radioresistant DNA synthesis and G2-phase accumulation. The defective cellular phenotype was rescued by wild-type RAD50. In conclusion, we have identified and characterized a patient with a RAD50 deficiency that results in a clinical phenotype that can be classified as an NBS-like disorder (NBSLD).
Project description:The MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) protein complex is one of the primary vehicles for repairing DNA double strand breaks and maintaining the genomic stability within the cell. The role of the MRN complex to recognize and process DNA double-strand breaks as well as signal other damage response factors is critical for maintaining proper cellular function. Mutations in any one of the components of the MRN complex that effect function or expression of the repair machinery could be detrimental to the cell and may initiate and/or propagate disease. Here, we discuss, in a structural and biochemical context, mutations in each of the three MRN components that have been associated with diseases such as ataxia telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD), Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS), NBS-like disorder (NBSLD) and certain types of cancers. Overall, deepening our understanding of disease-causing mutations of the MRN complex at the structural and biochemical level is foundational to the future aim of treating diseases associated with these aberrations.
Project description:DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are highly toxic DNA lesions that can lead to chromosomal instability, loss of genes and cancer. The MRE11/RAD50/NBN (MRN) complex is keystone involved in signaling processes inducing the repair of DSB by, for example, in activating pathways leading to homologous recombination repair and nonhomologous end joining. Additionally, the MRN complex also plays an important role in the maintenance of telomeres and can act as a stabilizer at replication forks. Mutations in NBN and MRE11 are associated with Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) and ataxia telangiectasia (AT)-like disorder, respectively. So far, only one single patient with biallelic loss of function variants in RAD50 has been reported presenting with features classified as NBS-like disorder. Here, we report a long-term follow-up of an unrelated patient with facial dysmorphisms, microcephaly, skeletal features, and short stature who is homozygous for a novel variant in RAD50. We could show that this variant, c.2524G?>?A in exon 15 of the RAD50 gene, induces aberrant splicing of RAD50 mRNA mainly leading to premature protein truncation and thereby, most likely, to loss of RAD50 function. Using patient-derived primary fibroblasts, we could show abnormal radioresistant DNA synthesis confirming pathogenicity of the identified variant. Immunoblotting experiments showed strongly reduced protein levels of RAD50 in the patient-derived fibroblasts and provided evidence for a markedly reduced radiation-induced AT-mutated signaling. Comparison with the previously reported case and with patients presenting with NBS confirms that RAD50 mutations lead to a similar, but distinctive phenotype.
Project description:DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) can lead to instability of the genome if not repaired correctly. The MRE11/RAD50/NBS1 (MRN) complex binds DSBs and initiates damage-induced signaling cascades via activation of the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and ataxia-telangiectasia- and rad3-related (ATR) kinases. Mutations throughout MRE11 cause ataxia-telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD) featuring cerebellar degeneration, and cancer-predisposition in certain kindreds. Here, we have examined the impact on DNA damage signaling of several disease-associated MRE11A alleles to gain greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying the diverse disease sequelae of ATLD. To this end, we have designed a system whereby endogenous wild-type Mre11a is conditionally deleted and disease-associated MRE11 mutants are stably expressed at physiologic levels. We find that mutations in the highly conserved N-terminal domain impact ATM signaling by perturbing both MRE11 interaction with NBS1 and MRE11 homodimerization. In contrast, an inherited allele in the MRE11 C-terminus maintains MRN interactions and ATM/ATR kinase activation. These findings reveal that ATLD patients have reduced ATM activation resulting from at least two distinct mechanisms: (i) N-terminal mutations destabilize MRN interactions, and (ii) mutation of the extreme C-terminus maintains interactions but leads to low levels of the complex. The N-terminal mutations were found in ATLD patients with childhood cancer; thus, our studies suggest a clinically relevant dichotomy in MRE11A alleles. More broadly, these studies underscore the importance of understanding specific effects of hypomorphic disease-associated mutations to achieve accurate prognosis and appropriate long-term medical surveillance.
Project description:The MRN (MRE11-RAD50-NBS1) complex is essential for repair of DNA double-strand breaks and stalled replication forks. Mutations of the MRN complex subunit MRE11 cause the hereditary cancer-susceptibility disease ataxia-telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD). Here we show that MRE11 directly interacts with PIH1D1, a subunit of heat-shock protein 90 cochaperone R2TP complex, which is required for the assembly of large protein complexes, such as RNA polymerase II, small nucleolar ribonucleoproteins and mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1. The MRE11-PIH1D1 interaction is dependent on casein kinase 2 (CK2) phosphorylation of two acidic sequences within the MRE11 C terminus containing serines 558/561 and 688/689. Conversely, the PIH1D1 phospho-binding domain PIH-N is required for association with MRE11 phosphorylated by CK2. Consistent with these findings, depletion of PIH1D1 resulted in MRE11 destabilization and affected DNA-damage repair processes dependent on MRE11. Additionally, mutations of serines 688/689, which abolish PIH1D1 binding, also resulted in decreased MRE11 stability. As depletion of R2TP frequently leads to instability of its substrates and as truncation mutation of MRE11 lacking serines 688/689 leads to decreased levels of the MRN complex both in ATLD patients and an ATLD mouse model, our results suggest that the MRN complex is a novel R2TP complex substrate and that their interaction is regulated by CK2 phosphorylation.
Project description:Mre11 forms the core of the multifunctional Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex that detects DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), activates the ATM checkpoint kinase, and initiates homologous recombination (HR) repair of DSBs. To define the roles of Mre11 in both DNA bridging and nucleolytic processing during initiation of DSB repair, we combined small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and crystal structures of Pyrococcus furiosus Mre11 dimers bound to DNA with mutational analyses of fission yeast Mre11. The Mre11 dimer adopts a four-lobed U-shaped structure that is critical for proper MRN complex assembly and for binding and aligning DNA ends. Further, mutations blocking Mre11 endonuclease activity impair cell survival after DSB induction without compromising MRN complex assembly or Mre11-dependant recruitment of Ctp1, an HR factor, to DSBs. These results show how Mre11 dimerization and nuclease activities initiate repair of DSBs and collapsed replication forks, as well as provide a molecular foundation for understanding cancer-causing Mre11 mutations in ataxia telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD).
Project description:The Mre11, Rad50 and Nbs1 proteins make up the conserved multi-functional Mre11 (MRN) complex involved in multiple, critical DNA metabolic processes including double-strand break repair and telomere maintenance. The Mre11 protein is a nuclease with broad substrate recognition, but MRN-dependent processes requiring the nuclease activity are not clearly defined. Here, we report the functional and structural characterization of a nuclease-deficient Mre11 protein termed mre11-3. Importantly, the hmre11-3 protein has wild-type ability to bind DNA, Rad50 and Nbs1; however, nuclease activity was completely abrogated. When expressed in cell lines from patients with ataxia telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD), hmre11-3 restored the formation of ionizing radiation-induced foci. Consistent with the biochemical results, the 2.3 A crystal structure of mre11-3 from Pyrococcus furiosus revealed an active site structure with a wild-type-like metal-binding environment. The structural analysis of the H85L mutation provides a detailed molecular basis for the ability of mre11-3 to bind but not hydrolyze DNA. Together, these results establish that the mre11-3 protein provides an excellent system for dissecting nuclease-dependent and independent functions of the Mre11 complex.
Project description:Mre11, Rad50, and Nbs1 form an evolutionarily conserved protein complex (Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1, MRN) that has been proposed to function as a DNA damage sensor. Hypomorphic mutations in Mre11 and Nbs1 result in the human ataxia-telangiectasia-like disorder and Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS), respectively. In contrast, complete inactivation of Mre11, Rad50, or Nbs1 leads to early embryonic lethality, suggesting that the hypomorphic mutations may fail to reveal some of the essential functions of MRN. Here, we use Cre-loxP-mediated recombination to restrict Nbs1 deletion to B lymphocytes. We find that disruption of Nbs1 results in the accumulation of high levels of spontaneous DNA damage, impaired proliferation, and chromosomal endoreduplication. Moreover, we show that Ig class-switch recombination (CSR) is diminished in Nbs1-deficient B cells. The CSR defect is B cell-intrinsic, independent of switch-region transcription, and a consequence of inefficient recombination at the DNA level. Our findings reveal that Nbs1 is critical for efficient Ig CSR and maintenance of the integrity of chromosomal structure and number.
Project description:The Mre11 complex (Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 or MRN) binds double-strand breaks where it interacts with CtIP/Ctp1/Sae2 and ATM/Tel1 to preserve genome stability through its functions in homology-directed repair, checkpoint signaling and telomere maintenance. Here, we combine biochemical, structural and in vivo functional studies to uncover key properties of Mre11-W243R, a mutation identified in two pediatric cancer patients with enhanced ataxia telangiectasia-like disorder. Purified human Mre11-W243R retains nuclease and DNA binding activities in vitro. X-ray crystallography of Pyrococcus furiosus Mre11 indicates that an analogous mutation leaves the overall Mre11 three-dimensional structure and nuclease sites intact but disorders surface loops expected to regulate DNA and Rad50 interactions. The equivalent W248R allele in fission yeast allows Mre11 to form an MRN complex that efficiently binds double-strand breaks, activates Tel1/ATM and maintains telomeres; yet, it causes hypersensitivity to ionizing radiation and collapsed replication forks, increased Rad52 foci, defective Chk1 signaling and meiotic failure. W248R differs from other ataxia telangiectasia-like disorder analog alleles by the reduced stability of its interaction with Rad50 in cell lysates. Collective results suggest a separation-of-function mutation that disturbs interactions amongst the MRN subunits and Ctp1 required for DNA end processing in vivo but maintains interactions sufficient for Tel1/ATM checkpoint and telomere maintenance functions.
Project description:Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS), a condition similar to Ataxia-Telangiectasia (A-T), is a radiation-hypersensitive genetic disorder showing chromosomal instability, radio-resistant DNA synthesis, immunodeficiency, and predisposition to malignances. The product of the responsible gene, NBS1, forms a complex with MRE11 and RAD50 (MRN complex). The MRN complex is necessary for the DNA damage-induced activation of ATM. However, the regulation of MRN complex formation is still unclear. Here, we investigated the regulatory mechanisms of MRN complex formation. We used an immunoprecipitation assay to determine whether levels of the MRN complex were increased by radiation-induced DNA damage and found that the levels of these proteins and their mRNAs did not increase. ATM-dependent phosphorylation of NBS1 contributed to the DNA damage-induced MRN complex formation. However, pre-treatment of cells with an ATM-specific inhibitor did not affect homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) repair. G0 phase cells, decreasing NBS1 and HR activity but not NHEJ, gained HR-related chromatin association of RAD51 by overexpression of NBS1, suggesting that the amount of NBS1 may be important for repressing accidental activation of HR. These evidences suggest that NBS1 is regulated by two kind of mechanisms: complex formation dependent on ATM, and protein degradation mediated by an unknown MG132-resistant pathway. Such regulation of NBS1 may contribute to cellular responses to double-strand breaks.
Project description:Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS), a rare autosomal recessive condition also known as ataxia telangiectasia (AT) variants V1 and V2, is characterised by microcephaly, typical facies, short stature, immunodeficiency, and chromosomal instability. We report the clinical, immunological, chromosomal, and cell biological findings in 42 patients who are included in the NBS Registry in Nijmegen. The immunological, chromosomal, and cell biological findings resemble those in AT, but the clinical findings are quite different. NBS appears to be a separate entity not allelic with AT.