Mre11 dimers coordinate DNA end bridging and nuclease processing in double-strand-break repair.
ABSTRACT: 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 multifunctional Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) protein complex recruits ATM/Tel1 checkpoint kinase and CtIP/Ctp1 homologous recombination (HR) repair factor to double-strand breaks (DSBs). HR repair commences with the 5'-to-3' resection of DNA ends, generating 3' single-strand DNA (ssDNA) overhangs that bind Replication Protein A (RPA) complex, followed by Rad51 recombinase. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the Mre11-Rad50-Xrs2 (MRX) complex is critical for DSB resection, although the enigmatic ssDNA endonuclease activity of Mre11 and the DNA-end processing factor Sae2 (CtIP/Ctp1 ortholog) are largely unnecessary unless the resection activities of Exo1 and Sgs1-Dna2 are also eliminated. Mre11 nuclease activity and Ctp1/CtIP are essential for DSB repair in Schizosaccharomyces pombe and mammals. To investigate DNA end resection in Schizo. pombe, we adapted an assay that directly measures ssDNA formation at a defined DSB. We found that Mre11 and Ctp1 are essential for the efficient initiation of resection, consistent with their equally crucial roles in DSB repair. Exo1 is largely responsible for extended resection up to 3.1 kb from a DSB, with an activity dependent on Rqh1 (Sgs1) DNA helicase having a minor role. Despite its critical function in DSB repair, Mre11 nuclease activity is not required for resection in fission yeast. However, Mre11 nuclease and Ctp1 are required to disassociate the MRN complex and the Ku70-Ku80 nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) complex from DSBs, which is required for efficient RPA localization. Eliminating Ku makes Mre11 nuclease activity dispensable for MRN disassociation and RPA localization, while improving repair of a one-ended DSB formed by replication fork collapse. From these data we propose that release of the MRN complex and Ku from DNA ends by Mre11 nuclease activity and Ctp1 is a critical step required to expose ssDNA for RPA localization and ensuing HR repair.
Project description:The Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex is a primary sensor of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Upon recruitment to DSBs, it plays a critical role in catalyzing 5' --> 3' single-strand resection that is required for repair by homologous recombination (HR). Unknown mechanisms repress HR in G1 phase of the cell cycle during which nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) is the favored mode of DSB repair. Here we describe fission yeast Ctp1, so-named because it shares conserved domains with the mammalian tumor suppressor CtIP. Ctp1 is recruited to DSBs where it is essential for repair by HR. Ctp1 is required for efficient formation of RPA-coated single-strand DNA adjacent to DSBs, indicating that it functions with the MRN complex in 5' --> 3' resection. Transcription of ctp1(+) is periodic during the cell cycle, with the onset of its expression coinciding with the start of DNA replication. These data suggest that regulation of Ctp1 underlies cell-cycle control of HR.
Project description:Vertebrate CtIP, and its fission yeast (Ctp1), budding yeast (Sae2) and plant (Com1) orthologs have emerged as key regulatory molecules in cellular responses to DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). By modulating the nucleolytic 5'-3' resection activity of the Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 (MRN) DSB repair processing and signaling complex, CtIP/Ctp1/Sae2/Com1 is integral to the channeling of DNA double strand breaks through DSB repair by homologous recombination (HR). Nearly two decades since its discovery, emerging new data are defining the molecular underpinnings for CtIP DSB repair regulatory activities. CtIP homologs are largely intrinsically unstructured proteins comprised of expanded regions of low complexity sequence, rather than defined folded domains typical of DNA damage metabolizing enzymes and nucleases. A compact structurally conserved N-terminus forms a functionally critical tetrameric helical dimer of dimers (THDD) region that bridges CtIP oligomers, and is flexibly appended to a conserved C-terminal Sae2-homology DNA binding and DSB repair pathway choice regulatory hub which influences nucleolytic activities of the MRN core nuclease complex. The emerging evidence from structural, biophysical, and biological studies converges on CtIP having functional roles in DSB repair that include: 1) dynamic DNA strand coordination through direct DNA binding and DNA bridging activities, 2) MRN nuclease complex cofactor functions that direct MRN endonucleolytic cleavage of protein-blocked DSB ends and 3) acting as a protein binding hub targeted by the cell cycle regulatory apparatus, which influences CtIP expression and activity via layers of post-translational modifications, protein-protein interactions and DNA binding.
Project description:Collapsed replication forks, which are a major source of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), are repaired by sister chromatid recombination (SCR). The Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) protein complex, assisted by CtIP/Sae2/Ctp1, initiates SCR by nucleolytically resecting the single-ended DSB (seDSB) at the collapsed fork. The molecular architecture of the MRN intercomplex, in which zinc hooks at the apices of long Rad50 coiled-coils connect two Mre11<sub>2</sub>-Rad50<sub>2</sub> complexes, suggests that MRN also structurally assists SCR. Here, Rad50 ChIP assays in <i>Schizosaccharomyces pombe</i> show that MRN sequentially localizes with the seDSB and sister chromatid at a collapsed replication fork. Ctp1, which has multivalent DNA-binding and DNA-bridging activities, has the same DNA interaction pattern. Provision of an intrachromosomal repair template alleviates the nonnucleolytic requirement for MRN to repair the broken fork. Mutations of zinc-coordinating cysteines in the Rad50 hook severely impair SCR. These data suggest that the MRN complex facilitates SCR by linking the seDSB and sister chromatid.
Project description:RECQ5 DNA helicase suppresses homologous recombination (HR) possibly through disruption of RAD51 filaments. Here, we show that RECQ5 is constitutively associated with the MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex, a primary sensor of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) that promotes DSB repair and regulates DNA damage signaling via activation of the ATM kinase. Experiments with purified proteins indicated that RECQ5 interacts with the MRN complex through both MRE11 and NBS1. Functional assays revealed that RECQ5 specifically inhibited the 3'-->5' exonuclease activity of MRE11, while MRN had no effect on the helicase activity of RECQ5. At the cellular level, we observed that the MRN complex was required for the recruitment of RECQ5 to sites of DNA damage. Accumulation of RECQ5 at DSBs was neither dependent on MDC1 that mediates binding of MRN to DSB-flanking chromatin nor on CtIP that acts in conjunction with MRN to promote resection of DSBs for repair by HR. Collectively, these data suggest that the MRN complex recruits RECQ5 to sites of DNA damage to regulate DNA repair.
Project description:While the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex has known roles in repair processes like homologous recombination and microhomology-mediated end-joining, its role in nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) is unclear as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and mammals have different requirements for repairing cut DNA ends. Most double-strand breaks (DSBs) require nucleolytic processing prior to DNA ligation. Therefore, we studied repair using the Hermes transposon, whose excision leaves a DSB capped by hairpin ends similar to structures generated by palindromes and trinucleotide repeats. We generated single Hermes insertions using a novel S. pombe transient transfection system, and used Hermes excision to show a requirement for MRN in the NHEJ of nonligatable ends. NHEJ repair was indicated by the >1000-fold decrease in excision in cells lacking Ku or DNA ligase 4. Most repaired excision sites had <5 bp of sequence loss or mutation, characteristic for NHEJ and similar excision events in metazoans, and in contrast to the more extensive loss seen in S. cerevisiaeS. pombe NHEJ was reduced >1000-fold in cells lacking each MRN subunit, and loss of MRN-associated Ctp1 caused a 30-fold reduction. An Mre11 dimer is thought to hold DNA ends together for repair, and Mre11 dimerization domain mutations reduced repair 300-fold. In contrast, a mre11 mutant defective in endonucleolytic activity, the same mutant lacking Ctp1, or the triple mutant also lacking the putative hairpin nuclease Pso2 showed wild-type levels of repair. Thus, MRN may act to recruit the hairpin opening activity that allows subsequent repair.
Project description:The Nijmegen breakage syndrome 1 (Nbs1) subunit of the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex protects genome integrity by coordinating double-strand break (DSB) repair and checkpoint signaling through undefined interactions with ATM, MDC1, and Sae2/Ctp1/CtIP. Here, fission yeast and human Nbs1 structures defined by X-ray crystallography and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) reveal Nbs1 cardinal features: fused, extended, FHA-BRCT(1)-BRCT(2) domains flexibly linked to C-terminal Mre11- and ATM-binding motifs. Genetic, biochemical, and structural analyses of an Nbs1-Ctp1 complex show Nbs1 recruits phosphorylated Ctp1 to DSBs via binding of the Nbs1 FHA domain to a Ctp1 pThr-Asp motif. Nbs1 structures further identify an extensive FHA-BRCT interface, a bipartite MDC1-binding scaffold, an extended conformational switch, and the molecular consequences associated with cancer predisposing Nijmegen breakage syndrome mutations. Tethering of Ctp1 to a flexible Nbs1 arm suggests a mechanism for restricting DNA end processing and homologous recombination activities of Sae2/Ctp1/CtIP to the immediate vicinity of DSBs.
Project description:Double-strand breaks (DSBs) in DNA are lethal unless repaired. Faithful repair requires processing of the DSB ends and interaction with intact homologous DNA, which can produce genetic recombinants. To determine the role of nucleases in DSB end-processing and joint molecule resolution, we studied recombination at the site of a single DSB, generated by induction of the I-SceI endonuclease, during meiosis of fission yeast lacking Rec12 (Spo11 homolog) and, hence, other DSBs. We find that in the presence of the MRN (Rad32-Rad50-Nbs1) complex efficient recombination requires Ctp1, the ortholog of the nuclease Sae2, but not the nuclease activity of MRN. In the absence of MRN, exonuclease 1 (Exo1) becomes the major nuclease required for efficient recombination. Our data indicate that MRN enables access of Ctp1 to the DSB but blocks access of Exo1. In our assay, the Rad16-Swi10 nuclease, required for nucleotide excision-repair, is required for efficient recombination, presumably to remove heterologous DNA at the end of the I-SceI cut site. Another nuclease, the Mus81-Eme1 Holliday junction resolvase, is required to generate crossovers accompanying gene conversion at the I-SceI cut site. Additional, previously published evidence indicates that these 5 nucleases play similar roles in wild-type fission yeast meiotic recombination and in the repair of spontaneous and damage-induced mitotic DSBs. We propose that in wild-type meiosis MRN, in conjunction with Ctp1, removes the covalently attached Rec12 protein from the DNA end, which is then resected by Ctp1 and other activities to produce the single-stranded DNA necessary for further steps of DSB repair.
Project description:DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) pose a serious threat to genomic stability. Paradoxically, hundreds of programed DSBs are generated by SPO11 in meiotic prophase, which are exclusively repaired by homologous recombination (HR) to promote obligate crossover between homologous chromosomes. In somatic cells, MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex-dependent DNA end resection is a prerequisite for HR repair, especially for DSBs that are covalently linked with proteins or chemicals. Interestingly, all meiotic DSBs are linked with SPO11 after being generated. Although MRN complex's function in meiotic DSB repair has been established in lower organisms, the role of MRN complex in mammalian meiotic DSB repair is not clear. Here, we show that MRN complex is essential for repairing meiotic SPO11-linked DSBs in male mice. In male germ cells, conditional inactivation of NBS1, a key component of MRN complex, causes dramatic reduction of DNA end resection and defective HR repair in meiotic prophase. NBS1 loss severely disrupts chromosome synapsis, generates abnormal chromosome structures, and eventually leads to meiotic arrest and male infertility in mice. Unlike in somatic cells, the recruitment of NBS1 to SPO11-linked DSB sites is MDC1-independent but requires other phosphorylated proteins. Collectively, our study not only reveals the significance of MRN complex in repairing meiotic DSBs but also discovers a unique mechanism that recruits MRN complex to SPO11-linked DSB sites.
Project description:DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) represent one of the most serious forms of DNA damage that can occur in the genome. Here, we show that the DSB-induced signaling cascade and homologous recombination (HR)-mediated DSB repair pathway can be genetically separated. We demonstrate that the MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex acts to promote DNA end resection and the generation of single-stranded DNA, which is critically important for HR repair. These functions of the MRN complex can occur independently of the H2AX-mediated DNA damage signaling cascade, which promotes stable accumulation of other signaling and repair proteins such as 53BP1 and BRCA1 to sites of DNA damage. Nevertheless, mild defects in HR repair are observed in H2AX-deficient cells, suggesting that the H2AX-dependent DNA damage-signaling cascade assists DNA repair. We propose that the MRN complex is responsible for the initial recognition of DSBs and works together with both CtIP and the H2AX-dependent DNA damage-signaling cascade to facilitate repair by HR and regulate DNA damage checkpoints.