Nbs1 flexibly tethers Ctp1 and Mre11-Rad50 to coordinate DNA double-strand break processing and repair.
ABSTRACT: 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:The Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 protein complex plays central enzymatic and signaling roles in the DNA-damage response. Nuclease (Mre11) and scaffolding (Rad50) components of MRN have been extensively characterized, but the molecular basis of Nbs1 function has remained elusive. Here, we present a 2.3A crystal structure of the N-terminal region of fission yeast Nbs1, revealing an unusual but conserved architecture in which the FHA- and BRCT-repeat domains structurally coalesce. We demonstrate that diphosphorylated pSer-Asp-pThr-Asp motifs, recently identified as multicopy docking sites within Mdc1, are evolutionarily conserved Nbs1 binding targets. Furthermore, we show that similar phosphomotifs within Ctp1, the fission yeast ortholog of human CtIP, promote interactions with the Nbs1 FHA domain that are necessary for Ctp1-dependent resistance to DNA damage. Finally, we establish that human Nbs1 interactions with Mdc1 occur through both its FHA- and BRCT-repeat domains, suggesting how their structural and functional interdependence underpins Nbs1 adaptor functions in the DNA-damage response.
Project description:The MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex accumulates at sites of DNA double-strand breaks in large chromatin domains flanking the lesion site. The mechanism of MRN accumulation involves direct binding of the Nijmegen breakage syndrome 1 (NBS1) subunit to phosphorylated mediator of the DNA damage checkpoint 1 (MDC1), a large nuclear adaptor protein that interacts directly with phosphorylated H2AX. NBS1 contains an FHA domain and two BRCT domains at its amino terminus. Here, we show that both of these domains participate in the interaction with phosphorylated MDC1. Point mutations in key amino acid residues of either the FHA or the BRCT domains compromise the interaction with MDC1 and lead to defects in MRN accumulation at sites of DNA damage. Surprisingly, only mutation in the FHA domain, but not in the BRCT domains, yields a G2/M checkpoint defect, indicating that MDC1-dependent chromatin accumulation of the MRN complex at sites of DNA breaks is not required for G2/M checkpoint activation.
Project description:The Nijmegen breakage syndrome protein Nbs1 is a component of the MRN (Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1) complex, central to the DNA damage response. While Nbs1 is generally believed to encompass a forkhead-associated domain linked to a breast cancer C-terminal (BRCT) domain, to date there is no experimental information on its three-dimensional structure. Through nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) three-dimensional structure determination, we demonstrate that there is a second BRCT domain (BRCT2) in Nbs1. The domain has the characteristic BRCT topology, but with a long insertion shown to be flexible by NMR relaxation measurements. In the absence of sequence similarity to other proteins, a search for structural analogs of BRCT2 returned the second BRCT domain of the tandem BRCT repeats of cell cycle checkpoint proteins MDC1 (mediator of DNA damage checkpoint protein 1) and BRCA1 (breast cancer protein 1), suggesting that like MDC1 and BRCA1, Nbs1 also possesses tandem BRCT domains with phosphoprotein binding ability. Structure-based single point mutations in human Nbs1 were evaluated in vivo and revealed that BRCT2 is essential for an MDC1-dependent relocalization of Nbs1 to DNA damage sites, most likely through a direct interaction of Nbs1 tandem BRCT domains with phosphorylated MDC1.
Project description:The Schizosaccharomyces pombe nip1(+)/ctp1(+) gene was previously identified as an slr (synthetically lethal with rad2) mutant. Epistasis analysis indicated that Nip1/Ctp1 functions in Rhp51-dependent recombinational repair, together with the Rad32 (spMre11)-Rad50-Nbs1 complex, which plays important roles in the early steps of DNA double-strand break repair. Nip1/Ctp1 was phosphorylated in asynchronous, exponentially growing cells and further phosphorylated in response to bleomycin treatment. Overproduction of Nip1/Ctp1 suppressed the DNA repair defect of an nbs1-s10 mutant, which carries a mutation in the FHA phosphopeptide-binding domain of Nbs1, but not of an nbs1 null mutant. Meiotic DNA double-strand breaks accumulated in the nip1/ctp1 mutant. The DNA repair phenotypes and epistasis relationships of nip1/ctp1 are very similar to those of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae sae2/com1 mutant, suggesting that Nip1/Ctp1 is a functional homologue of Sae2/Com1, although the sequence similarity between the proteins is limited to the C-terminal region containing the RHR motif. We found that the RxxL and CxxC motifs are conserved in Schizosaccharomyces species and in vertebrate CtIP, originally identified as a cofactor of the transcriptional corepressor CtBP. However, these two motifs are not found in other fungi, including Saccharomyces and Aspergillus species. We propose that Nip1/Ctp1 is a functional counterpart of Sae2/Com1 and CtIP.
Project description:CtIP plays an important role in homologous recombination (HR)-mediated DNA double-stranded break (DSB) repair and interacts with Nbs1 and BRCA1, which are linked to Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) and familial breast cancer, respectively. We identified new CDK phosphorylation sites on CtIP and found that phosphorylation of these newly identified CDK sites induces association of CtIP with the N-terminus FHA and BRCT domains of Nbs1. We further showed that these CDK-dependent phosphorylation events are a prerequisite for ATM to phosphorylate CtIP upon DNA damage, which is important for end resection to activate HR by promoting recruitment of BLM and Exo1 to DSBs. Most notably, this CDK-dependent CtIP and Nbs1 interaction facilitates ATM to phosphorylate CtIP in a substrate-specific manner. These studies reveal one important mechanism to regulate cell-cycle-dependent activation of HR upon DNA damage by coupling CDK- and ATM-mediated phosphorylation of CtIP through modulating the interaction of CtIP with Nbs1, which significantly helps to understand how DSB repair is regulated in mammalian cells to maintain genome stability.
Project description:Ctp1 (also known as CtIP or Sae2) collaborates with Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 to initiate repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), but its functions remain enigmatic. We report that tetrameric Schizosaccharomyces pombe Ctp1 contains multivalent DNA-binding and DNA-bridging activities. Through structural and biophysical analyses of the Ctp1 tetramer, we define the salient features of Ctp1 architecture: an N-terminal interlocking tetrameric helical dimer-of-dimers (THDD) domain and a central intrinsically disordered region (IDR) linked to C-terminal 'RHR' DNA-interaction motifs. The THDD, IDR and RHR are required for Ctp1 DNA-bridging activity in vitro, and both the THDD and RHR are required for efficient DSB repair in S. pombe. Our results establish non-nucleolytic roles of Ctp1 in binding and coordination of DSB-repair intermediates and suggest that ablation of human CtIP DNA binding by truncating mutations underlie the CtIP-linked Seckel and Jawad syndromes.
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:DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) trigger accumulation of the MRE11-RAD50-Nijmegen breakage syndrome 1 (NBS1 [MRN]) complex, whose retention on the DSB-flanking chromatin facilitates survival. Chromatin retention of MRN requires the MDC1 adaptor protein, but the mechanism behind the MRN-MDC1 interaction is unknown. We show that the NBS1 subunit of MRN interacts with the MDC1 N terminus enriched in Ser-Asp-Thr (SDT) repeats. This interaction was constitutive and mediated by binding between the phosphorylated SDT repeats of MDC1 and the phosphate-binding forkhead-associated domain of NBS1. Phosphorylation of the SDT repeats by casein kinase 2 (CK2) was sufficient to trigger MDC1-NBS1 interaction in vitro, and MDC1 associated with CK2 activity in cells. Inhibition of CK2 reduced SDT phosphorylation in vivo, and disruption of the SDT-associated phosphoacceptor sites prevented the retention of NBS1 at DSBs. Together, these data suggest that phosphorylation of the SDT repeats in the MDC1 N terminus functions to recruit NBS1 and, thereby, increases the local concentration of MRN at the sites of chromosomal breakage.
Project description:Mammalian cells respond to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by recruiting DNA repair and cell-cycle checkpoint proteins to such sites. Central to these DNA damage response (DDR) events is the DNA damage mediator protein MDC1. MDC1 interacts with several DDR proteins, including the MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex. Here, we show that MDC1 is phosphorylated on a cluster of conserved repeat motifs by casein kinase 2 (CK2). Moreover, we establish that this phosphorylation of MDC1 promotes direct, phosphorylation-dependent interactions with NBS1 in a manner that requires the closely apposed FHA and twin BRCT domains in the amino terminus of NBS1. Finally, we show that these CK2-targeted motifs in MDC1 are required to mediate NBS1 association with chromatin-flanking sites of unrepaired DSBs. These findings provide a molecular explanation for the MDC1-MRN interaction and yield insights into how MDC1 coordinates the focal assembly and activation of several DDR factors in response to DNA damage.
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.