Alternative end-joining catalyzes robust IgH locus deletions and translocations in the combined absence of ligase 4 and Ku70.
ABSTRACT: Class switch recombination (CSR) in B lymphocytes is initiated by introduction of multiple DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) into switch (S) regions that flank immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) constant region exons. CSR is completed by joining a DSB in the donor S mu to a DSB in a downstream acceptor S region (e.g., S gamma1) by end-joining. In normal cells, many CSR junctions are mediated by classical nonhomologous end-joining (C-NHEJ), which employs the Ku70/80 complex for DSB recognition and XRCC4/DNA ligase 4 for ligation. Alternative end-joining (A-EJ) mediates CSR, at reduced levels, in the absence of C-NHEJ, even in combined absence of Ku70 and ligase 4, demonstrating an A-EJ pathway totally distinct from C-NHEJ. Multiple DSBs are introduced into S mu during CSR, with some being rejoined or joined to each other to generate internal switch deletions (ISDs). In addition, S-region DSBs can be joined to other chromosomes to generate translocations, the level of which is increased by absence of a single C-NHEJ component (e.g., XRCC4). We asked whether ISD and S-region translocations occur in the complete absence of C-NHEJ (e.g., in Ku70/ligase 4 double-deficient B cells). We found, unexpectedly, that B-cell activation for CSR generates substantial ISD in both S mu and S gamma1 and that ISD in both is greatly increased by the absence of C-NHEJ. IgH chromosomal translocations to the c-myc oncogene also are augmented in the combined absence of Ku70 and ligase 4. We discuss the implications of these findings for A-EJ in normal and abnormal DSB repair.
Project description:Classical nonhomologous DNA end-joining (C-NHEJ), which is a major DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathway in mammalian cells, plays a dominant role in joining DSBs during Ig heavy chain (IgH) class switch recombination (CSR) in activated B lymphocytes. However, in B cells deficient for one or more requisite C-NHEJ factors, such as DNA ligase 4 (Lig4) or XRCC4, end-joining during CSR occurs by a distinct alternative end-joining (A-EJ) pathway. A-EJ also has been implicated in joining DSBs found in oncogenic chromosomal translocations. DNA ligase 3 (Lig3) and its cofactor XRCC1 are widely considered to be requisite A-EJ factors, based on biochemical studies or extrachromosomal substrate end-joining studies. However, potential roles for these factors in A-EJ of endogenous chromosomal DSBs have not been tested. Here, we report that Xrcc1 inactivation via conditional gene-targeted deletion in WT or XRCC4-deficient primary B cells does not have an impact on either CSR or IgH/c-myc translocations in activated B lymphocytes. Indeed, homozygous deletion of Xrcc1 does not impair A-EJ of I-SceI-induced DSBs in XRCC4-deficient pro-B-cell lines. Correspondingly, substantial depletion of Lig3 in Lig4-deficient primary B cells or B-cell lines does not impair A-EJ of CSR-mediated DSBs or formation of IgH/c-myc translocations. Our findings firmly demonstrate that XRCC1 is not a requisite factor for A-EJ of chromosomal DSBs and raise the possibility that DNA ligase 1 (Lig1) may contribute more to A-EJ than previously considered.
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:Antibody class-switch DNA recombination (CSR) is initiated by AID-introduced DSBs in the switch (S) regions targeted for recombination, as effected by Ku70/Ku86-mediated NHEJ. Ku-deficient B cells, however, undergo (reduced) CSR through an alternative(A)-NHEJ pathway, which introduces microhomologies in S-S junctions. As microhomology-mediated end-joining requires annealing of single-strand DNA ends, we addressed the contribution of single-strand annealing factors HR Rad52 and translesion DNA polymerase ? to CSR. Compared with their Rad52+/+ counterparts, which display normal CSR, Rad52-/- B cells show increased CSR, fewer intra-S? region recombinations, no/minimal microhomologies in S-S junctions, decreased c-Myc/IgH translocations and increased Ku70/Ku86 recruitment to S-region DSB ends. Rad52 competes with Ku70/Ku86 for binding to S-region DSB ends. It also facilitates a Ku-independent DSB repair, which favours intra-S region recombination and mediates, particularly in Ku absence, inter-S-S recombination, as emphasized by the significantly greater CSR reduction in Rad52-/- versus Rad52+/+ B cells on Ku86 knockdown.
Project description:Hypomorphic mutations in the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) DNA repair protein DNA ligase IV (LIG4) lead to immunodeficiency with varying severity. In this study, using a murine knock-in model, we investigated the mechanisms underlying abnormalities in class switch recombination (CSR) associated with the human homozygous Lig4 R278H mutation. Previously, we found that despite the near absence of Lig4 end-ligation activity and severely reduced mature B cell numbers, Lig4(R278H/R278H) (Lig4(R/R)) mice exhibit only a partial CSR block, producing near normal IgG1 and IgE but substantially reduced IgG3, IgG2b, and IgA serum levels. In this study, to address the cause of these abnormalities, we assayed CSR in Lig4(R/R) B cells generated via preassembled IgH and IgK V region exons (HL). This revealed that Lig4(R278H) protein levels while intact exhibited a higher turnover rate during activation of switching to IgG3 and IgG2b, as well as delays in CSR kinetics associated with defective proliferation during activation of switching to IgG1 and IgE. Activated Lig4(R/R)HL B cells consistently accumulated high frequencies of activation-induced cytidine deaminase-dependent IgH locus chromosomal breaks and translocations and were more prone to apoptosis, effects that appeared to be p53-independent, as p53 deficiency did not markedly influence these events. Importantly, NHEJ instead of alternative end-joining (A-EJ) was revealed as the predominant mechanism catalyzing robust CSR. Defective CSR was linked to failed NHEJ and residual A-EJ access to unrepaired double-strand breaks. These data firmly demonstrate that Lig4(R278H) activity renders NHEJ to be more error-prone, and they predict increased error-prone NHEJ activity and A-EJ suppression as the cause of the defective B lymphopoiesis in Lig4 patients.
Project description:IgH class switch recombination (CSR) in B lymphocytes switches IgH constant regions to change antibody functions. CSR is initiated by DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) within a donor IgH switch (S) region and a downstream acceptor S region. CSR is completed by fusing donor and acceptor S region DSB ends by classical non-homologous end-joining (C-NHEJ) and, in its absence, by alternative end-joining (A-EJ) that is more biased to use longer junctional micro-homologies (MHs). Deficiency for DSB response (DSBR) factors, including ATM and 53BP1, variably impair CSR end-joining, with 53BP1 deficiency having the greatest impact. However, studies of potential impact of DSBR factor deficiencies on MH-mediated CSR end-joining have been technically limited. We now use a robust DSB joining assay to elucidate impacts of deficiencies for DSBR factors on CSR and chromosomal translocation junctions in primary mouse B cells and CH12F3 B lymphoma cells. Compared to wild-type, CSR and c-Myc to S region translocation junctions in the absence of 53BP1, and to a lesser extent other DSBR factors, have increased MH-utilization; indeed, 53BP1-deficient MH-profiles resemble those associated with C-NHEJ deficiency. Yet, translocation junctions between c-Myc DSB and general DSBs genome-wide are not MH-biased in ATM-deficient versus wild-type CH12F3 cells and less biased in 53BP1- and C-NHEJ-deficient cells than CSR junctions or c-Myc to S region translocation junctions. We discuss potential roles of DSBR factors in suppressing increased MH-mediated DSB end-joining and features of S regions that may render their DSBs prone to MH-biased end-joining in the absence of DSBR factors. Overall design: We performed HTGTS with different B cells and CH12F3 cells genotypes which utilizes AID-initiated 5'Smu DSBs as bait to study their junction features to other AID-initiated S region breaks. We also examine junction features of Cas9-induced c-myc locus DSB translocations to general genome-wide DSBs and S region DSBs.
Project description:In eukaryotes, DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), one of the most harmful types of DNA damage, are repaired by homologous repair (HR) and nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ). Surprisingly, in cells deficient for core classic NHEJ factors such as DNA ligase IV (Lig4), substantial end-joining activities have been observed in various situations, suggesting the existence of alternative end-joining (A-EJ) activities. Several putative A-EJ factors have been proposed, although results are mostly controversial. By using a clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system, we generated mouse CH12F3 cell lines in which, in addition to Lig4, either Lig1 or nuclear Lig3, representing the cells containing a single DNA ligase (Lig3 or Lig1, respectively) in their nucleus, was completely ablated. Surprisingly, we found that both Lig1- and Lig3-containing complexes could efficiently catalyze A-EJ for class switching recombination (CSR) in the IgH locus and chromosomal deletions between DSBs generated by CRISPR/Cas9 in cis-chromosomes. However, only deletion of nuclear Lig3, but not Lig1, could significantly reduce the interchromosomal translocations in Lig4(-/-) cells, suggesting the unique role of Lig3 in catalyzing chromosome translocation. Additional sequence analysis of chromosome translocation junction microhomology revealed the specificity of different ligase-containing complexes. The data suggested the existence of multiple DNA ligase-containing complexes in A-EJ.
Project description:The repair of toxic double-strand breaks (DSB) is critical for the maintenance of genome integrity. The major mechanisms that cope with DSB are: homologous recombination (HR) and classical or alternative nonhomologous end joining (C-NHEJ versus A-EJ). Because these pathways compete for the repair of DSB, the choice of the appropriate repair pathway is pivotal. Among the mechanisms that influence this choice, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) end resection plays a critical role by driving cells to HR, while accurate C-NHEJ is suppressed. Furthermore, end resection promotes error-prone A-EJ. Increasing evidence define Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 3 (PARP3, also known as ARTD3) as an important player in cellular response to DSB. In this work, we reveal a specific feature of PARP3 that together with Ku80 limits DNA end resection and thereby helps in making the choice between HR and NHEJ pathways. PARP3 interacts with and PARylates Ku70/Ku80. The depletion of PARP3 impairs the recruitment of YFP-Ku80 to laser-induced DNA damage sites and induces an imbalance between BRCA1 and 53BP1. Both events result in compromised accurate C-NHEJ and a concomitant increase in DNA end resection. Nevertheless, HR is significantly reduced upon PARP3 silencing while the enhanced end resection causes mutagenic deletions during A-EJ. As a result, the absence of PARP3 confers hypersensitivity to anti-tumoral drugs generating DSB.
Project description:In the absence of core nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) factors, Ab gene class-switch recombination (CSR) uses an alternative end-joining (A-EJ) pathway to recombine switch (S) region DNA breaks. Previous reports showing decreased S-junction microhomologies in MSH2-deficient mice and an exonuclease 1 (EXO1) role in yeast microhomology-mediated end joining suggest that mismatch repair (MMR) proteins might influence A-EJ-mediated CSR. We have directly investigated whether MMR proteins collectively or differentially influence the A-EJ mechanism of CSR by analyzing CSR in mice deficient in both XRCC4 and individual MMR proteins. We find CSR is reduced and that Igh locus chromosome breaks are reduced in the MMR/XRCC4 double-deficient B cells compared with B cells deficient in XRCC4 alone, suggesting MMR proteins function upstream of double-strand break formation to influence CSR efficiency in these cells. Our results show that MLH1, EXO1, and MSH2 are all important for efficient A-EJ-mediated CSR, and we propose that MMR proteins convert DNA nicks and point mutations into dsDNA breaks for both C-NHEJ and A-EJ pathways of CSR. We also find Mlh1-XRCC4(-) B cells have an increased frequency of direct S junctions, suggesting that MLH1 proteins may have additional functions that influence A-EJ-mediated CSR.
Project description:Bridging broken DNA ends via nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) contributes to the evolution and stability of eukaryote genomes. Although some bacteria possess a simplified NHEJ mechanism, the human commensal Escherichia coli is thought to rely exclusively on homology-directed mechanisms to repair DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). We show here that laboratory and pathogenic E. coli strains possess a distinct end-joining activity that repairs DSBs and generates genome rearrangements. This mechanism, named alternative end-joining (A-EJ), does not rely on the key NHEJ proteins Ku and Ligase-D which are absent in E. coli. Differently from classical NHEJ, A-EJ is characterized by extensive end-resection largely due to RecBCD, by overwhelming usage of microhomology and extremely rare DNA synthesis. We also show that A-EJ is dependent on the essential Ligase-A and independent on Ligase-B. Importantly, mutagenic repair requires a functional Ligase-A. Although generally mutagenic, accurate A-EJ also occurs and is frequent in some pathogenic bacteria. Furthermore, we show the acquisition of an antibiotic-resistance gene via A-EJ, refuting the notion that bacteria gain exogenous sequences only by recombination-dependent mechanisms. This finding demonstrates that E. coli can integrate unrelated, nonhomologous exogenous sequences by end-joining and it provides an alternative strategy for horizontal gene transfer in the bacterial genome. Thus, A-EJ contributes to bacterial genome evolution and adaptation to environmental challenges. Interestingly, the key features of A-EJ also appear in A-NHEJ, an alternative end-joining mechanism implicated in chromosomal translocations associated with human malignancies, and we propose that this mutagenic repair might have originated in bacteria.
Project description:Ig heavy chain (IgH) class switch recombination (CSR) in B lymphocytes switches IgH constant regions to change antibody functions. CSR is initiated by DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) within a donor IgH switch (S) region and a downstream acceptor S region. CSR is completed by fusing donor and acceptor S region DSB ends by classical nonhomologous end-joining (C-NHEJ) and, in its absence, by alternative end-joining that is more biased to use longer junctional microhomologies (MHs). Deficiency for DSB response (DSBR) factors, including ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) and 53BP1, variably impair CSR end-joining, with 53BP1 deficiency having the greatest impact. However, studies of potential impact of DSBR factor deficiencies on MH-mediated CSR end-joining have been technically limited. We now use a robust DSB joining assay to elucidate impacts of deficiencies for DSBR factors on CSR and chromosomal translocation junctions in primary mouse B cells and CH12F3 B-lymphoma cells. Compared with wild-type, CSR and c-myc to S region translocation junctions in the absence of 53BP1, and, to a lesser extent, other DSBR factors, have increased MH utilization; indeed, 53BP1-deficient MH profiles resemble those associated with C-NHEJ deficiency. However, translocation junctions between c-myc DSB and general DSBs genome-wide are not MH-biased in ATM-deficient versus wild-type CH12F3 cells and are less biased in 53BP1- and C-NHEJ-deficient cells than CSR junctions or c-myc to S region translocation junctions. We discuss potential roles of DSBR factors in suppressing increased MH-mediated DSB end-joining and features of S regions that may render their DSBs prone to MH-biased end-joining in the absence of DSBR factors.