TIN2 protein dyskeratosis congenita missense mutants are defective in association with telomerase.
ABSTRACT: Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a progressive and heterogeneous congenital disorder that affects multiple systems and is characterized by bone marrow failure and a triad of abnormal skin pigmentation, nail dystrophy, and oral leukoplakia. One common feature for all DC patients is abnormally short telomeres and defects in telomere biology. Most of the known DC mutations have been found to affect core components of the telomerase holoenzyme. Recently, multiple mutations in the gene encoding the telomeric protein TIN2 have been identified in DC patients with intact telomerase genes, but the molecular mechanisms underlying TIN2 mutation-mediated DC remain unknown. Here, we demonstrate that ectopic expression of TIN2 with DC missense mutations in human cells led to accelerated telomere shortening, similar to the telomere phenotypes found in DC patients. However, this telomere shortening was not accompanied by changes in total telomerase activity, localization of TIN2, or telomere end protection status. Interestingly, we found TIN2 to participate in the TPP1-dependent recruitment of telomerase activity. Furthermore, DC mutations in TIN2 led to its decreased ability to associate with TERC and telomerase activity. Taken together, our data suggest that TIN2 mutations in DC may compromise the telomere recruitment of telomerase, leading to telomere shortening and the associated pathogenesis.
Project description:Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a telomere biology disorder characterized by a mucocutaneous triad, aplastic anemia, and predisposition to cancer. Mutations in a narrow segment of TINF2 exon 6 have been recognized to cause often-severe DC that is either sporadic or autosomal dominant. We describe three children with very early presentations of DC, including one with the severe variant known as Revesz syndrome. Although most TINF2 mutations reported to date are missense changes, each of our patients carried a novel heterozygous nonsense or frameshift mutation, revealing a new 5' boundary to the affected gene segment in patients with DC. Examination of patient-derived lymphoblastoid cell lines revealed stable expression of the predicted truncated TIN2 proteins. In co-immunoprecipitation assays, the ability of a truncation mutant to interact with TRF1 was severely impaired, whereas the ability of the most common DC-associated mutant was much less affected. This suggests that the disruption of TIN2-TRF1 interaction may contribute to the severe clinical phenotype observed in the context of the TIN2 truncation mutation, but is unlikely to be the primary cause of telomere shortening associated with the more prevalent TIN2 missense mutations. Telomere flow-fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis of one pedigree showed the dramatic effect a de novo nonsense TINF2 mutation had on telomere length in early development. These cases underscore the severe manifestations of truncating TINF2 mutations.
Project description:Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a genetic disorder of defective tissue maintenance and cancer predisposition caused by short telomeres and impaired stem cell function. Telomerase mutations are thought to precipitate DC by reducing either the catalytic activity or the overall levels of the telomerase complex. However, the underlying genetic mutations and the mechanisms of telomere shortening remain unknown for as many as 50% of DC patients, who lack mutations in genes controlling telomere homeostasis. Here, we show that disruption of telomerase trafficking accounts for unknown cases of DC. We identify DC patients with missense mutations in TCAB1, a telomerase holoenzyme protein that facilitates trafficking of telomerase to Cajal bodies. Compound heterozygous mutations in TCAB1 disrupt telomerase localization to Cajal bodies, resulting in misdirection of telomerase RNA to nucleoli, which prevents telomerase from elongating telomeres. Our findings establish telomerase mislocalization as a novel cause of DC, and suggest that telomerase trafficking defects may contribute more broadly to the pathogenesis of telomere-related disease.
Project description:Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a bone marrow failure syndrome associated with telomere dysfunction. The progression and molecular determinants of hematopoietic failure in DC remain poorly understood. Here, we use the directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cells harboring clinically relevant mutations in telomerase to understand the consequences of DC-associated mutations on the primitive and definitive hematopoietic programs. Interestingly, telomere shortening does not broadly impair hematopoiesis, as primitive hematopoiesis is not impaired in DC cells. In contrast, while phenotypic definitive hemogenic endothelium is specified, the endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition is impaired in cells with shortened telomeres. This failure is caused by DNA damage accrual and is mediated by p53 stabilization. These observations indicate that detrimental effects of telomere shortening in the hematopoietic system are specific to the definitive hematopoietic lineages. This work illustrates how telomere dysfunction impairs hematopoietic development and creates a robust platform for therapeutic discovery for treatment of DC patients.
Project description:Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome characterized clinically by the triad of abnormal nails, reticular skin pigmentation, and oral leukoplakia, and is associated with high risk of developing aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, leukemia, and solid tumors. Patients have very short germline telomeres, and approximately half have mutations in one of six genes encoding proteins that maintain telomere function. Accurate diagnosis of DC is critical to ensure proper clinical management, because patients who have DC and bone marrow failure do not respond to immunosuppressive therapy and may have increased morbidity and mortality associated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Project description:Dyskeratosis Congenita (DC) is a heritable multi-system disorder caused by abnormally short telomeres. Clinically diagnosed by the mucocutaneous symptoms, DC patients are at high risk for bone marrow failure, pulmonary fibrosis, and multiple types of cancers. We have recapitulated the most common DC-causing mutation in the shelterin component TIN2 by introducing a TIN2-R282H mutation into cultured telomerase-positive human cells via a knock-in approach. The resulting heterozygous TIN2-R282H mutation does not perturb occupancy of other shelterin components on telomeres, result in activation of telomeric DNA damage signaling or exhibit other characteristics indicative of a telomere deprotection defect. Using a novel assay that monitors the frequency and extension rate of telomerase activity at individual telomeres, we show instead that telomerase elongates telomeres at a reduced frequency in TIN2-R282H heterozygous cells; this recruitment defect is further corroborated by examining the effect of this mutation on telomerase-telomere co-localization. These observations suggest a direct role for TIN2 in mediating telomere length through telomerase, separable from its role in telomere protection.
Project description:TIN2 is central to the shelterin complex, linking the telomeric proteins TRF1 and TRF2 with TPP1/POT1. Mutations in TINF2, which encodes TIN2, that are found in dyskeratosis congenita (DC) result in very short telomeres and cluster in a region shared by the two TIN2 isoforms, TIN2S (short) and TIN2L (long). Here we show that TIN2L, but not TIN2S, is phosphorylated. TRF2 interacts more with TIN2L than TIN2S, and both the DC cluster and phosphorylation promote this enhanced interaction. The binding of TIN2L, but not TIN2S, is affected by TRF2-F120, which is also required for TRF2's interaction with end processing factors such as Apollo. Conversely, TRF1 interacts more with TIN2S than with TIN2L. A DC-associated mutation further reduces TIN2L-TRF1, but not TIN2S-TRF1, interaction. Cells overexpressing TIN2L or phosphomimetic TIN2L are permissive to telomere elongation, whereas cells overexpressing TIN2S or phosphodead TIN2L are not. Telomere lengths are unchanged in cell lines in which TIN2L expression has been eliminated by clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/Cas9-mediated mutation. These results indicate that TIN2 isoforms are biochemically and functionally distinguishable and that shelterin composition could be fundamentally altered in patients with TINF2 mutations.
Project description:TIN2 is an important regulator of telomere length, and mutations in TINF2, the gene encoding TIN2, cause short-telomere syndromes. While the genetics underscore the importance of TIN2, the mechanism through which TIN2 regulates telomere length remains unclear. Here, we tested the effects of human TIN2 on telomerase activity. We identified a new isoform in human cells, TIN2M, that is expressed at levels similar to those of previously studied TIN2 isoforms. All three TIN2 isoforms localized to and maintained telomere integrity in vivo, and localization was not disrupted by telomere syndrome mutations. Using direct telomerase activity assays, we discovered that TIN2 stimulated telomerase processivity in vitro All of the TIN2 isoforms stimulated telomerase to similar extents. Mutations in the TPP1 TEL patch abrogated this stimulation, suggesting that TIN2 functions with TPP1/POT1 to stimulate telomerase processivity. We conclude from our data and previously published work that TIN2/TPP1/POT1 is a functional shelterin subcomplex.
Project description:TRF1 is part of the shelterin complex, which binds telomeres and it is essential for their protection. Ablation of TRF1 induces sister telomere fusions and aberrant numbers of telomeric signals associated with telomere fragility. Dyskeratosis congenita is characterized by a mucocutaneous triad, bone marrow failure (BMF), and presence of short telomeres because of mutations in telomerase. A subset of patients, however, show mutations in the shelterin component TIN2, a TRF1-interacting protein, presenting a more severe phenotype and presence of very short telomeres despite normal telomerase activity. Allelic variations in TRF1 have been found associated with BMF. To address a possible role for TRF1 dysfunction in BMF, here we generated a mouse model with conditional TRF1 deletion in the hematopoietic system. Chronic TRF1 deletion results in increased DNA damage and cellular senescence, but not increased apoptosis, in BM progenitor cells, leading to severe aplasia. Importantly, increased compensatory proliferation of BM stem cells is associated with rapid telomere shortening and further increase in senescent cells in vivo, providing a mechanism for the very short telomeres of human patients with mutations in the shelterin TIN2. Together, these results represent proof of principle that mutations in TRF1 lead to the main clinical features of BMF.
Project description:Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a multi system bone marrow failure syndrome characterized by muco-cutaneous abnormalities and an increased predisposition to malignancy. It exhibits considerable clinical and genetic heterogeneity. X-linked recessive, autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive forms of the disease are recognized. The X-linked recessive form is due to mutations in dyskerin, which is a component of both small nucleolar ribonuclear protein particles and the telomerase complex. Autosomal dominant DC is due to mutations in the RNA component of telomerase, TERC. As dyskerin and TERC are both components of the telomerase complex and all patients with DC have short telomeres it appears that the principal pathology in DC relates to telomerase dysfunction. The gene or genes involved in the recessive form of DC remain elusive, though genes whose products are required for telomere maintenance remain strong candidates. The study of DC has highlighted the critical role of telomerase and the consequences, including premature aging and malignancy, of its dysfunction.
Project description:Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a multisystem bone marrow failure syndrome characterized by a triad of mucocutaneous abnormalities and a predisposition to cancer. The genetic basis of DC remains unknown in more than 60% of patients. Mutations have been identified in components of the telomerase complex (dyskerin, TERC, TERT, NOP10, and NHP2), and recently in one component of the shelterin complex TIN2 (gene TINF2). To establish the role of TINF2 mutations, we screened DNA from 175 uncharacterised patients with DC as well as 244 patients with other bone marrow failure disorders. Heterozygous coding mutations were found in 33 of 175 previously uncharacterized DC index patients and 3 of 244 other patients. A total of 21 of the mutations affected amino acid 282, changing arginine to histidine (n = 14) or cysteine (n = 7). A total of 32 of 33 patients with DC with TINF2 mutations have severe disease, with most developing aplastic anaemia by the age of 10 years. Telomere lengths in patients with TINF2 mutations were the shortest compared with other DC subtypes, but TERC levels were normal. In this large series, TINF2 mutations account for approximately 11% of all DC, but they do not play a significant role in patients with related disorders. This study emphasises the role of defective telomere maintenance on human disease.