Irreparable complex DNA double-strand breaks induce chromosome breakage in organotypic three-dimensional human lung epithelial cell culture.
ABSTRACT: DNA damage and consequent mutations initiate the multistep carcinogenic process. Differentiated cells have a reduced capacity to repair DNA lesions, but the biological impact of unrepaired DNA lesions in differentiated lung epithelial cells is unclear. Here, we used a novel organotypic human lung three-dimensional (3D) model to investigate the biological significance of unrepaired DNA lesions in differentiated lung epithelial cells. We showed, consistent with existing notions that the kinetics of loss of simple double-strand breaks (DSBs) were significantly reduced in organotypic 3D culture compared to kinetics of repair in two-dimensional (2D) culture. Strikingly, we found that, unlike simple DSBs, a majority of complex DNA lesions were irreparable in organotypic 3D culture. Levels of expression of multiple DNA damage repair pathway genes were significantly reduced in the organotypic 3D culture compared with those in 2D culture providing molecular evidence for the defective DNA damage repair in organotypic culture. Further, when differentiated cells with unrepaired DNA lesions re-entered the cell cycle, they manifested a spectrum of gross-chromosomal aberrations in mitosis. Our data suggest that downregulation of multiple DNA repair pathway genes in differentiated cells renders them vulnerable to DSBs, promoting genome instability that may lead to carcinogenesis.
Project description:The DNA damage response (DDR) arrests cell cycle progression until DNA lesions, like DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), are repaired. The presence of DSBs in cells is usually detected by indirect techniques that rely on the accumulation of proteins at DSBs, as part of the DDR. Such detection may be biased, as some factors and their modifications may not reflect physical DNA damage. The dependency on DDR markers of DSB detection tools has left questions unanswered. In particular, it is known that senescent cells display persistent DDR foci, that we and others have proposed to be persistent DSBs, resistant to endogenous DNA repair activities. Others have proposed that these peculiar DDR foci might not be sites of damaged DNA per se but instead stable chromatin modifications, termed DNA-SCARS. Here, we developed a method, named 'DNA damage in situ ligation followed by proximity ligation assay' (DI-PLA) for the detection and imaging of DSBs in cells. DI-PLA is based on the capture of free DNA ends in fixed cells in situ, by ligation to biotinylated double-stranded DNA oligonucleotides, which are next recognized by antibiotin anti-bodies. Detection is enhanced by PLA with a partner DDR marker at the DSB. We validated DI-PLA by demonstrating its ability to detect DSBs induced by various genotoxic insults in cultured cells and tissues. Most importantly, by DI-PLA, we demonstrated that both senescent cells in culture and tissues from aged mammals retain true unrepaired DSBs associated with DDR markers.
Project description:Unrepaired DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) cause genetic instability that leads to malignant transformation or cell death. Cells respond to DSBs with the ordered recruitment of signaling and repair proteins to the sites of DNA lesions. Coordinated protein SUMOylation and ubiquitylation have crucial roles in regulating the dynamic assembly of protein complexes at these sites. However, how SUMOylation influences protein ubiquitylation at DSBs is poorly understood. We show herein that Rnf4, an E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets SUMO-modified proteins, accumulates in DSB repair foci and is required for both homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end joining repair. To establish a link between Rnf4 and the DNA damage response (DDR) in vivo, we generated an Rnf4 allelic series in mice. We show that Rnf4-deficiency causes persistent ionizing radiation-induced DNA damage and signaling, and that Rnf4-deficient cells and mice exhibit increased sensitivity to genotoxic stress. Mechanistically, we show that Rnf4 targets SUMOylated MDC1 and SUMOylated BRCA1, and is required for the loading of Rad51, an enzyme required for HR repair, onto sites of DNA damage. Similarly to inactivating mutations in other key regulators of HR repair, Rnf4 deficiency leads to age-dependent impairment in spermatogenesis. These findings identify Rnf4 as a critical component of the DDR in vivo and support the possibility that Rnf4 controls protein localization at DNA damage sites by integrating SUMOylation and ubiquitylation events.
Project description:DNA lesions interfere with cellular processes such as transcription and replication and need to be adequately resolved to warrant genome integrity. Beyond their primary role in molecule transport, nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) function in other processes such as transcription, nuclear organization and DNA double strand break (DSB) repair. Here we found that the removal of UV-induced DNA lesions by nucleotide excision repair (NER) is compromised in the absence of the Nup84 nuclear pore component. Importantly, nup84? cells show an exacerbated sensitivity to UV in early S phase and delayed replication fork progression, suggesting that unrepaired spontaneous DNA lesions persist during S phase. In addition, nup84? cells are defective in the repair of replication-born DSBs by sister chromatid recombination (SCR) and rely on post-replicative repair functions for normal proliferation, indicating dysfunctions in the cellular pathways that enable replication on damaged DNA templates. Altogether, our data reveal a central role of the NPC in the DNA damage response to facilitate replication progression through damaged DNA templates by promoting efficient NER and SCR and preventing chromosomal rearrangements.
Project description:Accumulation of DNA damage leading to stem cell exhaustion has been proposed to be a principal mechanism of aging. Using 53BP1-foci as a marker for DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) in mouse epidermis were analyzed for age-related DNA damage response (DDR). We observed increasing amounts of 53BP1-foci during the natural aging process independent of telomere shortening and after protracted low-dose radiation, suggesting substantial accumulation of DSBs in HFSCs. Electron microscopy combined with immunogold-labeling showed multiple small 53BP1 clusters diffusely distributed throughout the highly compacted heterochromatin of aged HFSCs, but single large 53BP1 clusters in irradiated HFSCs. These remaining 53BP1 clusters did not colocalize with core components of non-homologous end-joining, but with heterochromatic histone modifications. Based on these results we hypothesize that these lesions were not persistently unrepaired DSBs, but may reflect chromatin rearrangements caused by the repair or misrepair of DSBs. Flow cytometry showed increased activation of repair proteins and damage-induced chromatin modifications, triggering apoptosis and cellular senescence in irradiated, but not in aged HFSCs. These results suggest that accumulation of DNA damage-induced chromatin alterations, whose structural dimensions reflect the complexity of the initial genotoxic insult, may lead to different DDR events, ultimately determining the biological outcome of HFSCs. Collectively, our findings support the hypothesis that aging might be largely the remit of structural changes to chromatin potentially leading to epigenetically induced transcriptional deregulation.
Project description:1,2:5,6-Dianhydrogalactitol (DAG) is a bifunctional DNA-targeting agent causing N7-guanine alkylation and inter-strand DNA crosslinks currently in clinical trial for treatment of glioblastoma. While preclinical studies and clinical trials have demonstrated antitumor activity of DAG in a variety of malignancies, understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying DAG-induced cytotoxicity is essential for proper clinical qualification. Using non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as a model system, we show that DAG-induced cytotoxicity materializes when cells enter S phase with unrepaired N7-guanine DNA crosslinks. In S phase, DAG-mediated DNA crosslink lesions translated into replication-dependent DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) that subsequently triggered irreversible cell cycle arrest and loss of viability. DAG-treated NSCLC cells attempt to repair the DSBs by homologous recombination (HR) and inhibition of the HR repair pathway sensitized NSCLC cells to DAG-induced DNA damage. Accordingly, our work describes a molecular mechanism behind N7-guanine crosslink-induced cytotoxicity in cancer cells and provides a rationale for using DAG analogs to treat HR-deficient tumors.
Project description:DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) generated by ionizing radiation pose a serious threat to the preservation of genetic and epigenetic information. The known importance of local chromatin configuration in DSB repair raises the question of whether breaks in different chromatin environments are recognized and repaired by the same repair machinery and with similar efficiency. An essential step in DSB processing by non-homologous end joining is the high-affinity binding of Ku70-Ku80 and DNA-PKcs to double-stranded DNA ends that holds the ends in physical proximity for subsequent repair.Using transmission electron microscopy to localize gold-labeled pKu70 and pDNA-PKcs within nuclear ultrastructure, we monitored the formation and repair of actual DSBs within euchromatin (electron-lucent) and heterochromatin (electron-dense) in cortical neurons of irradiated mouse brain.While DNA lesions in euchromatin (characterized by two pKu70-gold beads, reflecting the Ku70-Ku80 heterodimer) are promptly sensed and rejoined, DNA packaging in heterochromatin appears to retard DSB processing, due to the time needed to unravel higher-order chromatin structures. Complex pKu70-clusters formed in heterochromatin (consisting of 4 or ? 6 gold beads) may represent multiple breaks in close proximity caused by ionizing radiation of highly-compacted DNA. All pKu70-clusters disappeared within 72 hours post-irradiation, indicating efficient DSB rejoining. However, persistent 53BP1 clusters in heterochromatin (comprising ? 10 gold beads), occasionally co-localizing with ?H2AX, but not pKu70 or pDNA-PKcs, may reflect incomplete or incorrect restoration of chromatin structure rather than persistently unrepaired DNA damage.Higher-order organization of chromatin determines the accessibility of DNA lesions to repair complexes, defining how readily DSBs are detected and processed. DNA lesions in heterochromatin appear to be more complex, with multiple breaks in spatial vicinity inducing severe chromatin disruptions. Imperfect restoration of chromatin configurations may leave DSB-induced epigenetic memory of damage with potentially pathological repercussions.
Project description:Double-strand breaks (DSBs) are the most deleterious DNA lesions a cell can encounter. If left unrepaired, DSBs harbor great potential to generate mutations and chromosomal aberrations. To prevent this trauma from catalyzing genomic instability, it is crucial for cells to detect DSBs, activate the DNA damage response (DDR), and repair the DNA. When stimulated, the DDR works to preserve genomic integrity by triggering cell cycle arrest to allow for repair to take place or force the cell to undergo apoptosis. The predominant mechanisms of DSB repair occur through nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination repair (HRR) (reviewed in). There are many proteins whose activities must be precisely orchestrated for the DDR to function properly. Herein, we describe a method for 2- and 3-dimensional (D) visualization of one of these proteins, 53BP1. The p53-binding protein 1 (53BP1) localizes to areas of DSBs by binding to modified histones, forming foci within 5-15 minutes. The histone modifications and recruitment of 53BP1 and other DDR proteins to DSB sites are believed to facilitate the structural rearrangement of chromatin around areas of damage and contribute to DNA repair. Beyond direct participation in repair, additional roles have been described for 53BP1 in the DDR, such as regulating an intra-S checkpoint, a G2/M checkpoint, and activating downstream DDR proteins. Recently, it was discovered that 53BP1 does not form foci in response to DNA damage induced during mitosis, instead waiting for cells to enter G1 before localizing to the vicinity of DSBs. DDR proteins such as 53BP1 have been found to associate with mitotic structures (such as kinetochores) during the progression through mitosis. In this protocol we describe the use of 2- and 3-D live cell imaging to visualize the formation of 53BP1 foci in response to the DNA damaging agent camptothecin (CPT), as well as 53BP1's behavior during mitosis. Camptothecin is a topoisomerase I inhibitor that primarily causes DSBs during DNA replication. To accomplish this, we used a previously described 53BP1-mCherry fluorescent fusion protein construct consisting of a 53BP1 protein domain able to bind DSBs. In addition, we used a histone H2B-GFP fluorescent fusion protein construct able to monitor chromatin dynamics throughout the cell cycle but in particular during mitosis. Live cell imaging in multiple dimensions is an excellent tool to deepen our understanding of the function of DDR proteins in eukaryotic cells.
Project description:DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are toxic to mammalian cells. However, during meiosis, more than 200 DSBs are generated deliberately, to ensure reciprocal recombination and orderly segregation of homologous chromosomes. If left unrepaired, meiotic DSBs can cause aneuploidy in gametes and compromise viability in offspring. Oocytes in which DSBs persist are therefore eliminated by the DNA-damage checkpoint. Here we show that the DNA-damage checkpoint eliminates oocytes via the pro-apoptotic BCL-2 pathway members Puma, Noxa and Bax. Deletion of these factors prevents oocyte elimination in recombination-repair mutants, even when the abundance of unresolved DSBs is high. Remarkably, surviving oocytes can extrude a polar body and be fertilised, despite chaotic chromosome segregation at the first meiotic division. Our findings raise the possibility that allelic variants of the BCL-2 pathway could influence the risk of embryonic aneuploidy.
Project description:Expression of oncogenic BCR-ABL in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) results in increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) that in turn cause increased DNA damage, including DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). We have previously shown increased error-prone repair of DSBs by nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) in CML cells. Recent reports have identified alternative NHEJ pathways that are highly error prone, prompting us to examine the role of the alternative NHEJ pathways in BCR-ABL-positive CML. Importantly, we show that key proteins in the major NHEJ pathway, Artemis and DNA ligase IV, are down-regulated, whereas DNA ligase IIIalpha, and the protein deleted in Werner syndrome, WRN, are up-regulated. DNA ligase IIIalpha and WRN form a complex that is recruited to DSBs in CML cells. Furthermore, "knockdown" of either DNA ligase IIIalpha or WRN leads to increased accumulation of unrepaired DSBs, demonstrating that they contribute to the repair of DSBs. These results indicate that altered DSB repair in CML cells is caused by the increased activity of an alternative NHEJ repair pathway, involving DNA ligase IIIalpha and WRN. We suggest that, although the repair of ROS-induced DSBs by this pathway contributes to the survival of CML cells, the resultant genomic instability drives disease progression.