Analysis of human syndromes with disordered chromatin reveals the impact of heterochromatin on the efficacy of ATM-dependent G2/M checkpoint arrest.
ABSTRACT: Heterochromatin (HC) poses a barrier to ?H2AX focus expansion and DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair, the latter being relieved by ATM-dependent KAP-1 phosphorylation. Using high-resolution imaging, we show here that the HC superstructure markedly restricts ATM signaling to cell cycle checkpoint proteins. The impact of HC is greater than anticipated from the percentage of HC-DNA and, in distinction to DSB repair, ATM only partly overcomes the constraints posed by HC. Importantly, we examine ATM signaling in human syndromes with disordered HC. After depletion of MeCP2 and DNMT3B, proteins defective in the Rett and immunodeficiency with centromere instability and facial anomalies (ICF) syndromes, respectively, we demonstrate enhanced ?H2AX signal expansion at HC-chromocenters in mouse NIH 3T3 cells, which have visible HC-chromocenters. Previous studies have shown that the G(2)/M checkpoint is inefficient requiring multiple DSBs to initiate arrest. MeCP2 and DNMT3B depletion leads to hypersensitive radiation-induced G(2)/M checkpoint arrest despite normal DSB repair. Cell lines from Rett, ICF, and Hutchinson-Guildford progeria syndrome patients similarly showed hyperactivated ATM signaling and hypersensitive and prolonged G(2)/M checkpoint arrest. Collectively, these findings reveal that heterochromatin contributes to the previously described inefficient G(2)/M checkpoint arrest and demonstrate how the signaling response can be uncoupled from DSB repair.
Project description:DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) can induce chromosomal aberrations and carcinogenesis and their correct repair is crucial for genetic stability. The cellular response to DSBs depends on damage signaling including the phosphorylation of the histone H2AX (?H2AX). However, a lack of ?H2AX formation in heterochromatin (HC) is generally observed after DNA damage induction. Here, we examine ?H2AX and repair protein foci along linear ion tracks traversing heterochromatic regions in human or murine cells and find the DSBs and damage signal streaks bending around highly compacted DNA. Given the linear particle path, such bending indicates a relocation of damage from the initial induction site to the periphery of HC. Real-time imaging of the repair protein GFP-XRCC1 confirms fast recruitment to heterochromatic lesions inside murine chromocenters. Using single-ion microirradiation to induce localized DSBs directly within chromocenters, we demonstrate that H2AX is early phosphorylated within HC, but the damage site is subsequently expelled from the center to the periphery of chromocenters within ? 20 min. While this process can occur in the absence of ATM kinase, the repair of DSBs bordering HC requires the protein. Finally, we describe a local decondensation of HC at the sites of ion hits, potentially allowing for DSB movement via physical forces.
Project description:Defects in meiotic recombination in many organisms result in arrest because of activation of a meiotic checkpoint(s). The proximal defect that triggers this checkpoint in mammalian germ cells is not understood, but it has been suggested to involve either the presence of DNA damage in the form of unrepaired recombination intermediates or defects in homologous chromosome pairing and synapsis independent of DNA damage per se. To distinguish between these possibilities in the female germ line, we compared mouse oocyte development in a mutant that fails to form the double-strand breaks (DSBs) that initiate meiotic recombination (Spo11-/-) to mutants with defects in processing DSBs when they are formed (Dmc1-/- and Msh5-/-), and we examined the epistasis relationships between these mutations. Absence of DSB formation caused a partial defect in follicle formation, whereas defects in DSB repair caused earlier and more severe meiotic arrest, which could be suppressed by eliminating DSB formation. Therefore, our analysis reveals that there are both DNA-damage-dependent and -independent responses to recombination errors in mammalian oocytes. By using these findings as a paradigm, we also examined oocyte loss in mutants lacking the DNA-damage checkpoint kinase ATM. The absence of ATM caused defects in folliculogenesis that were similar to those in Dmc1 mutants and that could be suppressed by Spo11 mutation, implying that oocyte death in Atm-deficient animals is a response to defective DSB repair.
Project description:ATM-dependent initiation of the radiation-induced G(2)/M checkpoint arrest is well established. Recent results have shown that the majority of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in G(2) phase are repaired by DNA nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ), while approximately 15% of DSBs are slowly repaired by homologous recombination. Here, we evaluate how the G(2)/M checkpoint is maintained in irradiated G(2) cells, in light of our current understanding of G(2) phase DSB repair. We show that ATM-dependent resection at a subset of DSBs leads to ATR-dependent Chk1 activation. ATR-Seckel syndrome cells, which fail to efficiently activate Chk1, and small interfering RNA (siRNA) Chk1-treated cells show premature mitotic entry. Thus, Chk1 significantly contributes to maintaining checkpoint arrest. Second, sustained ATM signaling to Chk2 contributes, particularly when NHEJ is impaired by XLF deficiency. We also show that cells lacking the mediator proteins 53BP1 and MDC1 initially arrest following radiation doses greater than 3 Gy but are subsequently released prematurely. Thus, 53BP1(-/-) and MDC1(-/-) cells manifest a checkpoint defect at high doses. This failure to maintain arrest is due to diminished Chk1 activation and a decreased ability to sustain ATM-Chk2 signaling. The combined repair and checkpoint defects conferred by 53BP1 and MDC1 deficiency act synergistically to enhance chromosome breakage.
Project description:In many organisms, developmentally programmed double-strand breaks (DSBs) formed by the SPO11 transesterase initiate meiotic recombination, which promotes pairing and segregation of homologous chromosomes. Because every chromosome must receive a minimum number of DSBs, attention has focused on factors that support DSB formation. However, improperly repaired DSBs can cause meiotic arrest or mutation; thus, having too many DSBs is probably as deleterious as having too few. Only a small fraction of SPO11 protein ever makes a DSB in yeast or mouse and SPO11 and its accessory factors remain abundant long after most DSB formation ceases, implying the existence of mechanisms that restrain SPO11 activity to limit DSB numbers. Here we report that the number of meiotic DSBs in mouse is controlled by ATM, a kinase activated by DNA damage to trigger checkpoint signalling and promote DSB repair. Levels of SPO11-oligonucleotide complexes, by-products of meiotic DSB formation, are elevated at least tenfold in spermatocytes lacking ATM. Moreover, Atm mutation renders SPO11-oligonucleotide levels sensitive to genetic manipulations that modulate SPO11 protein levels. We propose that ATM restrains SPO11 via a negative feedback loop in which kinase activation by DSBs suppresses further DSB formation. Our findings explain previously puzzling phenotypes of Atm-null mice and provide a molecular basis for the gonadal dysgenesis observed in ataxia telangiectasia, the human syndrome caused by ATM deficiency.
Project description:Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have the capability to undergo self-renewal and differentiation into all somatic cell types. Since they can be produced through somatic cell reprogramming, which uses a defined set of transcription factors, iPS cells represent important sources of patient-specific cells for clinical applications. However, before these cells can be used in therapeutic designs, it is essential to understand their genetic stability.Here, we describe DNA damage responses in human iPS cells. We observe hypersensitivity to DNA damaging agents resulting in rapid induction of apoptosis after ?-irradiation. Expression of pluripotency factors does not appear to be diminished after irradiation in iPS cells. Following irradiation, iPS cells activate checkpoint signaling, evidenced by phosphorylation of ATM, NBS1, CHEK2, and TP53, localization of ATM to the double strand breaks (DSB), and localization of TP53 to the nucleus of NANOG-positive cells. We demonstrate that iPS cells temporary arrest cell cycle progression in the G(2) phase of the cell cycle, displaying a lack of the G(1)/S cell cycle arrest similar to human embryonic stem (ES) cells. Furthermore, both cell types remove DSB within six hours of ?-irradiation, form RAD51 foci and exhibit sister chromatid exchanges suggesting homologous recombination repair. Finally, we report elevated expression of genes involved in DNA damage signaling, checkpoint function, and repair of various types of DNA lesions in ES and iPS cells relative to their differentiated counterparts.High degrees of similarity in DNA damage responses between ES and iPS cells were found. Even though reprogramming did not alter checkpoint signaling following DNA damage, dramatic changes in cell cycle structure, including a high percentage of cells in the S phase, increased radiosensitivity and loss of DNA damage-induced G(1)/S cell cycle arrest, were observed in stem cells generated by induced pluripotency.
Project description:The role of the DNA double-strand-break (DSB) checkpoint/repair genes, ATM, BRCA1 and TP53, in sporadic breast cancer requires clarification, since ATM and BRCA1 mutations are rare in sporadic tumours. In an attempt to explain this phenomenon, we postulated that (i) in addition to genetic deletion, abnormal expression of DSB checkpoint/repair proteins might abolish the function of these genes and (ii) there might be a combined effect of individual defective genes during breast cancer pathogenesis. Using a largely homogenous group of 74 specimens of early-onset (< or =35 years of age) infiltrating ductal carcinomas, we examined associations between pathological grade and genetic deletion and/or abnormal protein expression of ATM, BRCA1 and TP53. The results showed that high-grade tumours displayed a high frequency of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at, and/or abnormal expression of, ATM, BRCA1 and TP53. Multigenetic analysis showed abnormalities in BRCA1 to be independently associated with high-grade tumours. ATM and TP53 appeared to play an assistant role, abnormalities in these genes significantly increasing the possibility of poor differentiation in tumours with abnormalities in BRCA1. Furthermore, a higher number of abnormalities (LOH or abnormal expression) in these three genes correlated with poor tumour differentiation. Thus, this study suggests that combined changes in several DSB checkpoint/repair genes belonging to a common functional pathway are associated with breast cancer pathogenesis.
Project description:In response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), cells sense the DNA lesions and then activate the protein kinase ATM. Subsequent DSB resection produces RPA-coated ssDNA that is essential for activation of the DNA damage checkpoint and DNA repair by homologous recombination (HR). However, the biochemical mechanism underlying the transition from DSB sensing to resection remains unclear. Using Xenopus egg extracts and human cells, we show that the tumor suppressor protein CtIP plays a critical role in this transition. We find that CtIP translocates to DSBs, a process dependent on the DSB sensor complex Mre11-Rad50-NBS1, the kinase activity of ATM, and a direct DNA-binding motif in CtIP, and then promotes DSB resection. Thus, CtIP facilitates the transition from DSB sensing to processing: it does so by binding to the DNA at DSBs after DSB sensing and ATM activation and then promoting DNA resection, leading to checkpoint activation and HR.
Project description:Ataxia telangiectasia mutant (ATM) is an S/T-Q-directed kinase that is critical for the cellular response to double-stranded breaks (DSBs) in DNA. Following DNA damage, ATM is activated and recruited by the MRN protein complex [meiotic recombination 11 (Mre11)/DNA repair protein Rad50/Nijmegen breakage syndrome 1 proteins] to sites of DNA damage where ATM phosphorylates multiple substrates to trigger cell-cycle arrest. In cancer cells, this regulation may be faulty, and cell division may proceed even in the presence of damaged DNA. We show here that the ribosomal s6 kinase (Rsk), often elevated in cancers, can suppress DSB-induced ATM activation in both Xenopus egg extracts and human tumor cell lines. In analyzing each step in ATM activation, we have found that Rsk targets loading of MRN complex components onto DNA at DSB sites. Rsk can phosphorylate the Mre11 protein directly at S676 both in vitro and in intact cells and thereby can inhibit the binding of Mre11 to DNA with DSBs. Accordingly, mutation of S676 to Ala can reverse inhibition of the response to DSBs by Rsk. Collectively, these data point to Mre11 as an important locus of Rsk-mediated checkpoint inhibition acting upstream of ATM activation.
Project description:Simian virus 40 (SV40) and cellular DNA replication rely on host ATM and ATR DNA damage signaling kinases to facilitate DNA repair and elicit cell cycle arrest following DNA damage. During SV40 DNA replication, ATM kinase activity prevents concatemerization of the viral genome whereas ATR activity prevents accumulation of aberrant genomes resulting from breakage of a moving replication fork as it converges with a stalled fork. However, the repair pathways that ATM and ATR orchestrate to prevent these aberrant SV40 DNA replication products are unclear. Using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and Southern blotting, we show that ATR kinase activity, but not DNA-PK(cs) kinase activity, facilitates some aspects of double strand break (DSB) repair when ATM is inhibited during SV40 infection. To clarify which repair factors associate with viral DNA replication centers, we examined the localization of DSB repair proteins in response to SV40 infection. Under normal conditions, viral replication centers exclusively associate with homology-directed repair (HDR) and do not colocalize with non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) factors. Following ATM inhibition, but not ATR inhibition, activated DNA-PK(cs) and KU70/80 accumulate at the viral replication centers while CtIP and BLM, proteins that initiate 5' to 3' end resection during HDR, become undetectable. Similar to what has been observed during cellular DSB repair in S phase, these data suggest that ATM kinase influences DSB repair pathway choice by preventing the recruitment of NHEJ factors to replicating viral DNA. These data may explain how ATM prevents concatemerization of the viral genome and promotes viral propagation. We suggest that inhibitors of DNA damage signaling and DNA repair could be used during infection to disrupt productive viral DNA replication.
Project description:Homeobox 9 (HOXB9), a nontransforming transcription factor overexpressed in breast cancer, alters tumor cell fate and promotes tumor progression and metastasis. Here we show that HOXB9 confers resistance to ionizing radiation by promoting DNA damage response. In nonirradiated cells, HOXB9 induces spontaneous DNA damage, phosphorylated histone 2AX and p53 binding protein 1 foci, and increases baseline ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) phosphorylation. Upon ionizing radiation, ATM is hyperactivated in HOXB9-expressing cells during the early stages of the double-stranded DNA break (DSB) response, accelerating accumulation of phosphorylated histone 2AX, mediator of DNA-damage checkpoint 1, and p53 binding protein 1, at DSBs and enhances DSB repair. The effect of HOXB9 on the response to ionizing radiation requires the baseline ATM activity before irradiation and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition induced by TGF-?, a HOXB9 transcriptional target. Our results reveal the impact of a HOXB9-TGF-?-ATM axis on checkpoint activation and DNA repair, suggesting that TGF-? may be a key factor that links tumor microenvironment, tumor cell fate, DNA damage response, and radioresistance in a subset of HOXB9-overexpressing breast tumors.