Cdx2 homeoprotein inhibits non-homologous end joining in colon cancer but not in leukemia cells.
ABSTRACT: Cdx2, a gene of the paraHox cluster, encodes a homeodomain transcription factor that plays numerous roles in embryonic development and in homeostasis of the adult intestine. Whereas Cdx2 exerts a tumor suppressor function in the gut, its abnormal ectopic expression in acute leukemia is associated to a pro-oncogenic function. To try to understand this duality, we have hypothesized that Cdx2 may interact with different protein partners in the two tissues and set up experiments to identify them by tandem affinity purification. We show here that Cdx2 interacts with the Ku heterodimer specifically in intestinal cells, but not in leukemia cells, via its homeodomain. Ku proteins do not affect Cdx2 transcriptional activity. However, Cdx2 inhibits in vivo and in vitro the DNA repair activity mediated by Ku proteins in intestinal cells. Whereas Cdx2 does not affect the recruitment of Ku proteins and DNA-PKcs into the DNA repair complex, it inhibits DNA-PKcs activity. Thus, we report here a new function of Cdx2, acting as an inhibitor of the DNA repair machinery, that may contribute to its tumor suppressor function specifically in the gut.
Project description:Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) functions as a potent tumor suppressor, but its mechanism(s) remains enigmatic. Specific disruption of PP2A by either expression of SV40 small tumor antigen or depletion of endogenous PP2A/C by RNA interference inhibits Ku DNA binding and DNA-PK activities, which results in suppression of DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair and DNA end-joining in association with increased genetic instability (i.e., chromosomal and chromatid breaks). Overexpression of the PP2A catalytic subunit (PP2A/C) enhances Ku and DNA-PK activities with accelerated DSB repair. Camptothecin-induced DSBs promote PP2A to associate with Ku 70 and Ku 86. PP2A directly dephosphorylates Ku as well as the DNA-PK catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) in vitro and in vivo, which enhances the formation of a functional Ku/DNA-PKcs complex. Intriguingly, PP2A promotes DSB repair in wild type mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) cells but has no such effect in Ku-deficient MEF cells, suggesting that the Ku 70/86 heterodimer is required for PP2A promotion of DSB repair. Thus, PP2A promotion of DSB repair may occur in a novel mechanism by activating the nonhomologous end-joining pathway through direct dephosphorylation of Ku and DNA-PKcs, which may contribute to maintenance of genetic stability.
Project description:Two DNA repair pathways operate at DNA double strand breaks (DSBs): non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ), that requires two adjacent DNA ends for ligation, and homologous recombination (HR), that resects one DNA strand for invasion of a homologous duplex. Faithful repair of replicative single-ended DSBs (seDSBs) is mediated by HR, due to the lack of a second DNA end for end-joining. ATM stimulates resection at such breaks through multiple mechanisms including CtIP phosphorylation, which also promotes removal of the DNA-ends sensor and NHEJ protein Ku. Here, using a new method for imaging the recruitment of the Ku partner DNA-PKcs at DSBs, we uncover an unanticipated role of ATM in removing DNA-PKcs from seDSBs in human cells. Phosphorylation of DNA-PKcs on the ABCDE cluster is necessary not only for DNA-PKcs clearance but also for the subsequent MRE11/CtIP-dependent release of Ku from these breaks. We propose that at seDSBs, ATM activity is necessary for the release of both Ku and DNA-PKcs components of the NHEJ apparatus, and thereby prevents subsequent aberrant interactions between seDSBs accompanied by DNA-PKcs autophosphorylation and detrimental commitment to Lig4-dependent end-joining.
Project description:DNA double strand break (DSB) repair by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) is initiated by DSB detection by Ku70/80 (Ku) and DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) recruitment, which promotes pathway progression through poorly defined mechanisms. Here, Ku and DNA-PKcs solution structures alone and in complex with DNA, defined by x-ray scattering, reveal major structural reorganizations that choreograph NHEJ initiation. The Ku80 C-terminal region forms a flexible arm that extends from the DNA-binding core to recruit and retain DNA-PKcs at DSBs. Furthermore, Ku- and DNA-promoted assembly of a DNA-PKcs dimer facilitates trans-autophosphorylation at the DSB. The resulting site-specific autophosphorylation induces a large conformational change that opens DNA-PKcs and promotes its release from DNA ends. These results show how protein and DNA interactions initiate large Ku and DNA-PKcs rearrangements to control DNA-PK biological functions as a macromolecular machine orchestrating assembly and disassembly of the initial NHEJ complex on DNA.
Project description:DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) is a serine/threonine kinase that plays an essential role in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway. The DNA-PK holoenzyme consists of a catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) and DNA-binding subunit (Ku70/80, Ku). Ku is a molecular sensor for double-stranded DNA and once bound to DSB ends it recruits DNA-PKcs to the DSB site. Subsequently, DNA-PKcs is activated and heavily phosphorylated, with these phosphorylations modulating DNA-PKcs. Although phosphorylation of DNA-PKcs is well studied, other post-translational modifications of DNA-PKcs are not. In this study, we aimed to determine if acetylation of DNA-PKcs regulates DNA-PKcs-dependent DSB repair. We report that DNA-PKcs is acetylated in vivo and identified two putative acetylation sites, lysine residues 3241 and 3260. Mutating these sites to block potential acetylation results in increased radiosensitive, a slight decrease in DSB repair capacity as assessed by ?H2AX resolution, and increased chromosomal aberrations, especially quadriradial chromosomes. Together, our results provide evidence that acetylation potentially regulates DNA-PKcs.
Project description:The binding of DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs, also known as PRKDC) to Ku proteins at DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) has long been considered essential for non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) repair, providing a rationale for use of DNA-PKcs inhibitors as cancer therapeutics. Given lagging clinical translation, we reexamined mechanisms and observed instead that DSB repair can proceed independently of DNA-PKcs. While repair of radiation-induced DSBs was blocked in cells expressing shRNAs targeting Ku proteins or other NHEJ core factors, DSBs were repaired on schedule despite targeting DNA-PKcs. Although we failed to observe a DSB repair defect, the ?H2AX foci that formed at sites of DNA damage persisted indefinitely after irradiation, leading to cytokinesis failure and accumulation of binucleated cells. Following this mitotic slippage, cells with decreased DNA-PKcs underwent accelerated cellular senescence. We identified downregulation of ataxia-telangiectasia mutated kinase (ATM) as the critical role of DNA-PKcs in recovery from DNA damage, insofar as targeting ATM restored ?H2AX foci resolution and cytokinesis. Considering the lack of direct impact on DSB repair and emerging links between senescence and resistance to cancer therapy, these results suggest reassessing DNA-PKcs as a target for cancer treatment.
Project description:DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) in human cells is initiated by Ku heterodimer binding to a DSB, followed by recruitment of core NHEJ factors including DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs), XRCC4-like factor (XLF), and XRCC4 (X4)-DNA ligase IV (L4). Ku also interacts with accessory factors such as aprataxin and polynucleotide kinase/phosphatase-like factor (APLF). Yet, how these factors interact to tether, process, and ligate DSB ends while allowing regulation and chromatin interactions remains enigmatic. Here, small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and mutational analyses show APLF is largely an intrinsically disordered protein that binds Ku, Ku/DNA-PKcs (DNA-PK), and X4L4 within an extended flexible NHEJ core complex. X4L4 assembles with Ku heterodimers linked to DNA-PKcs via flexible Ku80 C-terminal regions (Ku80CTR) in a complex stabilized through APLF interactions with Ku, DNA-PK, and X4L4. Collective results unveil the solution architecture of the six-protein complex and suggest cooperative assembly of an extended flexible NHEJ core complex that supports APLF accessibility while possibly providing flexible attachment of the core complex to chromatin. The resulting dynamic tethering furthermore, provides geometric access of L4 catalytic domains to the DNA ends during ligation and of DNA-PKcs for targeted phosphorylation of other NHEJ proteins as well as trans-phosphorylation of DNA-PKcs on the opposing DSB without disrupting the core ligation complex. Overall the results shed light on evolutionary conservation of Ku, X4, and L4 activities, while explaining the observation that Ku80CTR and DNA-PKcs only occur in a subset of higher eukaryotes.
Project description:The DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) and Ku heterodimer together form the biologically critical DNA-PK complex that plays key roles in the repair of ionizing radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks through the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway. Despite elegant and informative electron microscopy studies, the mechanism by which DNA-PK co-ordinates the initiation of NHEJ has been enigmatic due to limited structural information. Here, we discuss how the recently described small angle X-ray scattering structures of full-length Ku heterodimer and DNA-PKcs in solution, combined with a breakthrough DNA-PKcs crystal structure, provide significant insights into the early stages of NHEJ. Dynamic structural changes associated with a functionally important cluster of autophosphorylation sites play a significant role in regulating the dissociation of DNA-PKcs from Ku and DNA. These new structural insights have implications for understanding the formation and control of the DNA-PK synaptic complex, DNA-PKcs activation and initiation of NHEJ. More generally, they provide prototypic information for the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase-like (PIKK) family of serine/threonine protein kinases that includes Ataxia Telangiectasia-Mutated (ATM) and ATM-, Rad3-related (ATR) as well as DNA-PKcs.
Project description:The Pdx1 or Ipf1 gene encodes an important homeodomain-containing protein with key roles in pancreas development and function. Mutations in human PDX1 are implicated in developmental defects and disease of the pancreas. Extensive research, including genome sequencing, has indicated that Pdx1 is the only member of its gene family in mammals, birds, amphibians, and ray-finned fish, and with the exception of teleost fish, this gene forms part of the ParaHox gene cluster along with Gsx1 and Cdx2. The ParaHox cluster, however, is a remnant of a 4-fold genome duplication; the three other ParaHox paralogues lack a Pdx-like gene in all vertebrate genomes examined to date. We have used bacterial artificial chromosome cloning and synteny analysis to show that the ancestor of living jawed vertebrates in fact had more ParaHox genes, including two Pdx genes (Pdx1 and Pdx2). Surprisingly, the two Pdx genes have been retained in parallel in two quite distantly related lineages, the cartilaginous fish (sharks, skates, and chimeras) and the Indonesian coelacanth, Latimeria menadoensis. The Pdx2 gene has been lost independently in ray-finned fish and in tetrapods.
Project description:The multi-subunit DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), a crucial player in DNA repair by non-homologous end-joining in higher eukaryotes, consists of a catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) and the Ku heterodimer. Ku recruits DNA-PKcs to double-strand breaks, where DNA-PK assembles prior to DNA repair. The interaction of DNA-PK with DNA is regulated via autophosphorylation. Recent SAXS data addressed the conformational changes occurring in the purified catalytic subunit upon autophosphorylation. Here, we present the first structural analysis of the effects of autophosphorylation on the trimeric DNA-PK enzyme, performed by electron microscopy and single particle analysis. We observe a considerable degree of heterogeneity in the autophosphorylated material, which we resolved into subpopulations of intact complex, and separate DNA-PKcs and Ku, by using multivariate statistical analysis and multi-reference alignment on a partitioned particle image data set. The proportion of dimeric oligomers was reduced compared to non-phosphorylated complex, and those dimers remaining showed a substantial variation in mutual monomer orientation. Together, our data indicate a substantial remodelling of DNA-PK holo-enzyme upon autophosphorylation, which is crucial to the release of protein factors from a repaired DNA double-strand break.
Project description:Noncycling and terminally differentiated (TD) cells display differences in radiosensitivity and DNA damage response. Unlike other TD cells, Sertoli cells express a mixture of proliferation inducers and inhibitors in vivo and can reenter the cell cycle. Being in a G1-like cell cycle stage, TD Sertoli cells are expected to repair DSBs by the error-prone nonhomologous end-joining pathway (NHEJ). Recently, we have provided evidence for the involvement of Ku-dependent NHEJ in protecting testis cells from DNA damage as indicated by persistent foci of the DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair proteins phospho-H2AX, 53BP1, and phospho-ATM in TD Sertoli cells of Ku70-deficient mice. Here, we analyzed the kinetics of 53BP1 foci induction and decay up to 12 h after 0.5 Gy gamma irradiation in DNA-PKcs-deficient (Prkdc scid ) and wild-type Sertoli cells. In nonirradiated mice and Prkdc scid Sertoli cells displayed persistent DSBs foci in around 12 % of cells and a fivefold increase in numbers of these DSB DNA damage-related foci relative to the wild type. In irradiated mice, Prkdc scid Sertoli cells showed elevated levels of DSB-indicating foci in 82 % of cells 12 h after ionizing radiation (IR) exposure, relative to 52 % of irradiated wild-type Sertoli cells. These data indicate that Sertoli cells respond to and repair IR-induced DSBs in vivo, with repair kinetics being slow in the wild type and inefficient in Prkdc scid . Applying the same dose of IR to Prdkc -/- and Ku -/- mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) cells revealed a delayed induction of 53BP1 DSB-indicating foci 5 min post-IR in Prdkc -/- cells. Inefficient DSB repair was evident 7 h post-IR in DNA-PKcs-deficient cells, but not in Ku -/- MEFs. Our data show that quiescent Sertoli cells repair genotoxic DSBs by DNA-PKcs-dependent NEHJ in vivo with a slower kinetics relative to somatic DNA-PKcs-deficient cells in vitro, while DNA-PKcs deficiency caused inefficient DSB repair at later time points post-IR in both conditions. These observations suggest that DNA-PKcs contributes to the fast and slow repair of DSBs by NHEJ.