A distinct response to endogenous DNA damage in the development of Nbs1-deficient cortical neurons.
ABSTRACT: Microcephaly is a clinical characteristic for human nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS, mutated in NBS1 gene), a chromosomal instability syndrome. However, the underlying molecular pathogenesis remains elusive. In the present study, we demonstrate that neuronal disruption of NBS (Nbn in mice) causes microcephaly characterized by the reduction of cerebral cortex and corpus callosum, recapitulating neuronal anomalies in human NBS. Nbs1-deficient neocortex shows accumulative endogenous DNA damage and defective activation of Ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR)-Chk1 pathway upon DNA damage. Notably, in contrast to massive apoptotic cell death in Nbs1-deficient cerebella, activation of p53 leads to a defective neuroprogenitor proliferation in neocortex, likely via specific persistent induction of hematopoietic zinc finger (Hzf) that preferentially promotes p53-mediated cell cycle arrest whilst inhibiting apoptosis. Moreover, Trp53 mutations substantially rescue the microcephaly in Nbs1-deficient mice. Thus, the present results reveal the first clue that developing neurons at different regions of brain selectively respond to endogenous DNA damage, and underscore an important role for Nbs1 in neurogenesis.
Project description:NBS1 is a critical component of the MRN (MRE11/RAD50/NBS1) complex, which regulates ATM- and ATR-mediated DNA damage response (DDR) pathways. Mutations in NBS1 cause the human genomic instability syndrome Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome (NBS), of which neuronal deficits, including microcephaly and intellectual disability, are classical hallmarks. Given its function in the DDR to ensure proper proliferation and prevent death of replicating cells, NBS1 is essential for life. Here we show that, unexpectedly, Nbs1 deletion is dispensable for postmitotic neurons, but compromises their arborization and migration due to dysregulated Notch signaling. We find that Nbs1 interacts with NICD-RBPJ, the effector of Notch signaling, and inhibits Notch activity. Genetic ablation or pharmaceutical inhibition of Notch signaling rescues the maturation and migration defects of Nbs1-deficient neurons in vitro and in vivo. Upregulation of Notch by Nbs1 deletion is independent of the key DDR downstream effector p53 and inactivation of each MRN component produces a different pattern of Notch activity and distinct neuronal defects. These data indicate that neuronal defects and aberrant Notch activity in Nbs1-deficient cells are unlikely to be a direct consequence of loss of MRN-mediated DDR function. This study discloses a novel function of NBS1 in crosstalk with the Notch pathway in neuron development.
Project description:The checkpoint kinase Chk2 has a key role in delaying cell cycle progression in response to DNA damage. Upon activation by low-dose ionizing radiation (IR), which occurs in an ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM)-dependent manner, Chk2 can phosphorylate the mitosis-inducing phosphatase Cdc25C on an inhibitory site, blocking entry into mitosis, and p53 on a regulatory site, causing G(1) arrest. Here we show that the ATM-dependent activation of Chk2 by gamma- radiation requires Nbs1, the gene product involved in the Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS), a disorder that shares with AT a variety of phenotypic defects including chromosome fragility, radiosensitivity, and radioresistant DNA synthesis. Thus, whereas in normal cells Chk2 undergoes a time-dependent increased phosphorylation and induction of catalytic activity against Cdc25C, in NBS cells null for Nbs1 protein, Chk2 phosphorylation and activation are both defective. Importantly, these defects in NBS cells can be complemented by reintroduction of wild-type Nbs1, but neither by a carboxy-terminal deletion mutant of Nbs1 at amino acid 590, unable to form a complex with and to transport Mre11 and Rad50 in the nucleus, nor by an Nbs1 mutated at Ser343 (S343A), the ATM phosphorylation site. Chk2 nuclear expression is unaffected in NBS cells, hence excluding a mislocalization as the cause of failed Chk2 activation in Nbs1-null cells. Interestingly, the impaired Chk2 function in NBS cells correlates with the inability, unlike normal cells, to stop entry into mitosis immediately after irradiation, a checkpoint abnormality that can be corrected by introduction of the wild-type but not the S343A mutant form of Nbs1. Altogether, these findings underscore the crucial role of a functional Nbs1 complex in Chk2 activation and suggest that checkpoint defects in NBS cells may result from the inability to activate Chk2.
Project description:Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) is characterised by microcephaly, developmental delay, characteristic facial features, immunodeficiency and radiosensitivity. Nbs1, the protein defective in NBS, functions in ataxia telangiectasia mutated protein (ATM)-dependent signalling likely facilitating ATM phosphorylation events. While NBS shares overlapping characteristics with ataxia telangiectasia, it also has features overlapping with ATR-Seckel (ATR: ataxia-telangiectasia and Rad3-related protein) syndrome, a subclass of Seckel syndrome mutated in ATR. We show that Nbs1 also facilitates ATR-dependent phosphorylation. NBS cell lines show a similar defect in ATR phosphorylation of Chk1, c-jun and p-53 in response to UV irradiation- and hydroxyurea (HU)-induced replication stalling. They are also impaired in ubiquitination of FANCD2 after HU treatment, which is ATR dependent. Following HU-induced replication arrest, NBS and ATR-Seckel cells show similarly impaired G2/M checkpoint arrest and an impaired ability to restart DNA synthesis at stalled replication forks. Moreover, NBS cells fail to retain ATR in the nucleus following HU treatment and extraction. Our findings suggest that Nbs1 functions in both ATR- and ATM-dependent signalling. We propose that the NBS clinical features represent the result of these combined defects.
Project description:The MRE11 complex (MRE11, RAD50 and NBS1) and the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase function in the same DNA damage response pathway to effect cell cycle checkpoint activation and apoptosis. The functional interaction between the MRE11 complex and ATM has been proposed to require a conserved C-terminal domain of NBS1 for recruitment of ATM to sites of DNA damage. Human Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) cells and those derived from multiple mouse models of NBS express a hypomorphic NBS1 allele that exhibits impaired ATM activity despite having an intact C-terminal domain. This indicates that the NBS1 C terminus is not sufficient for ATM function. We derived Nbs1(DeltaC/DeltaC) mice in which the C-terminal ATM interaction domain is deleted. Nbs1(DeltaC/DeltaC) cells exhibit intra-S-phase checkpoint defects, but are otherwise indistinguishable from wild-type cells with respect to other checkpoint functions, ionizing radiation sensitivity and chromosome stability. However, multiple tissues of Nbs1(DeltaC/DeltaC) mice showed a severe apoptotic defect, comparable to that of ATM- or CHK2-deficient animals. Analysis of p53 transcriptional targets and ATM substrates showed that, in contrast to the phenotype of Chk2(-/-) mice, NBS1(DeltaC) does not impair the induction of proapoptotic genes. Instead, the defects observed in Nbs1(DeltaC/DeltaC) result from impaired phosphorylation of ATM targets including SMC1 and the proapoptotic factor, BID.
Project description:Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) results from the absence of the NBS1 protein, responsible for detection of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). NBS is characterized by microcephaly, growth retardation, immunodeficiency, and cancer predisposition. Here we show successful reprogramming of NBS fibroblasts into induced pluripotent stem cells (NBS-iPSCs). Our data suggest a strong selection for karyotypically normal fibroblasts to go through the reprogramming process. NBS-iPSCs then acquire numerous chromosomal aberrations and show a delayed response to DSB induction. Furthermore, NBS-iPSCs display slower growth, mitotic inhibition, a reduced apoptotic response to stress and abnormal cell cycle-related gene expression. Importantly, NBS neural progenitor cells (NBS-NPCs) show down-regulation of neural developmental genes, which seems to be mediated by P53. Our results demonstrate the importance of NBS1 in early human development, shed new light on the molecular mechanisms underlying this severe syndrome and further expand our knowledge of the genomic stress cells experience during the reprogramming process. Gene expression analysis was performed on a total of 6 human cell lines, including WT and NBS Neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and NBS-iPSCs
Project description:Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) results from the absence of the NBS1 protein, responsible for detection of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). NBS is characterized by microcephaly, growth retardation, immunodeficiency, and cancer predisposition. Here we show successful reprogramming of NBS fibroblasts into induced pluripotent stem cells (NBS-iPSCs). Our data suggest a strong selection for karyotypically normal fibroblasts to go through the reprogramming process. NBS-iPSCs then acquire numerous chromosomal aberrations and show a delayed response to DSB induction. Furthermore, NBS-iPSCs display slower growth, mitotic inhibition, a reduced apoptotic response to stress and abnormal cell cycle-related gene expression. Importantly, NBS neural progenitor cells (NBS-NPCs) show down-regulation of neural developmental genes, which seems to be mediated by P53. Our results demonstrate the importance of NBS1 in early human development, shed new light on the molecular mechanisms underlying this severe syndrome and further expand our knowledge of the genomic stress cells experience during the reprogramming process. Overall design: Gene expression analysis was performed on a total of 6 human cell lines, including WT and NBS Neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and NBS-iPSCs
Project description:The hematopoietic zinc finger protein, Hzf, is induced in response to genotoxic and oncogenic stress. The Hzf protein is encoded by a p53-responsive gene, and its overexpression, either in cells retaining or lacking functional 53, halts their proliferation. Enforced expression of Hzf led to the appearance of tetraploid cells with supernumerary centrosomes and, ultimately, to cell death. Eliminating Hzf mRNA expression by use of short hairpin (sh) RNAs had no overt effect on unstressed cells but inhibited the maintenance of G2 phase arrest following ionizing radiation (IR), thereby sensitizing cells to DNA damage. Canonical p53-responsive gene products such as p21Cip1 and Mdm2 were induced by IR in cells treated with Hzf shRNA. However, the reduction in the level of Hzf protein was accompanied by increased polyubiquitination and turnover of p21Cip1, an inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases whose expression contributes to maintaining the duration of the G2 checkpoint in cells that have sustained DNA damage. Thus, two p53-inducible gene products, Hzf and p21Cip1, act concomitantly to enforce the G(2) checkpoint.
Project description:The MRE11/RAD50/NBN (MRN) complex plays a key role in recognizing and signaling DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Hypomorphic mutations in NBN (previously known as NBS1) and MRE11A give rise to the autosomal-recessive diseases Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) and ataxia-telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD), respectively. To date, no disease due to RAD50 deficiency has been described. Here, we report on a patient previously diagnosed as probably having NBS, with microcephaly, mental retardation, 'bird-like' face, and short stature. At variance with this diagnosis, she never had severe infections, had normal immunoglobulin levels, and did not develop lymphoid malignancy up to age 23 years. We found that she is compound heterozygous for mutations in the RAD50 gene that give rise to low levels of unstable RAD50 protein. Cells from the patient were characterized by chromosomal instability; radiosensitivity; failure to form DNA damage-induced MRN foci; and impaired radiation-induced activation of and downstream signaling through the ATM protein, which is defective in the human genetic disorder ataxia-telangiectasia. These cells were also impaired in G1/S cell-cycle-checkpoint activation and displayed radioresistant DNA synthesis and G2-phase accumulation. The defective cellular phenotype was rescued by wild-type RAD50. In conclusion, we have identified and characterized a patient with a RAD50 deficiency that results in a clinical phenotype that can be classified as an NBS-like disorder (NBSLD).
Project description:Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) is characterized by radiation hypersensitivity, chromosomal instability, and predisposition to cancer. Nbs1, the NBS protein, forms a tight complex with Mre11 and Rad50, and these interactions contribute to proper double-strand break repair. The simian virus 40 (SV40) oncoprotein, large T antigen (T), also interacts with Nbs1, and T-containing cells experience chromosomal hyperreplication in a manner dependent on T/Nbs1 complex formation. A substantial fraction of NBS-deficient fibroblasts reinitiate DNA replication in discrete regions, and wild-type Nbs1 corrects this defect. Similarly, synthesis of an N-terminal Nbs1 fragment induced DNA rereplication and tetraploidy, in NBS-deficient but not NBS-proficient cells. Moreover, SV40 origin-containing DNA hyperreplicated in T-containing NBS-deficient cells by comparison with T-containing, Nbs1-reconstituted derivatives. Thus, Nbs1 suppresses rereplication of cellular DNA and SV40 origin-containing replicons, and T targets Nbs1, thereby enhancing the yield of new SV40 genomes during viral DNA replication.
Project description:Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome (NBS) is associated with cancer predisposition, premature aging, immune deficiency, microcephaly and is caused by mutations in the gene coding for NIBRIN (NBN) which is involved in DNA damage repair. Dermal-derived fibroblasts from NBS patients were reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in order to bypass premature senescence. The influence of antioxidants on intracellular levels of ROS and DNA damage were screened and it was found that EDHB-an activator of the hypoxia pathway, decreased DNA damage in the presence of high oxidative stress. Furthermore, NBS fibroblasts but not NBS-iPSCs were found to be more susceptible to the induction of DNA damage than their healthy counterparts. Global transcriptome analysis comparing NBS to healthy fibroblasts and NBS-iPSCs to embryonic stem cells revealed regulation of P53 in NBS fibroblasts and NBS-iPSCs. Cell cycle related genes were down-regulated in NBS fibroblasts. Furthermore, oxidative phosphorylation was down-regulated and glycolysis up-regulated specifically in NBS-iPSCs compared to embryonic stem cells. Our study demonstrates the utility of NBS-iPSCs as a screening platform for anti-oxidants capable of suppressing DNA damage and a cellular model for studying NBN de-regulation in cancer and microcephaly.