Dual effect of heat shock on DNA replication and genome integrity.
ABSTRACT: Heat shock (HS) is one of the better-studied exogenous stress factors. However, little is known about its effects on DNA integrity and the DNA replication process. In this study, we show that in G1 and G2 cells, HS induces a countable number of double-stranded breaks (DSBs) in the DNA that are marked by ?H2AX. In contrast, in S-phase cells, HS does not induce DSBs but instead causes an arrest or deceleration of the progression of the replication forks in a temperature-dependent manner. This response also provoked phosphorylation of H2AX, which appeared at the sites of replication. Moreover, the phosphorylation of H2AX at or close to the replication fork rescued the fork from total collapse. Collectively our data suggest that in an asynchronous cell culture, HS might affect DNA integrity both directly and via arrest of replication fork progression and that the phosphorylation of H2AX has a protective effect on the arrested replication forks in addition to its known DNA damage signaling function.
Project description:Chromosomal abnormalities are frequently caused by problems encountered during DNA replication. Although the ATR-Chk1 pathway has previously been implicated in preventing the collapse of stalled replication forks into double-strand breaks (DSB), the importance of the response to fork collapse in ATR-deficient cells has not been well characterized. Herein, we demonstrate that, upon stalled replication, ATR deficiency leads to the phosphorylation of H2AX by ATM and DNA-PKcs and to the focal accumulation of Rad51, a marker of homologous recombination and fork restart. Because H2AX has been shown to play a facilitative role in homologous recombination, we hypothesized that H2AX participates in Rad51-mediated suppression of DSBs generated in the absence of ATR. Consistent with this model, increased Rad51 focal accumulation in ATR-deficient cells is largely dependent on H2AX, and dual deficiencies in ATR and H2AX lead to synergistic increases in chromatid breaks and translocations. Importantly, the ATM and DNA-PK phosphorylation site on H2AX (Ser(139)) is required for genome stabilization in the absence of ATR; therefore, phosphorylation of H2AX by ATM and DNA-PKcs plays a pivotal role in suppressing DSBs during DNA synthesis in instances of ATR pathway failure. These results imply that ATR-dependent fork stabilization and H2AX/ATM/DNA-PKcs-dependent restart pathways cooperatively suppress double-strand breaks as a layered response network when replication stalls.
Project description:Ruthenium(II) polypyridyl complexes can intercalate DNA with high affinity and prevent cell proliferation; however, the direct impact of ruthenium-based intercalation on cellular DNA replication remains unknown. Here we show the multi-intercalator [Ru(dppz)2(PIP)](2+) (dppz?=?dipyridophenazine, PIP?=?2-(phenyl)imidazo[4,5-f][1,10]phenanthroline) immediately stalls replication fork progression in HeLa human cervical cancer cells. In response to this replication blockade, the DNA damage response (DDR) cell signalling network is activated, with checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) activation indicating prolonged replication-associated DNA damage, and cell proliferation is inhibited by G1-S cell-cycle arrest. Co-incubation with a Chk1 inhibitor achieves synergistic apoptosis in cancer cells, with a significant increase in phospho(Ser139) histone H2AX (?-H2AX) levels and foci indicating increased conversion of stalled replication forks to double-strand breaks (DSBs). Normal human epithelial cells remain unaffected by this concurrent treatment. Furthermore, pre-treatment of HeLa cells with [Ru(dppz)2(PIP)](2+) before external beam ionising radiation results in a supra-additive decrease in cell survival accompanied by increased ?-H2AX expression, indicating the compound functions as a radiosensitizer. Together, these results indicate ruthenium-based intercalation can block replication fork progression and demonstrate how these DNA-binding agents may be combined with DDR inhibitors or ionising radiation to achieve more efficient cancer cell killing.
Project description:Streptococcus pneumoniae produces pneumolysin toxin as a key virulence factor against host cells. Pneumolysin is a cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC) toxin that forms lytic pores in host membranes and mediates pneumococcal disease pathogenesis by modulating inflammatory responses. Here, we show that pneumolysin, which is released during bacterial lysis, induces DNA double strand breaks (DSBs), as indicated by ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM)-mediated H2AX phosphorylation (?H2AX). Pneumolysin-induced ?H2AX foci recruit mediator of DNA damage checkpoint 1 (MDC1) and p53 binding protein 1 (53BP1), to sites of DSBs. Importantly, results show that toxin-induced DNA damage precedes cell cycle arrest and causes apoptosis when DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK)-mediated non-homologous end joining is inhibited. Further, we observe that cells that were undergoing DNA replication harbored DSBs in greater frequency during pneumolysin treatment. This observation raises the possibility that DSBs might be arising as a result of replication fork breakdown. Additionally, neutralizing the oligomerization domain of pneumolysin with monoclonal antibody suppresses DNA damage and also cell cycle arrest, indicating that pneumolysin oligomerization is important for causing DNA damage. Taken together, this study reveals a previously unidentified ability of pneumolysin to induce cytotoxicity via DNA damage, with implications in the pathophysiology of S. pneumoniae infection.
Project description:XRCC4-like factor (XLF) is a non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) DNA double strand break repair protein. However, XLF deficiency leads to phenotypes in mice and humans that are not necessarily consistent with an isolated defect in NHEJ. Here we show that XLF functions during DNA replication. XLF undergoes cell division cycle 7-dependent phosphorylation; associates with the replication factor C complex, a critical component of the replisome; and is found at replication forks. XLF deficiency leads to defects in replication fork progression and an increase in fork reversal. The additional loss of H2AX, which protects DNA ends from resection, leads to a requirement for ATR to prevent an MRE11-dependent loss of newly synthesized DNA and activation of DNA damage response. Moreover, H2ax-/-:Xlf-/- cells exhibit a marked dependence on the ATR kinase for survival. We propose that XLF and H2AX function in series to prevent replication stress induced by the MRE11-dependent resection of regressed arms at reversed replication forks.
Project description:Failure to stabilize and properly process stalled replication forks results in chromosome instability, which is a hallmark of cancer cells and several human genetic conditions that are characterized by cancer predisposition. Loss of WRN, a RecQ-like enzyme mutated in the cancer-prone disease Werner syndrome (WS), leads to rapid accumulation of double-strand breaks (DSBs) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen removal from chromatin upon DNA replication arrest. Knockdown of the MUS81 endonuclease in WRN-deficient cells completely prevents the accumulation of DSBs after fork stalling. Also, MUS81 knockdown in WS cells results in reduced chromatin recruitment of recombination enzymes, decreased yield of sister chromatid exchanges, and reduced survival after replication arrest. Thus, we provide novel evidence that WRN is required to avoid accumulation of DSBs and fork collapse after replication perturbation, and that prompt MUS81-dependent generation of DSBs is instrumental for recovery from hydroxyurea-mediated replication arrest under such pathological conditions.
Project description:H2AX phosphorylation at serine 139 (gammaH2AX) is a sensitive indicator of both DNA damage and DNA replication stress. Here we show that gammaH2AX formation is greatly enhanced in response to replication inhibitors but not ionizing radiation in HCT116 or SW480 cells depleted of Chk1. Although H2AX phosphorylation precedes the induction of apoptosis in such cells, our results suggest that cells containing gammaH2AX are not committed to death. gammaH2AX foci in these cells largely colocalize with RPA foci and their formation is dependent upon the essential replication helicase cofactor Cdc45, suggesting that H2AX phosphorylation occurs at sites of stalled forks. However Chk1-depleted cells released from replication inhibitors retain gammaH2AX foci and do not appear to resume replicative DNA synthesis. BrdU incorporation only occurs in a minority of Chk1-depleted cells containing gammaH2AX foci after release from thymidine arrest and, in cells incorporating BrdU, DNA synthesis does not occur at sites of gammaH2AX foci. Furthermore activated ATM and Chk2 persist in these cells. We propose that the gammaH2AX foci in Chk1-depleted cells may represent sites of persistent replication fork damage or abandonment that are unable to resume DNA synthesis but do not play a direct role in the Chk1 suppressed death pathway.
Project description:Restarting stalled replication forks partly depends on the break-induced recombination pathway, in which a DNA double-stranded break (DSB) is created on the stalled replication fork to initiate the downstream recombination cascades. Single-stranded DNA gaps accumulating on stalled replication forks are potential targets for endonucleases to generate DSBs. However, it is unclear how this process is executed and which nucleases are involved in eukaryotic cells. Here, we identify a novel gap endonuclease (GEN) activity of human flap endonuclease 1 (FEN-1), critical in resolving stalled replication fork. In response to replication arrest, FEN-1 interacts specifically with Werner syndrome protein for efficient fork cleavage. Replication protein A facilitates FEN-1 interaction with DNA bubble structures. Human FEN-1, but not the GEN-deficient mutant, E178A, was shown to rescue the defect in resistance to UV and camptothecin in a yeast FEN-1 null mutant.
Project description:Replication forks stall at different DNA obstacles such as those originated by transcription. Fork stalling can lead to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) that will be preferentially repaired by homologous recombination when the sister chromatid is available. The Rrm3 helicase is a replisome component that promotes replication upon fork stalling, accumulates at highly transcribed regions and prevents not only transcription-induced replication fork stalling but also transcription-associated hyper-recombination. This led us to explore the possible role of Rrm3 in the repair of DSBs when originating at the passage of the replication fork. Using a mini-HO system that induces mainly single-stranded DNA breaks, we show that rrm3? cells are defective in DSB repair. The defect is clearly seen in sister chromatid recombination, the major repair pathway of replication-born DSBs. Our results indicate that Rrm3 recruitment to replication-born DSBs is crucial for viability, uncovering a new role for Rrm3 in the repair of broken replication forks.
Project description:Replication origins are under tight regulation to ensure activation occurs only once per cell cycle [1, 2]. Origin re-firing in a single S phase leads to the generation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and activation of the DNA damage checkpoint [2-7]. If the checkpoint is blocked, cells enter mitosis with partially re-replicated DNA that generates chromosome breaks and fusions . These types of chromosomal aberrations are common in numerous human cancers, suggesting that re-replication events contribute to cancer progression. It was proposed that fork instability and DSBs formed during re-replication are the result of head-to-tail collisions and collapse of adjacent replication forks . However, previously studied systems lack the resolution to determine whether the observed DSBs are generated at sites of fork collisions. Here, we utilize the Drosophila ovarian follicle cells, which exhibit re-replication under precise developmental control [8-10], to model the consequences of re-replication at actively elongating forks. Re-replication occurs from specific replication origins at six genomic loci, termed Drosophila amplicons in follicle cells (DAFCs) [10-12]. Precise developmental timing of DAFC origin firing permits identification of forks at defined points after origin initiation [13, 14]. Here, we show that DAFC re-replication causes fork instability and generates DSBs at sites of potential fork collisions. Immunofluorescence and ChIP-seq demonstrate the DSB marker ?H2Av is enriched at elongating forks. Fork progression is reduced in the absence of DNA damage checkpoint components and nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ), but not homologous recombination. NHEJ appears to continually repair forks during re-replication to maintain elongation.
Project description:Homologous recombination (HR) is a major mechanism utilized to repair blockage of DNA replication forks. Here, we report that a sister chromatid exchange (SCE) generated by crossover-associated HR efficiently occurs in response to replication fork stalling before any measurable DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Interestingly, SCE produced by replication fork collapse following DNA DSBs creation is specifically suppressed by ATR, a central regulator of the replication checkpoint. BRCA1 depletion leads to decreased RPA2 phosphorylation (RPA2-P) following replication fork stalling but has no obvious effect on RPA2-P following replication fork collapse. Importantly, we found that BRCA1 promotes RAD51 recruitment and SCE induced by replication fork stalling independent of ATR. In contrast, BRCA1 depletion leads to a more profound defect in RAD51 recruitment and SCE induced by replication fork collapse when ATR is depleted. We concluded that BRCA1 plays a dual role in two distinct HR-mediated repair upon replication fork stalling and collapse. Our data established a molecular basis for the observation that defective BRCA1 leads to a high sensitivity to agents that cause replication blocks without being associated with DSBs, and also implicate a novel mechanism by which loss of cell cycle checkpoints promotes BRCA1-associated tumorigenesis via enhancing HR defect resulting from BRCA1 deficiency.