The RECQL4 protein, deficient in Rothmund-Thomson syndrome is active on telomeric D-loops containing DNA metabolism blocking lesions.
ABSTRACT: Telomeres are critical for cell survival and functional integrity. Oxidative DNA damage induces telomeric instability and cellular senescence that are associated with normal aging and segmental premature aging disorders such as Werner Syndrome and Rothmund-Thomson Syndrome, caused by mutations in WRN and RECQL4 helicases respectively. Characterizing the metabolic roles of RECQL4 and WRN in telomere maintenance is crucial in understanding the pathogenesis of their associated disorders. We have previously shown that WRN and RECQL4 display a preference in vitro to unwind telomeric DNA substrates containing the oxidative lesion 8-oxoguanine. Here, we show that RECQL4 helicase has a preferential activity in vitro on telomeric substrates containing thymine glycol, a critical lesion that blocks DNA metabolism, and can be modestly stimulated further on a D-loop structure by TRF2, a telomeric shelterin protein. Unlike that reported for telomeric D-loops containing 8-oxoguanine, RECQL4 does not cooperate with WRN to unwind telomeric D-loops with thymine glycol, suggesting RECQL4 helicase is selective for the type of oxidative lesion. RECQL4's function at the telomere is not yet understood, and our findings suggest a novel role for RECQL4 in the repair of thymine glycol lesions to promote efficient telomeric maintenance.
Project description:A variety of human tumors employ alternative and recombination-mediated lengthening for telomere maintenance (ALT). Human RecQ helicases, such as BLM and WRN, can efficiently unwind alternate/secondary structures during telomere replication and/or recombination. Here, we report a novel role for RECQL1, the most abundant human RecQ helicase but functionally least studied, in telomere maintenance. RECQL1 associates with telomeres in ALT cells and actively resolves telomeric D-loops and Holliday junction substrates. RECQL1 physically and functionally interacts with telomere repeat-binding factor 2 that in turn regulates its helicase activity on telomeric substrates. The telomeric single-stranded binding protein, protection of telomeres 1 efficiently stimulates RECQL1 on telomeric substrates containing thymine glycol, a replicative blocking lesion. Loss of RECQL1 results in dysfunctional telomeres, telomere loss and telomere shortening, elevation of telomere sister-chromatid exchanges and increased aphidicolin-induced telomere fragility, indicating a role for RECQL1 in telomere maintenance. Further, our results indicate that RECQL1 may participate in the same pathway as WRN, probably in telomere replication.
Project description:Telomeres are highly susceptible to oxidative DNA damage, which if left unrepaired can lead to dysregulation of telomere length homeostasis. Here we employed single molecule FRET, single molecule pull-down and biochemical analysis to investigate how the most common oxidative DNA lesions, 8-oxoguanine (8oxoG) and thymine glycol (Tg), regulate the structural properties of telomeric DNA and telomerase extension activity. In contrast to 8oxoG which disrupts the telomeric DNA structure, Tg exhibits substantially reduced perturbation of G-quadruplex folding. As a result, 8oxoG induces high accessibility, whereas Tg retains limited accessibility, of telomeric G-quadruplex DNA to complementary single stranded DNA and to telomere binding protein POT1. Surprisingly, the Tg lesion stimulates telomerase loading and activity to a similar degree as an 8oxoG lesion. We demonstrate that this unexpected stimulation arises from Tg-induced conformational alterations and dynamics in telomeric DNA. Despite impacting structure by different mechanisms, both 8oxoG and Tg enhance telomerase binding and extension activity to the same degree, potentially contributing to oncogenesis.
Project description:8-Oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) is one of the most important oxidative DNA lesions, and G-rich telomeric DNA is especially susceptible to oxidative DNA damage. RecQ helicases WRN and BLM and telomere-binding protein POT1 are thought to play roles in telomere maintenance. This study examines the ability of WRN, BLM, and RecQ5 to unwind and POT1 to bind telomeric D-loops containing 8-oxodG. The results demonstrate that WRN and BLM preferentially unwind telomeric D-loops containing 8-oxodG and that POT1 binds with higher affinity to telomeric D-loops with 8-oxodG but shows no preference for telomeric single-stranded DNA with 8-oxodG. We speculate that telomeric D-loops with 8-oxodG may have a greater tendency to form G-quadruplex DNA structures than telomeric DNA lacking 8-oxodG.
Project description:Telomeres are structures at the ends of chromosomes and are composed of long tracks of short tandem repeat DNA sequences bound by a unique set of proteins (shelterin). Telomeric DNA is believed to form G-quadruplex and D-loop structures, which presents a challenge to the DNA replication and repair machinery. Although the RecQ helicases WRN and BLM are implicated in the resolution of telomeric secondary structures, very little is known about RECQL4, the RecQ helicase mutated in Rothmund-Thomson syndrome (RTS). Here, we report that RTS patient cells have elevated levels of fragile telomeric ends and that RECQL4-depleted human cells accumulate fragile sites, sister chromosome exchanges, and double strand breaks at telomeric sites. Further, RECQL4 localizes to telomeres and associates with shelterin proteins TRF1 and TRF2. Using recombinant proteins we showed that RECQL4 resolves telomeric D-loop structures with the help of shelterin proteins TRF1, TRF2, and POT1. We also found a novel functional synergistic interaction of this protein with WRN during D-loop unwinding. These data implicate RECQL4 in telomere maintenance.
Project description:FANCJ mutations are genetically linked to the Fanconi anemia complementation group J and predispose individuals to breast cancer. Understanding the role of FANCJ in DNA metabolism and how FANCJ dysfunction leads to tumorigenesis requires mechanistic studies of FANCJ helicase and its protein partners. In this work, we have examined the ability of FANCJ to unwind DNA molecules with specific base damage that can be mutagenic or lethal. FANCJ was inhibited by a single thymine glycol, but not 8-oxoguanine, in either the translocating or nontranslocating strands of the helicase substrate. In contrast, the human RecQ helicases (BLM, RECQ1, and WRN) display strand-specific inhibition of unwinding by the thymine glycol damage, whereas other DNA helicases (DinG, DnaB, and UvrD) are not significantly inhibited by thymine glycol in either strand. In the presence of replication protein A (RPA), but not Escherichia coli single-stranded DNA-binding protein, FANCJ efficiently unwound the DNA substrate harboring the thymine glycol damage in the nontranslocating strand; however, inhibition of FANCJ helicase activity by the translocating strand thymine glycol was not relieved. Strand-specific stimulation of human RECQ1 helicase activity was also observed, and RPA bound with high affinity to single-stranded DNA containing a single thymine glycol. Based on the biochemical studies, we propose a model for the specific functional interaction between RPA and FANCJ on the thymine glycol substrates. These studies are relevant to the roles of RPA, FANCJ, and other DNA helicases in the metabolism of damaged DNA that can interfere with basic cellular processes of DNA metabolism.
Project description:Loss of the RecQ helicase WRN protein causes the cancer-prone progeroid disorder Werner syndrome (WS). WS cells exhibit defects in DNA replication and telomere preservation. The telomeric single-stranded binding protein POT1 stimulates WRN helicase to unwind longer telomeric duplexes that are otherwise poorly unwound. We reasoned that stimulation might occur by POT1 recruiting and retaining WRN on telomeric substrates during unwinding and/or by POT1 loading on partially unwound ssDNA strands to prevent strand re-annealing. To test these possibilities, we used substrates with POT1-binding sequences in the single-stranded tail, duplex or both. POT1 binding to ssDNA tails did not alter WRN activity on nontelomeric duplexes or recruit WRN to telomeric ssDNA. However, POT1 bound tails inhibited WRN activity on telomeric duplexes with a single 3'-ssDNA tail, which mimic telomeric ends in the open conformation. In contrast, POT1 bound tails stimulated WRN unwinding of forked telomeric duplexes. This indicates that POT1 interaction with the ssDNA/dsDNA junction regulates WRN activity. Furthermore, POT1 did not enhance retention of WRN on telomeric forks during unwinding. Collectively, these data suggest POT1 promotes the apparent processivity of WRN helicase by maintaining partially unwound strands in a melted state, rather than preventing WRN dissociation from the substrate.
Project description:Telomeres are essential for genome stability. Oxidative stress caused by excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) accelerates telomere shortening. Although telomeres are hypersensitive to ROS-mediated 8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG) formation, the biological effect of this common lesion at telomeres is poorly understood because ROS have pleiotropic effects. Here we developed a chemoptogenetic tool that selectively produces 8-oxoG only at telomeres. Acute telomeric 8-oxoG formation increased telomere fragility in cells lacking OGG1, the enzyme that removes 8-oxoG, but did not compromise cell survival. However, chronic telomeric 8-oxoG induction over time shortens telomeres and impairs cell growth. Accumulation of telomeric 8-oxoG in chronically exposed OGG1-deficient cells triggers replication stress, as evidenced by mitotic DNA synthesis at telomeres, and significantly increases telomere losses. These losses generate chromosome fusions, leading to chromatin bridges and micronucleus formation upon cell division. By confining base damage to the telomeres, we show that telomeric 8-oxoG accumulation directly drives telomere crisis.
Project description:Helicases are ubiquitous proteins that unwind DNA and participate in DNA metabolism including replication, repair, transcription, and chromatin organization. The highly conserved RecQ helicase family proteins are important in these transactions and have been termed the guardians of the genome. Humans have five members of this family: WRN, BLM, RECQL4, RECQL1, and RECQL5. The first three of are associated with premature aging and cancer prone syndromes, but the latter two proteins have not yet been implicated in any human disease. Although WRN and BLM have been fairly well characterized, RECQL4 has only recently been intensively investigated. The sum of this work to date has shown that RECQL4 has helicase activity and localizes to telomeres and mitochondria. In addition, new protein partners are emerging, implicating RECQL4 in novel processes. Here, we describe these recent findings which place RECQL4 at the crossroads of genomic instability and aging processes.
Project description:Telomeres are chromosome end structures and are essential for maintenance of genome stability. Highly repetitive telomere sequences appear to be susceptible to oxidative stress-induced damage. Oxidation may therefore have a severe impact on telomere integrity and function. A wide spectrum of oxidative pyrimidine-derivatives has been reported, including thymine glycol (Tg), that are primarily removed by a DNA glycosylase, Endonuclease III-like protein 1 (Nth1). Here, we investigate the effect of Nth1 deficiency on telomere integrity in mice. Nth1 null (Nth1(-/-) ) mouse tissues and primary MEFs harbor higher levels of Endonuclease III-sensitive DNA lesions at telomeric repeats, in comparison to a non-telomeric locus. Furthermore, oxidative DNA damage induced by acute exposure to an oxidant is repaired slowly at telomeres in Nth1(-/-) MEFs. Although telomere length is not affected in the hematopoietic tissues of Nth1(-/-) adult mice, telomeres suffer from attrition and increased recombination and DNA damage foci formation in Nth1(-/-) bone marrow cells that are stimulated ex vivo in the presence of 20% oxygen. Nth1 deficiency also enhances telomere fragility in mice. Lastly, in a telomerase null background, Nth1(-/-) bone marrow cells undergo severe telomere loss at some chromosome ends and cell apoptosis upon replicative stress. These results suggest that Nth1 plays an important role in telomere maintenance and base repair against oxidative stress-induced base modifications. The fact that telomerase deficiency can exacerbate telomere shortening in Nth1 deficient mouse cells supports that base excision repair cooperates with telomerase to maintain telomere integrity.
Project description:Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes at the ends of linear chromosomes in eukaryotes, and are essential in preventing chromosome termini from being recognized as broken DNA ends. Telomere shortening has been linked to cellular senescence and human aging, with oxidative stress as a major contributing factor. 7,8-Dihydro-8-oxogaunine (8-oxodG) is one of the most abundant oxidative guanine lesions, and 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1) is involved in its removal. In this study, we examined if telomeric DNA is particularly susceptible to oxidative base damage and if telomere-specific factors affect the incision of oxidized guanines by OGG1. We demonstrated that telomeric TTAGGG repeats were more prone to oxidative base damage and repaired less efficiently than non-telomeric TG repeats in vivo. We also showed that the 8-oxodG-incision activity of OGG1 is similar in telomeric and non-telomeric double-stranded substrates. In addition, telomere repeat binding factors TRF1 and TRF2 do not impair OGG1 incision activity. Yet, 8-oxodG in some telomere structures (e.g., fork-opening, 3'-overhang, and D-loop) were less effectively excised by OGG1, depending upon its position in these substrates. Collectively, our data indicate that the sequence context of telomere repeats and certain telomere configurations may contribute to telomere vulnerability to oxidative DNA damage processing.