Positive regulation of meiotic DNA double-strand break formation by activation of the DNA damage checkpoint kinase Mec1(ATR).
ABSTRACT: During meiosis, formation and repair of programmed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) create genetic exchange between homologous chromosomes-a process that is critical for reductional meiotic chromosome segregation and the production of genetically diverse sexually reproducing populations. Meiotic DSB formation is a complex process, requiring numerous proteins, of which Spo11 is the evolutionarily conserved catalytic subunit. Precisely how Spo11 and its accessory proteins function or are regulated is unclear. Here, we use Saccharomyces cerevisiae to reveal that meiotic DSB formation is modulated by the Mec1(ATR) branch of the DNA damage signalling cascade, promoting DSB formation when Spo11-mediated catalysis is compromised. Activation of the positive feedback pathway correlates with the formation of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) recombination intermediates and activation of the downstream kinase, Mek1. We show that the requirement for checkpoint activation can be rescued by prolonging meiotic prophase by deleting the NDT80 transcription factor, and that even transient prophase arrest caused by Ndt80 depletion is sufficient to restore meiotic spore viability in checkpoint mutants. Our observations are unexpected given recent reports that the complementary kinase pathway Tel1(ATM) acts to inhibit DSB formation. We propose that such antagonistic regulation of DSB formation by Mec1 and Tel1 creates a regulatory mechanism, where the absolute frequency of DSBs is maintained at a level optimal for genetic exchange and efficient chromosome segregation.
Project description:An essential feature of meiosis is Spo11 catalysis of programmed DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). Evidence suggests that the number of DSBs generated per meiosis is genetically determined and that this ability to maintain a pre-determined DSB level, or "DSB homeostasis", might be a property of the meiotic program. Here, we present direct evidence that Rec114, an evolutionarily conserved essential component of the meiotic DSB-machinery, interacts with DSB hotspot DNA, and that Tel1 and Mec1, the budding yeast ATM and ATR, respectively, down-regulate Rec114 upon meiotic DSB formation through phosphorylation. Mimicking constitutive phosphorylation reduces the interaction between Rec114 and DSB hotspot DNA, resulting in a reduction and/or delay in DSB formation. Conversely, a non-phosphorylatable rec114 allele confers a genome-wide increase in both DSB levels and in the interaction between Rec114 and the DSB hotspot DNA. These observations strongly suggest that Tel1 and/or Mec1 phosphorylation of Rec114 following Spo11 catalysis down-regulates DSB formation by limiting the interaction between Rec114 and DSB hotspots. We also present evidence that Ndt80, a meiosis specific transcription factor, contributes to Rec114 degradation, consistent with its requirement for complete cessation of DSB formation. Loss of Rec114 foci from chromatin is associated with homolog synapsis but independent of Ndt80 or Tel1/Mec1 phosphorylation. Taken together, we present evidence for three independent ways of regulating Rec114 activity, which likely contribute to meiotic DSBs-homeostasis in maintaining genetically determined levels of breaks.
Project description:Meiotic recombination plays an essential role in the proper segregation of chromosomes at meiosis I in many sexually reproducing organisms. Meiotic recombination is initiated by the scheduled formation of genome-wide DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). The timing of DSB formation is strictly controlled because unscheduled DSB formation is detrimental to genome integrity. Here, we investigated the role of DNA damage checkpoint mechanisms in the control of meiotic DSB formation using budding yeast. By using recombination defective mutants in which meiotic DSBs are not repaired, the effect of DNA damage checkpoint mutations on DSB formation was evaluated. The Tel1 (ATM) pathway mainly responds to unresected DSB ends, thus the sae2 mutant background in which DSB ends remain intact was employed. On the other hand, the Mec1 (ATR) pathway is primarily used when DSB ends are resected, thus the rad51 dmc1 double mutant background was employed in which highly resected DSBs accumulate. In order to separate the effect caused by unscheduled cell cycle progression, which is often associated with DNA damage checkpoint defects, we also employed the ndt80 mutation which permanently arrests the meiotic cell cycle at prophase I. In the absence of Tel1, DSB formation was reduced in larger chromosomes (IV, VII, II and XI) whereas no significant reduction was found in smaller chromosomes (III and VI). On the other hand, the absence of Rad17 (a critical component of the ATR pathway) lead to an increase in DSB formation (chromosomes VII and II were tested). We propose that, within prophase I, the Tel1 pathway facilitates DSB formation, especially in bigger chromosomes, while the Mec1 pathway negatively regulates DSB formation. We also identified prophase I exit, which is under the control of the DNA damage checkpoint machinery, to be a critical event associated with down-regulating meiotic DSB formation.
Project description:During meiosis, Spo11-induced double-strand breaks (DSBs) are processed into crossovers, ensuring segregation of homologous chromosomes (homologs). Meiotic DSB processing entails 5' end resection and preferred strand exchange with the homolog rather than the sister chromatid (homolog bias). In many organisms, DSBs appear gradually along the genome. Here we report unexpected effects of global DSB levels on local recombination events. Early-occurring, low-abundance "scout" DSBs lack homolog bias. Their resection and interhomolog processing are controlled by the conserved checkpoint proteins Tel1(ATM) kinase and Pch2(TRIP13) ATPase. Processing pathways controlled by Mec1(ATR) kinase take over these functions only above a distinct DSB threshold, resulting in progressive strengthening of the homolog bias. We conclude that Tel1(ATM)/Pch2 and Mec1(ATR) DNA damage response pathways are sequentially activated during wild-type meiosis because of their distinct sensitivities to global DSB levels. Moreover, relative DSB order controls the DSB repair pathway choice and, ultimately, recombination outcome.
Project description:In most organisms, meiotic recombination begins with programmed DNA double strand break (DSB) formation by Spo11. Here, we present evidence that Tel1/Mec1, the budding yeast ATM/ATR, regulate DSB formation by phosphorylating Rec114, an essential Spo11-accessory protein. Analyses of a non-phosphorylatable- or phosphomimetic- alleles of rec114 revealed that DSB-dependent phosphorylation of Rec114 limited its association with DSB-hotspots resulting in reduction in DSB formation. Also observed were the impact of Rec114 phosphorylation on its homolog synapsis-associated removal from chromosomes and NDT80-dependent turnover. Specifically, we found that the synapsis- and NDT80-dependent Rec114 downregulation occurred later in the rec114 mutant with a reduced Spo11-catalysis, but earlier in the other with an enhanced catalysis, strongly implicating the existence of a feedback mechanism coupling the extent of Spo11-catalysis to Rec114 activity. Taken together, these observations suggest that three different mechanisms of down regulating Rec114 contribute to meiotic DSB homeostasis, a feedback mechanism to maintain the number of meiotic DSBs at the developmentally programmed level. Overall design: 6 genome wide ChIPchip sets: 3 for meiotic DSB formation (Spo11-ChIP) and 3 for protein-DNA association (Rec114-ChIP), each for wild type and two mutants during meiosis (corresponding to the main Figure 3, as well as to Figures S3, S4, S5).
Project description:Programmed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are required for meiotic recombination, but the number is strictly controlled because they are potentially harmful. Here we report a novel protein, Pars11, which is required for Spo11-dependent DSB formation in the protist Tetrahymena. Pars11 localizes to chromatin early in meiotic prophase in a Spo11-independent manner and is removed before the end of prophase. Pars11 removal depends on DSB formation and ATR-dependent phosphorylation. In the absence of the DNA damage sensor kinase ATR, Pars11 is retained on chromatin and excess DSBs are generated. Similar levels of Pars11 persistence and DSB overproduction occur in a non-phosphorylatable pars11 mutant. We conclude that Pars11 supports DSB formation by Spo11 until enough DSBs are formed; thereafter, DSB production stops in response to ATR-dependent degradation of Pars11 or its removal from chromatin. A similar DSB control mechanism involving a Rec114-Tel1/ATM-dependent negative feedback loop regulates DSB formation in budding yeast. However, there is no detectable sequence homology between Pars11 and Rec114, and DSB numbers are more tightly controlled by Pars11 than by Rec114. The discovery of this mechanism for DSB regulation in the evolutionarily distant protist and fungal lineages suggests that it is conserved across eukaryotes.
Project description:In most organisms, meiotic recombination begins with programmed DNA double strand break (DSB) formation by Spo11. Here, we present evidence that Tel1/Mec1, the budding yeast ATM/ATR, regulate DSB formation by phosphorylating Rec114, an essential Spo11-accessory protein. Analyses of a non-phosphorylatable- or phosphomimetic- alleles of rec114 revealed that DSB-dependent phosphorylation of Rec114 limited its association with DSB-hotspots resulting in reduction in DSB formation. Also observed were the impact of Rec114 phosphorylation on its homolog synapsis-associated removal from chromosomes and NDT80-dependent turnover. Specifically, we found that the synapsis- and NDT80-dependent Rec114 downregulation occurred later in the rec114 mutant with a reduced Spo11-catalysis, but earlier in the other with an enhanced catalysis, strongly implicating the existence of a feedback mechanism coupling the extent of Spo11-catalysis to Rec114 activity. Taken together, these observations suggest that three different mechanisms of down regulating Rec114 contribute to meiotic DSB homeostasis, a feedback mechanism to maintain the number of meiotic DSBs at the developmentally programmed level. 6 genome wide ChIPchip sets: 3 for meiotic DSB formation (Spo11-ChIP) and 3 for protein-DNA association (Rec114-ChIP), each for wild type and two mutants during meiosis (corresponding to the main Figure 3, as well as to Figures S3, S4, S5).
Project description:The Spo11-generated double-strand breaks (DSBs) that initiate meiotic recombination are dangerous lesions that can disrupt genome integrity, so meiotic cells regulate their number, timing, and distribution. Mechanisms of this regulation remain poorly understood. Here, we use Spo11-oligonucleotide complexes, a byproduct of DSB formation, to reveal aspects of the contribution of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae DNA damage-responsive kinase Tel1 (ortholog of mammalian ATM). A tel1? mutant has globally increased amounts of Spo11-oligonucleotide complexes and altered Spo11-oligonucleotide lengths, consistent with conserved roles for Tel1 in control of DSB number and processing. A kinase-dead tel1 mutation similarly increases Spo11-oligonucleotide levels but mutating known Tel1 phosphotargets on Hop1 and Rec114 does not, implicating Tel1 kinase activity and clarifying roles of Tel1 phosphorylation substrates. Deep sequencing of Spo11 oligonucleotides demonstrates that Tel1 shapes the genome-wide DSB landscape in unexpected ways. Early in meiosis, Tel1 absence causes widespread changes in DSB distributions across large chromosomal domains. Many of these changes are erased as meiosis proceeds, however, illustrating homeostatic behavior of DSB regulatory systems. We further find that effects of Tel1 are distinct but partially overlapping with previously described contributions of the recombination regulator Cst9 (also known as Zip3). Finally, we provide evidence indicating that Tel1-dependent DSB interference influences the population-average DSB landscape but also demonstrate that locally inhibitory effects of an artificial hotspot insertion can be both Tel1-independent and chromosomal context-dependent. Our findings delineate Tel1 roles in regulating number and location of DSBs and illuminate the complex interplay between Tel1 and other pathways for DSB control.
Project description:Meiotic recombination promotes genetic diversification as well as pairing and segregation of homologous chromosomes, but the double-strand breaks (DSBs) that initiate recombination are dangerous lesions that can cause mutation or meiotic failure. How cells control DSBs to balance between beneficial and deleterious outcomes is not well understood. This study tests the hypothesis that DSB control involves a network of intersecting regulatory circuits. We show that DSBs form in greater numbers in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells lacking ZMM proteins, a suite of recombination-promoting factors traditionally regarded as acting strictly downstream of DSB formation. This counterintuitive result suggests that homologous chromosomes that have successfully engaged one another stop making DSBs, and provides new insight into phenotypes of zmm and other recombination-defective mutants. A genetically distinct pathway ties DSB formation to meiotic progression through the Ndt80 transcription factor. High-resolution genome-wide DSB maps generated by sequencing short oligonucleotides covalently bound to Spo11 (Spo11 oligos) demonstrate that feedback tied to ZMM function contributes in unexpected ways to spatial patterning of the recombination landscape. Four samples total: two wild type and two zip3 mutant (each an independent culture)
Project description:Meiotic recombination plays a critical role in sexual reproduction by creating crossovers between homologous chromosomes. These crossovers, along with sister chromatid cohesion, connect homologs to enable proper segregation at Meiosis I. Recombination is initiated by programmed double strand breaks (DSBs) at particular regions of the genome. The meiotic recombination checkpoint uses meiosis-specific modifications to the DSB-induced DNA damage response to provide time to convert these breaks into interhomolog crossovers by delaying entry into Meiosis I until the DSBs have been repaired. The meiosis-specific kinase, Mek1, is a key regulator of meiotic recombination pathway choice, as well as being required for the meiotic recombination checkpoint. The major target of this checkpoint is the meiosis-specific transcription factor, Ndt80, which is essential to express genes necessary for completion of recombination and meiotic progression. The molecular mechanism by which cells monitor meiotic DSB repair to allow entry into Meiosis I with unbroken chromosomes was unknown. Using genetic and biochemical approaches, this work demonstrates that in the presence of DSBs, activated Mek1 binds to Ndt80 and phosphorylates the transcription factor, thus inhibiting DNA binding and preventing Ndt80's function as a transcriptional activator. Repair of DSBs by recombination reduces Mek1 activity, resulting in removal of the inhibitory Mek1 phosphates. Phosphorylation of Ndt80 by the meiosis-specific kinase, Ime2, then results in fully activated Ndt80. Ndt80 upregulates transcription of its own gene, as well as target genes, resulting in prophase exit and progression through meiosis.
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.