Disease-associated MRE11 mutants impact ATM/ATR DNA damage signaling by distinct mechanisms.
ABSTRACT: DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) can lead to instability of the genome if not repaired correctly. The MRE11/RAD50/NBS1 (MRN) complex binds DSBs and initiates damage-induced signaling cascades via activation of the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and ataxia-telangiectasia- and rad3-related (ATR) kinases. Mutations throughout MRE11 cause ataxia-telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD) featuring cerebellar degeneration, and cancer-predisposition in certain kindreds. Here, we have examined the impact on DNA damage signaling of several disease-associated MRE11A alleles to gain greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying the diverse disease sequelae of ATLD. To this end, we have designed a system whereby endogenous wild-type Mre11a is conditionally deleted and disease-associated MRE11 mutants are stably expressed at physiologic levels. We find that mutations in the highly conserved N-terminal domain impact ATM signaling by perturbing both MRE11 interaction with NBS1 and MRE11 homodimerization. In contrast, an inherited allele in the MRE11 C-terminus maintains MRN interactions and ATM/ATR kinase activation. These findings reveal that ATLD patients have reduced ATM activation resulting from at least two distinct mechanisms: (i) N-terminal mutations destabilize MRN interactions, and (ii) mutation of the extreme C-terminus maintains interactions but leads to low levels of the complex. The N-terminal mutations were found in ATLD patients with childhood cancer; thus, our studies suggest a clinically relevant dichotomy in MRE11A alleles. More broadly, these studies underscore the importance of understanding specific effects of hypomorphic disease-associated mutations to achieve accurate prognosis and appropriate long-term medical surveillance.
Project description:Mre11 forms the core of the multifunctional Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex that detects DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), activates the ATM checkpoint kinase, and initiates homologous recombination (HR) repair of DSBs. To define the roles of Mre11 in both DNA bridging and nucleolytic processing during initiation of DSB repair, we combined small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and crystal structures of Pyrococcus furiosus Mre11 dimers bound to DNA with mutational analyses of fission yeast Mre11. The Mre11 dimer adopts a four-lobed U-shaped structure that is critical for proper MRN complex assembly and for binding and aligning DNA ends. Further, mutations blocking Mre11 endonuclease activity impair cell survival after DSB induction without compromising MRN complex assembly or Mre11-dependant recruitment of Ctp1, an HR factor, to DSBs. These results show how Mre11 dimerization and nuclease activities initiate repair of DSBs and collapsed replication forks, as well as provide a molecular foundation for understanding cancer-causing Mre11 mutations in ataxia telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD).
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:The MRN (MRE11-RAD50-NBS1) complex is essential for repair of DNA double-strand breaks and stalled replication forks. Mutations of the MRN complex subunit MRE11 cause the hereditary cancer-susceptibility disease ataxia-telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD). Here we show that MRE11 directly interacts with PIH1D1, a subunit of heat-shock protein 90 cochaperone R2TP complex, which is required for the assembly of large protein complexes, such as RNA polymerase II, small nucleolar ribonucleoproteins and mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1. The MRE11-PIH1D1 interaction is dependent on casein kinase 2 (CK2) phosphorylation of two acidic sequences within the MRE11 C terminus containing serines 558/561 and 688/689. Conversely, the PIH1D1 phospho-binding domain PIH-N is required for association with MRE11 phosphorylated by CK2. Consistent with these findings, depletion of PIH1D1 resulted in MRE11 destabilization and affected DNA-damage repair processes dependent on MRE11. Additionally, mutations of serines 688/689, which abolish PIH1D1 binding, also resulted in decreased MRE11 stability. As depletion of R2TP frequently leads to instability of its substrates and as truncation mutation of MRE11 lacking serines 688/689 leads to decreased levels of the MRN complex both in ATLD patients and an ATLD mouse model, our results suggest that the MRN complex is a novel R2TP complex substrate and that their interaction is regulated by CK2 phosphorylation.
Project description:The protein kinases ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and ATM-Rad3 related (ATR) are activated in response to DNA damage, genotoxic stress and virus infections. Here we show that during infection with wild-type adenovirus, ATR and its cofactors RPA32, ATRIP and TopBP1 accumulate at viral replication centres, but there is minimal ATR activation. We show that the Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 (MRN) complex is recruited to viral centres only during infection with adenoviruses lacking the early region E4 and ATR signaling is activated. This suggests a novel requirement for the MRN complex in ATR activation during virus infection, which is independent of Mre11 nuclease activity and recruitment of RPA/ATR/ATRIP/TopBP1. Unlike other damage scenarios, we found that ATM and ATR signaling are not dependent on each other during infection. We identify a region of the viral E4orf3 protein responsible for immobilization of the MRN complex and show that this prevents ATR signaling during adenovirus infection. We propose that immobilization of the MRN damage sensor by E4orf3 protein prevents recognition of viral genomes and blocks detrimental aspects of checkpoint signaling during virus infection.
Project description:Ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM), ataxia-telangiectasia Rad3-related (ATR) and the Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 complex ensure genome stability in response to DNA damage. However, their essential role in DNA metabolism remains unknown. Here we show that ATM and ATR prevent accumulation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) during chromosomal replication. Replicating chromosomes accumulate DSBs in Xenopus laevis egg extracts depleted of ATM and ATR. Addition of ATM and ATR proteins to depleted extracts prevents DSB accumulation by promoting restart of collapsed replication forks that arise during DNA replication. We show that collapsed forks maintain MCM complex but lose Pol epsilon, and that Pol epsilon reloading requires ATM and ATR. Replication fork restart is abolished in Mre11 depleted extracts and is restored by supplementation with recombinant human Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 complex. Using a novel fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based technique, we demonstrate that ATM and ATR induce Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 complex redistribution to restarting forks. This study provides direct biochemical evidence that ATM and ATR prevent accumulation of chromosomal abnormalities by promoting Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 dependent recovery of collapsed replication forks.
Project description:Progressive telomere attrition or uncapping of the shelterin complex elicits a DNA damage response as a result of a cell's inability to distinguish dysfunctional telomeric ends from DNA double-strand breaks. Telomere deprotection activates both ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR) kinase-dependent DNA damage response pathways, and promotes efficient non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) of dysfunctional telomeres. The mammalian MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN; NBS1 is also known as NBN) complex interacts with ATM to sense chromosomal double-strand breaks and coordinate global DNA damage responses. Although the MRN complex accumulates at dysfunctional telomeres, it is not known whether mammalian MRN promotes repair at these sites. Here we address this question by using mouse alleles that either inactivate the entire MRN complex or eliminate only the nuclease activities of MRE11 (ref. 8). We show that cells lacking MRN do not activate ATM when telomeric repeat binding factor 2 (TRF2) is removed from telomeres, and ligase 4 (LIG4)-dependent chromosome end-to-end fusions are markedly reduced. Residual chromatid fusions involve only telomeres generated by leading strand synthesis. Notably, although cells deficient for MRE11 nuclease activity efficiently activate ATM and recruit 53BP1 (also known as TP53BP1) to deprotected telomeres, the 3' telomeric overhang persists to prevent NHEJ-mediated chromosomal fusions. Removal of shelterin proteins that protect the 3' overhang in the setting of MRE11 nuclease deficiency restores LIG4-dependent chromosome fusions. Our data indicate a critical role for the MRN complex in sensing dysfunctional telomeres, and show that in the absence of TRF2, MRE11 nuclease activity removes the 3' telomeric overhang to promote chromosome fusions. MRE11 can also protect newly replicated leading strand telomeres from NHEJ by promoting 5' strand resection to generate POT1a-TPP1-bound 3' overhangs.
Project description:The MRN (MRE11-RAD50-NBS1) complex has been implicated in many aspects of the DNA damage response. It has key roles in sensing and processing DNA double-strand breaks, as well as in activation of ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated). We reveal a function for MRN in ATR (ATM- and RAD3-related) activation by using defined ATR-activating DNA structures in Xenopus egg extracts. Strikingly, we demonstrate that MRN is required for recruitment of TOPBP1 to an ATR-activating structure that contains a single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and a double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) junction and that this recruitment is necessary for phosphorylation of CHK1. We also show that the 911 (RAD9-RAD1-HUS1) complex is not required for TOPBP1 recruitment but is essential for TOPBP1 function. Thus, whereas MRN is required for TOPBP1 recruitment at an ssDNA-to-dsDNA junction, 911 is required for TOPBP1 "activation." These findings provide molecular insights into how ATR is activated.
Project description:The MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) protein complex is one of the primary vehicles for repairing DNA double strand breaks and maintaining the genomic stability within the cell. The role of the MRN complex to recognize and process DNA double-strand breaks as well as signal other damage response factors is critical for maintaining proper cellular function. Mutations in any one of the components of the MRN complex that effect function or expression of the repair machinery could be detrimental to the cell and may initiate and/or propagate disease. Here, we discuss, in a structural and biochemical context, mutations in each of the three MRN components that have been associated with diseases such as ataxia telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD), Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS), NBS-like disorder (NBSLD) and certain types of cancers. Overall, deepening our understanding of disease-causing mutations of the MRN complex at the structural and biochemical level is foundational to the future aim of treating diseases associated with these aberrations.
Project description:Telomeres use shelterin to protect chromosome ends from activating the DNA damage sensor MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN), repressing ataxia-telangiectasia, mutated (ATM) and ATM and Rad3-related (ATR) dependent DNA damage checkpoint responses. The MRE11 nuclease is thought to be essential for the resection of the 5' C-strand to generate the microhomologies necessary for alternative non-homologous end joining (A-NHEJ) repair. In the present study, we uncover DNA damage signaling and repair pathways engaged by components of the replisome complex to repair dysfunctional telomeres. In cells lacking MRN, single-stranded telomeric overhangs devoid of POT1-TPP1 do not recruit replication protein A (RPA), ATR-interacting protein (ATRIP), and RAD 51. Rather, components of the replisome complex, including Claspin, Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), and Downstream neighbor of SON (DONSON), initiate DNA-PKcs-mediated p-CHK1 activation and A-NHEJ repair. In addition, Claspin directly interacts with TRF2 and recruits EXO1 to newly replicated telomeres to promote 5' end resection. Our data indicate that MRN is dispensable for the repair of dysfunctional telomeres lacking POT1-TPP1 and highlight the contributions of the replisome in telomere repair.
Project description:The role of Mre11 phosphorylation in the cellular response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) is not well understood. Here, we show that phosphorylation of Mre11 at SQ/TQ motifs by PIKKs (PI3 Kinase-related Kinases) induces MRN (Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1) complex dissociation from chromatin by reducing Mre11 affinity for DNA. Whereas phosphorylation of Mre11 at these residues is not required for DSB-induced ATM (Ataxia-Telangiectasia mutated) activation, abrogation of Mre11 dephosphorylation impairs ATM signaling. Our study provides a functional characterization of the DNA damage-induced Mre11 phosphorylation, and suggests that MRN inactivation participates in the down-regulation of damage signaling during checkpoint recovery following DSB repair.