The DDN catalytic motif is required for Metnase functions in non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) repair and replication restart.
ABSTRACT: Metnase (or SETMAR) arose from a chimeric fusion of the Hsmar1 transposase downstream of a protein methylase in anthropoid primates. Although the Metnase transposase domain has been largely conserved, its catalytic motif (DDN) differs from the DDD motif of related transposases, which may be important for its role as a DNA repair factor and its enzymatic activities. Here, we show that substitution of DDN(610) with either DDD(610) or DDE(610) significantly reduced in vivo functions of Metnase in NHEJ repair and accelerated restart of replication forks. We next tested whether the DDD or DDE mutants cleave single-strand extensions and flaps in partial duplex DNA and pseudo-Tyr structures that mimic stalled replication forks. Neither substrate is cleaved by the DDD or DDE mutant, under the conditions where wild-type Metnase effectively cleaves ssDNA overhangs. We then characterized the ssDNA-binding activity of the Metnase transposase domain and found that the catalytic domain binds ssDNA but not dsDNA, whereas dsDNA binding activity resides in the helix-turn-helix DNA binding domain. Substitution of Asn-610 with either Asp or Glu within the transposase domain significantly reduces ssDNA binding activity. Collectively, our results suggest that a single mutation DDN(610) → DDD(610), which restores the ancestral catalytic site, results in loss of function in Metnase.
Project description:Metnase (SETMAR) is a SET-transposase fusion protein that promotes nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) repair in humans. Although both SET and the transposase domains were necessary for its function in DSB repair, it is not clear what specific role Metnase plays in the NHEJ. In this study, we show that Metnase possesses a unique endonuclease activity that preferentially acts on ssDNA and ssDNA-overhang of a partial duplex DNA. Cell extracts lacking Metnase poorly supported DNA end joining, and addition of wt-Metnase to cell extracts lacking Metnase markedly stimulated DNA end joining, while a mutant (D483A) lacking endonuclease activity did not. Given that Metnase overexpression enhanced DNA end processing in vitro, our finding suggests a role for Metnase's endonuclease activity in promoting the joining of noncompatible ends.
Project description:Chk1 both arrests replication forks and enhances repair of DNA damage by phosphorylating downstream effectors. Although there has been a concerted effort to identify effectors of Chk1 activity, underlying mechanisms of effector action are still being identified. Metnase (also called SETMAR) is a SET and transposase domain protein that promotes both DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair and restart of stalled replication forks. In this study, we show that Metnase is phosphorylated only on Ser495 (S495) in vivo in response to DNA damage by ionizing radiation. Chk1 is the major mediator of this phosphorylation event. We had previously shown that wild-type (wt) Metnase associates with chromatin near DSBs and methylates histone H3 Lys36. Here we show that a Ser495Ala (S495A) Metnase mutant, which is not phosphorylated by Chk1, is defective in DSB-induced chromatin association. The S495A mutant also fails to enhance repair of an induced DSB when compared with wt Metnase. Interestingly, the S495A mutant demonstrated increased restart of stalled replication forks compared with wt Metnase. Thus, phosphorylation of Metnase S495 differentiates between these two functions, enhancing DSB repair and repressing replication fork restart. In summary, these data lend insight into the mechanism by which Chk1 enhances repair of DNA damage while at the same time repressing stalled replication fork restart.
Project description:Transposases are ubiquitous mobile genetic elements responsible for genome development, driving rearrangements, such as insertions, deletions and translocations. Across species evolution, some transposases are tamed by their host and are made part of complex cellular systems. The proliferation of retroviruses is also dependent on transposase related enzymes termed integrases. Recombination?activating gene protein (RAG)1 and metnase are just two examples of transposase domestication and together with retroviral integrases (INs), they belong to the DDE polynucleotidyl transferases superfamily. They share mechanistic and structural features linked to the RNase H?like fold, harboring a DDE(D) metal dependent catalytic motif. Recent antiretroviral compounds target the catalytic domain of integrase, but they also have the potential of inhibiting other related enzymes. In this review, we report the activity of different classes of integrase inhibitors on various DDE transposases. Computational simulations are useful to predict the extent of off?target activity and have been employed to study the interactions between RAG1 recombinase and compounds from three different pharmacologic classes. We demonstrate that strand?transfer inhibitors display a higher affinity towards the RAG1 RNase H domain, as suggested by experimental data compared to allosteric inhibitors. While interference with RAG1 and 2 recombination is associated with a negative impact on immune function, the inhibition of metnase or HTLV?1 integrase opens the way for the development of novel therapies for refractory cancers.
Project description:Metnase (also known as SETMAR) is a chimeric SET-transposase protein that plays essential role(s) in non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) repair and replication fork restart. Although the SET domain possesses histone H3 lysine 36 dimethylation (H3K36me2) activity associated with an improved association of early repair components for NHEJ, its role in replication restart is less clear. Here we show that the SET domain is necessary for the recovery from DNA damage at the replication forks following hydroxyurea (HU) treatment. Cells overexpressing the SET deletion mutant caused a delay in fork restart after HU release. Our In vitro study revealed that the SET domain but not the H3K36me2 activity is required for the 5' end of ss-overhang cleavage with fork and non-fork DNA without affecting the Metnase-DNA interaction. Together, our results suggest that the Metnase SET domain has a positive role in restart of replication fork and the 5' end of ss-overhang cleavage, providing a new insight into the functional interaction of the SET and the transposase domains.
Project description:Transposase domain proteins mediate DNA movement from one location in the genome to another in lower organisms. However, in human cells such DNA mobility would be deleterious, and therefore the vast majority of transposase-related sequences in humans are pseudogenes. We recently isolated and characterized a SET and transposase domain protein termed Metnase that promotes DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair by non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). Both the SET and transposase domain were required for its NHEJ activity. In this study we found that Metnase interacts with DNA Ligase IV, an important component of the classical NHEJ pathway. We investigated whether Metnase had structural requirements of the free DNA ends for NHEJ repair, and found that Metnase assists in joining all types of free DNA ends equally well. Metnase also prevents long deletions from processing of the free DNA ends, and improves the accuracy of NHEJ. Metnase levels correlate with the speed of disappearance of gamma-H2Ax sites after ionizing radiation. However, Metnase has little effect on homologous recombination repair of a single DSB. Altogether, these results fit a model where Metnase plays a role in the fate of free DNA ends during NHEJ repair of DSBs.
Project description:Cut-and-paste DNA transposable elements are major components of eukaryotic genomes and are grouped into superfamilies (e.g., hAT, P) based on sequence similarity of the element-encoded transposase. The transposases from several superfamilies possess a protein domain containing an acidic amino acid triad (DDE or DDD) that catalyzes the "cut and paste" transposition reaction. However, it was unclear whether this domain was shared by the transposases from all superfamilies. Through multiple-alignment of transposase sequences from a diverse collection of previously identified and recently annotated elements from a wide range of organisms, we identified the putative DDE/D triad for all superfamilies. Furthermore, we identified additional highly conserved amino acid residues or motifs within the DDE/D domain that together form a "signature string" that is specific to each superfamily. These conserved residues or motifs were exploited as phylogenetic characters to infer evolutionary relationships among all superfamilies. The phylogenetic analysis revealed three major groups that were not previously discerned and led us to revise the classification of several currently recognized superfamilies. Taking the data together, this study suggests that all eukaryotic cut-and-paste transposable element superfamilies have a common evolutionary origin and establishes a phylogenetic framework for all future cut-and-paste transposase comparisons.
Project description:Metnase is a fusion gene comprising a SET histone methyl transferase domain and a transposase domain derived from the Mariner transposase. This fusion gene appeared first in anthropoid primates. Because of its biochemical activities, both histone (protein) methylase and endonuclease, we termed the protein Metnase (also called SETMAR). Metnase methylates histone H3 lysine 36 (H3K36), improves the integration of foreign DNA, and enhances DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair by the non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) pathway, potentially dependent on its interaction with DNA Ligase IV. Metnase interacts with PCNA and enhances replication fork restart after stalling. Metnase also interacts with and stimulates TopoIIalpha-dependent chromosome decatenation and regulates cellular sensitivity to topoisomerase inhibitors used as cancer chemotherapeutics. Metnase has DNA nicking and endonuclease activity that linearizes but does not degrade supercoiled plasmids. Metnase has many but not all of the properties of a transposase, including Terminal Inverted Repeat (TIR) sequence-specific DNA binding, DNA looping, paired end complex formation, and cleavage of the 5' end of a TIR, but it cannot efficiently complete transposition reactions. Interestingly, Metnase suppresses chromosomal translocations. It has been hypothesized that transposase activity would be deleterious in primates because unregulated DNA movement would predispose to malignancy. Metnase may have been selected for in primates because of its DNA repair and translocation suppression activities. Thus, its transposase activities may have been subverted to prevent deleterious DNA movement.
Project description:The Metnase fusion gene consists of a SET histone methyltransferase domain and a transposase domain from Mariner transposase. This transposable element is involved in chromosome decatenation, enhances DNA repair, promotes foreign DNA integration, and assists topoisomerase II function. This study investigates the role of Metnase in colon cancer homeostasis and maintenance of the stemness phenotype in colon cancer stem cells (CSCs). Silencing of Metnase was performed in human cancer cell lines before and after treatment with cisplatin, and in colon CSCs. Subsequent changes in the expression of genes involved in repair mechanisms, DNA synthesis, topoisomerase II function, and metastasis as well stemness transcription factors were studied with RT-qPCR experiments. Cellular viability and apoptosis were evaluated by flow cytometry. The results suggest that Metnase influences the expression of many genes involved in the above processes. Furthermore, Metnase levels appear to impact upon expression of NANOG, OCT3/4, and SOX2. Suppression of Metnase also led to an increase in apoptosis. Therefore, Metnase may possess an important role in DNA repair, topoisomerase II function, and the maintenance of stemness during colon cancer development.
Project description:The molecular mechanism by which foreign DNA integrates into the human genome is poorly understood yet critical to many disease processes, including retroviral infection and carcinogenesis, and to gene therapy. We hypothesized that the mechanism of genomic integration may be similar to transposition in lower organisms. We identified a protein, termed Metnase, that has a SET domain and a transposase/nuclease domain. Metnase methylates histone H3 lysines 4 and 36, which are associated with open chromatin. Metnase increases resistance to ionizing radiation and increases nonhomologous end-joining repair of DNA doublestrand breaks. Most significantly, Metnase promotes integration of exogenous DNA into the genomes of host cells. Therefore, Metnase is a nonhomologous end-joining repair protein that regulates genomic integration of exogenous DNA and establishes a relationship among histone modification, DNA repair, and integration. The data suggest a model wherein Metnase promotes integration of exogenous DNA by opening chromatin and facilitating joining of DNA ends. This study demonstrates that eukaryotic transposase domains can have important cell functions beyond transposition of genetic elements.
Project description:Previous studies have shown that the DNA repair component Metnase (SETMAR) mediates resistance to DNA damaging cancer chemotherapy. Metnase has a nuclease domain that shares homology with the Transposase family. We therefore virtually screened the tertiary Metnase structure against the 550,000 compound ChemDiv library to identify small molecules that might dock in the active site of the transposase nuclease domain of Metnase. We identified eight compounds as possible Metnase inhibitors. Interestingly, among these candidate inhibitors were quinolone antibiotics and HIV integrase inhibitors, which share common structural features. Previous reports have described possible activity of quinolones as antineoplastic agents. Therefore, we chose the quinolone ciprofloxacin for further study, based on its wide clinical availability and low toxicity. We found that ciprofloxacin inhibits the ability of Metnase to cleave DNA and inhibits Metnase-dependent DNA repair. Ciprofloxacin on its own did not induce DNA damage, but it did reduce repair of chemotherapy-induced DNA damage. Ciprofloxacin increased the sensitivity of cancer cell lines and a xenograft tumor model to clinically relevant chemotherapy. These studies provide a mechanism for the previously postulated antineoplastic activity of quinolones, and suggest that ciprofloxacin might be a simple yet effective adjunct to cancer chemotherapy.