Ku stabilizes replication forks in the absence of Brc1.
ABSTRACT: DNA replication errors are a major source of genome instability in all organisms. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the DNA damage response protein Brc1 binds phospho-histone H2A (?H2A)-marked chromatin during S-phase, but how Brc1 protects genome integrity remains unclear. Here we report that the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) protein Ku becomes critical for survival of replication stress in brc1? cells. Ku's protective activity in brc1? cells does not involve its canonical NHEJ function or its roles in protecting telomeres or shielding DNA ends from Exo1 exonuclease. In brc1? pku80? cells, nuclear foci of Rad52 homologous recombination (HR) protein increase and Mus81-Eme1 Holliday junction resolvase becomes critical, indicating increased replication fork instability. Ku's localization at a ribosomal DNA replication fork barrier associated with frequent replisome-transcriptosome collisions increases in brc1? cells and increased collisions correlate with an enhanced requirement for Brc1. These data indicate that Ku stabilizes replication forks in the absence of Brc1.
Project description:Telomeres are protected from nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) to avoid deleterious chromosome fusions, yet they associate with the Ku heterodimer that is principal in the classical NHEJ (c-NHEJ) pathway. T-loops have been proposed to inhibit Ku's association with telomeric ends, thus inhibiting c-NHEJ; however, deficiencies in the t-loop model suggest additional mechanisms are in effect. We demonstrate that TRF2 interacts with Ku at telomeres and via residues in Ku70 helix 5 (?5), which are vital for NHEJ. We show that Ku's interaction with a TRF2 mutant that induces telomeric fusions is significantly impaired. Additionally, we demonstrate that Ku70 ?5 is required for Ku self-association in live cells, which can bridge DNA ends. Together, these findings lead us to propose a model in which telomeres are directly protected from c-NHEJ via TRF2 impeding Ku's ability to synapse telomere ends.
Project description:ATM(Tel1) and ATR(Rad3) checkpoint kinases phosphorylate the C-terminus of histone H2AX (H2A in yeasts) in chromatin flanking DNA damage, establishing a recruitment platform for checkpoint and repair proteins. Phospho-H2A/X (gammaH2A/X)-binding proteins at double-strand breaks (DSBs) have been characterized, but those required for replication stress responses are unknown. Here, we present genetic, biochemical, small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and X-ray structural studies of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe Brc1, a 6-BRCT-domain protein that is structurally related to Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rtt107 and mammalian PTIP. Brc1 binds gammaH2A to form spontaneous and DNA damage-induced nuclear foci. Spontaneous Brc1 foci colocalize with ribosomal DNA repeats, a region prone to fork pausing and genomic instability, whereas DNA damage-induced Brc1 foci colocalize with DSB response factors. gammaH2A binding is critical for Brc1 function. The 1.45 A resolution crystal structure of Brc1-gammaH2A complex shows how variable BRCT insertion loops sculpt tandem-BRCT phosphoprotein-binding pockets to facilitate unique phosphoprotein-interaction specificities, and unveils an acidic DNA-mimicking Brc1 surface. From these results, Brc1 docking to gammaH2A emerges as a critical chromatin-specific response to replication-associated DNA damage.
Project description:Schizosaccharomyces pombe Rad3 checkpoint kinase and its human ortholog ATR are essential for maintaining genome integrity in cells treated with genotoxins that damage DNA or arrest replication forks. Rad3 and ATR also function during unperturbed growth, although the events triggering their activation and their critical functions are largely unknown. Here, we use ChIP-on-chip analysis to map genomic loci decorated by phosphorylated histone H2A (gammaH2A), a Rad3 substrate that establishes a chromatin-based recruitment platform for Crb2 and Brc1 DNA repair/checkpoint proteins. Unexpectedly, gammaH2A marks a diverse array of genomic features during S-phase, including natural replication fork barriers and a fork breakage site, retrotransposons, heterochromatin in the centromeres and telomeres, and ribosomal RNA (rDNA) repeats. gammaH2A formation at the centromeres and telomeres is associated with heterochromatin establishment by Clr4 histone methyltransferase. We show that gammaH2A domains recruit Brc1, a factor involved in repair of damaged replication forks. Brc1 C-terminal BRCT domain binding to gammaH2A is crucial in the absence of Rqh1(Sgs1), a RecQ DNA helicase required for rDNA maintenance whose human homologs are mutated in patients with Werner, Bloom, and Rothmund-Thomson syndromes that are characterized by cancer-predisposition or accelerated aging. We conclude that Rad3 phosphorylates histone H2A to mobilize Brc1 to critical genomic domains during S-phase, and this pathway functions in parallel with Rqh1 DNA helicase in maintaining genome integrity.
Project description:In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the Ku heterodimer contributes to telomere maintenance as a component of telomeric chromatin and as an accessory subunit of telomerase. How Ku binding to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) and to telomerase RNA (TLC1) promotes Ku's telomeric functions is incompletely understood. We demonstrate that deletions designed to constrict the DNA-binding ring of Ku80 disrupt nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ), telomeric gene silencing, and telomere length maintenance, suggesting that these functions require Ku's DNA end-binding activity. Contrary to the current model, a mutant Ku with low affinity for dsDNA also loses affinity for TLC1 both in vitro and in vivo. Competition experiments reveal that wild-type Ku binds dsDNA and TLC1 mutually exclusively. Cells expressing the mutant Ku are deficient in nuclear accumulation of TLC1, as expected from the RNA-binding defect. These findings force reconsideration of the mechanisms by which Ku assists in recruiting telomerase to natural telomeres and broken chromosome ends. PAPERCLIP:
Project description:The Ku heterodimer acts centrally in nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) of DNA double-strand breaks (DSB). Saccharomyces cerevisiae Ku, like mammalian Ku, binds and recruits NHEJ factors to DSB ends. Consequently, NHEJ is virtually absent in yeast Ku null (yku70∆ or yku80∆) strains. Previously, we unexpectedly observed imprecise NHEJ proficiency in a yeast Ku mutant with impaired DNA end-binding (DEB). However, how DEB impairment supported imprecise NHEJ was unknown. Here, we found imprecise NHEJ proficiency to be a feature of a panel of DEB-impaired Ku mutants and that DEB impairment resulted in a deficiency in precise NHEJ. These results suggest that DEB-impaired Ku specifically promotes error-prone NHEJ. Epistasis analysis showed that classical NHEJ factors, as well as novel and previously characterized NHEJ-specific residues of Ku, are required for the distinct error-prone repair in a Ku DEB mutant. However, sequencing of repair junctions revealed that imprecise repair in Ku DEB mutants was almost exclusively characterized by small deletions, in contrast to the majority of insertions that define imprecise repair in wild-type strains. Notably, while sequencing indicated a lack of Pol4-dependent insertions at the site of repair, Pol2 exonuclease activity, which mediates small deletions in NHEJ, contributed to imprecise NHEJ in a Ku DEB mutant. The deletions were smaller than in Ku-independent microhomology-mediated end-joining (MMEJ) and were neither promoted by Mre11 nuclease activity nor Sae2 Thus, the quality of Ku's engagement at the DNA end influences end-processing during NHEJ and DEB impairment unmasks a Ku-dependent error-prone pathway of end-joining distinct from MMEJ.
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:Repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in mammalian cells by nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) is initiated by the DNA-PK protein complex. Recent studies have shown inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP6) is a potent cofactor for DNA-PK activity in NHEJ. Specifically, InsP6 binds to the Ku component of DNA-PK, where it induces a conformational change and a corresponding increase in DNA end-joining activity. However, the effect of InsP6 on the dynamics of Ku, such as its mobility in the nucleus, is unknown. Importantly, these dynamics reflect the character of Ku's interactions with other molecules. To address this question, the diffusion of Ku was measured by fluorescence photobleaching experiments using cells expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled Ku. InsP6 was depleted by treating cells with calmodulin inhibitors, which included the compounds W7 and chlorpromazine. These treatments caused a 50% reduction in the mobile fraction of Ku-GFP, and this could be reversed by replenishing cells with InsP6. By expressing deletion mutants of Ku-GFP, it was determined that its W7-sensitive region occurred at the N-terminus of the dimerization domain of Ku70. These results therefore show that InsP6 enhances Ku mobility through a discrete region of Ku70, and modulation of InsP6 levels in cells represents a potential avenue for regulating NHEJ by affecting the dynamics of Ku and hence its interaction with other nuclear proteins.
Project description:Ku is a conserved DNA end-binding protein that plays various roles at different kinds of DNA ends. At telomeres, Ku is part of the structure that protects the chromosome end, whereas at broken DNA ends, Ku promotes DNA repair as part of the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway. Here, we present evidence of a new role for Ku that impacts both telomere-length maintenance and DNA repair in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We show that Ku binds TLC1, the RNA component of telomerase. We also describe a novel separation-of-function allele of Ku that is specifically defective in TLC1 binding. In this mutant, telomeres are short and the kinetics of telomere addition are slow, but other Ku-dependent activities, such as chromosome end protection and NHEJ, are unaffected. At low frequency, yeast will use telomerase to heal DNA damage by capping the broken chromosome with telomeric DNA sequences. We show that when Ku's ability to bind TLC1 is disrupted, DNA repair via telomere healing is reduced 10- to 100-fold, and the spectrum of sequences that can acquire a telomere changes. Thus, the interaction between Ku and TLC1 RNA enables telomerase to act at both broken and normal chromosome ends.
Project description:Multiple DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathways are active in S phase of the cell cycle; however, DSBs are primarily repaired by homologous recombination (HR) in this cell cycle phase. As the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) factor, Ku70/80 (Ku), is quickly recruited to DSBs in S phase, we hypothesized that an orchestrated mechanism modulates pathway choice between HR and NHEJ via displacement of the Ku heterodimer from DSBs to allow HR. Here, we provide evidence that phosphorylation at a cluster of sites in the junction of the pillar and bridge regions of Ku70 mediates the dissociation of Ku from DSBs. Mimicking phosphorylation at these sites reduces Ku's affinity for DSB ends, suggesting that phosphorylation of Ku70 induces a conformational change responsible for the dissociation of the Ku heterodimer from DNA ends. Ablating phosphorylation of Ku70 leads to the sustained retention of Ku at DSBs, resulting in a significant decrease in DNA end resection and HR, specifically in S phase. This decrease in HR is specific as these phosphorylation sites are not required for NHEJ. Our results demonstrate that the phosphorylation-mediated dissociation of Ku70/80 from DSBs frees DNA ends, allowing the initiation of HR in S phase and providing a mechanism of DSB repair pathway choice in mammalian cells.
Project description:Phosphorylation of histone H2AX by ATM and ATR establishes a chromatin recruitment platform for DNA damage response proteins. Phospho-H2AX (?H2AX) has been most intensively studied in the context of DNA double-strand breaks caused by exogenous clastogens, but recent studies suggest that DNA replication stress also triggers formation of ?H2A (ortholog of ?H2AX) in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Here, a focused genetic screen in fission yeast reveals that ?H2A is critical when there are defects in Replication Factor C (RFC), which loads proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) clamp onto duplex DNA. Surprisingly Chk1, Cds1/Chk2 and the Rad9-Hus1-Rad1 checkpoint clamp, which are crucial for surviving many genotoxins, are fully dispensable in RFC-defective cells. Immunoblot analysis confirms that Rad9-Hus1-Rad1 is not required for formation of ?H2A by Rad3/ATR in S-phase. Defects in DNA polymerase epsilon, which binds PCNA in the replisome, also create an acute need for ?H2A. These requirements for ?H2A were traced to its role in docking with Brc1, which is a 6-BRCT-domain protein that is structurally related to budding yeast Rtt107 and mammalian PTIP. Brc1, which localizes at stalled replication forks by binding ?H2A, prevents aberrant formation of Replication Protein A (RPA) foci in RFC-impaired cells, suggesting that Brc1-coated chromatin stabilizes replisomes when PCNA or DNA polymerase availability limits DNA synthesis.