ATM function and its relationship with ATM gene mutations in chronic lymphocytic leukemia with the recurrent deletion (11q22.3-23.2).
ABSTRACT: Approximately 10-20% of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients exhibit del(11q22-23) before treatment, this cohort increases to over 40% upon progression following chemoimmunotherapy. The coding sequence of the DNA damage response gene, ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated (ATM), is contained in this deletion. The residual ATM allele is frequently mutated, suggesting a relationship between gene function and clinical response. To investigate this possibility, we sought to develop and validate an assay for the function of ATM protein in these patients. SMC1 (structural maintenance of chromosomes 1) and KAP1 (KRAB-associated protein 1) were found to be unique substrates of ATM kinase by immunoblot detection following ionizing radiation. Using a pool of eight fluorescence in situ hybridization-negative CLL samples as a standard, the phosphorylation of SMC1 and KAP1 from 46 del (11q22-23) samples was analyzed using normal mixture model-based clustering. This identified 13 samples (28%) that were deficient in ATM function. Targeted sequencing of the ATM gene of these samples, with reference to genomic DNA, revealed 12 somatic mutations and 15 germline mutations in these samples. No strong correlation was observed between ATM mutation and function. Therefore, mutation status may not be taken as an indicator of ATM function. Rather, a direct assay of the kinase activity should be used in the development of therapies.
Project description:The deletion of 11q (del(11q)) invariably comprises ATM gene in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Concomitant mutations in this gene in the remaining allele have been identified in 1/3 of CLL cases harboring del(11q), being the biallelic loss of ATM associated with adverse prognosis. Although the introduction of targeted BCR inhibition has significantly favored the outcomes of del(11q) patients, responses of patients harboring ATM functional loss through biallelic inactivation are unexplored, and the development of resistances to targeted therapies have been increasingly reported, urging the need to explore novel therapeutic approaches. Here, we generated isogenic CLL cell lines harboring del(11q) and ATM mutations through CRISPR/Cas9-based gene-editing. With these models, we uncovered a novel therapeutic vulnerability of del(11q)/ATM-mutated cells to dual BCR and PARP inhibition. Ex vivo studies in the presence of stromal stimulation on 38 CLL primary samples confirmed a synergistic action of the combination of olaparib and ibrutinib in del(11q)/ATM-mutated CLL patients. In addition, we showed that ibrutinib produced a homologous recombination repair impairment through RAD51 dysregulation, finding a synergistic link of both drugs in the DNA damage repair pathway. Our data provide a preclinical rationale for the use of this combination in CLL patients with this high-risk cytogenetic abnormality.
Project description:Structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) proteins play important roles in sister chromatid cohesion, chromosome condensation, sex-chromosome dosage compensation, and DNA recombination and repair. Protein complexes containing heterodimers of the Smc1 and Smc3 proteins have been implicated specifically in both sister chromatid cohesion and DNA recombination. Here, we show that the protein kinase, Atm, which belongs to a family of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases that regulate cell cycle checkpoints and DNA recombination and repair, phosphorylates Smc1 protein after ionizing irradiation. Atm phosphorylates Smc1 on serines 957 and 966 in vitro and in vivo, and expression of an Smc1 protein mutated at these phosphorylation sites abrogates the ionizing irradiation-induced S phase cell cycle checkpoint. Optimal phosphorylation of these sites in Smc1 after ionizing irradiation also requires the presence of the Atm substrates Nbs1 and Brca1. These same sites in Smc1 are phosphorylated after treatment with UV irradiation or hydroxyurea in an Atm-independent manner, thus demonstrating that another kinase must be involved in responses to these cellular stresses. Yeast containing hypomorphic mutations in SMC1 and human cells overexpressing Smc1 mutated at both of these phosphorylation sites exhibit decreased survival following ionizing irradiation. These results demonstrate that Smc1 participates in cellular responses to DNA damage and link Smc1 to the Atm signal transduction pathway.
Project description:The MRE11/RAD50/NBS1 (MRN) complex plays a central role as a sensor of DNA double strand breaks (DSB) and is responsible for the efficient activation of ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase. Once activated ATM in turn phosphorylates RAD50 and NBS1, important for cell cycle control, DNA repair and cell survival. We report here that MRE11 is also phosphorylated by ATM at S676 and S678 in response to agents that induce DNA DSB, is dependent on the presence of NBS1, and does not affect the association of members of the complex or ATM activation. A phosphosite mutant (MRE11S676AS678A) cell line showed decreased cell survival and increased chromosomal aberrations after radiation exposure indicating a defect in DNA repair. Use of GFP-based DNA repair reporter substrates in MRE11S676AS678A cells revealed a defect in homology directed repair (HDR) but single strand annealing was not affected. More detailed investigation revealed that MRE11S676AS678A cells resected DNA ends to a greater extent at sites undergoing HDR. Furthermore, while ATM-dependent phosphorylation of Kap1 and SMC1 was normal in MRE11S676AS678A cells, there was no phosphorylation of Exonuclease 1 consistent with the defect in HDR. These results describe a novel role for ATM-dependent phosphorylation of MRE11 in limiting the extent of resection mediated through Exonuclease 1.
Project description:A commonly deleted region in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the 11q22-23 region, which encompasses the ATM gene. Evidence suggests that tumor suppressor genes other than ATM are likely to be involved in CLL with del(11q). A microRNA (miR) cluster including the miR-34b and miR-34c genes is located, among other genes, within the commonly deleted region (CDR) at 11q. Interestingly, these miRs are part of the TP53 network and have been shown to be epigenetically regulated. In this study, we investigated the expression and methylation status of these miRs in a well-characterized cohort of CLL, including cases with/without 11q-deletion. We show that the miR-34b/c promoter was aberrantly hypermethylated in a large proportion of CLL cases (48%, 25/52 cases). miR-34b/c expression correlated inversely to DNA methylation (P = 0.003), and presence of high H3K37me3 further suppressed expression regardless of methylation status. Furthermore, increased miR-34b/c methylation inversely correlated with the presence of 11q-deletion, indicating that methylation and del(11q) independently silence these miRs. Finally, 5-azacytidine and trichostatin A exposure synergistically increased the expression of miR-34b/c in CLL cells, and transfection of miR-34b or miR-34c into HG3 CLL cells significantly increased apoptosis. Altogether, our novel data suggest that miR-34b/c is a candidate tumor suppressor that is epigenetically silenced in CLL.
Project description:Loss of ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase, a key factor of the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway, causes the cancer predisposing and neurodegenerative syndrome ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T). To investigate the mechanisms of neurodegeneration, we have reprogrammed fibroblasts from ATM-null A-T patients and normal controls to pluripotency (human-induced pluripotent stem cells), and derived from these neural precursor cells able to terminally differentiate into post-mitotic neurons positive to >90% for ?-tubulin III+/microtubule-associated protein 2+. We show that A-T neurons display similar voltage-gated potassium and sodium currents and discharges of action potentials as control neurons, but defective expression of the maturation and synaptic markers SCG10, SYP and PSD95 (postsynaptic density protein 95). A-T neurons exhibited defective repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and repressed phosphorylation of ATM substrates (e.g., ?H2AX, Smc1-S966, Kap1-S824, Chk2-T68, p53-S15), but normal repair of single-strand breaks, and normal short- and long-patch base excision repair activities. Moreover, A-T neurons were resistant to apoptosis induced by the genotoxic agents camptothecin and trabectedin, but as sensitive as controls to the oxidative agents. Most notably, A-T neurons exhibited abnormal accumulation of topoisomerase 1-DNA covalent complexes (Top1-ccs). These findings reveal that ATM deficiency impairs neuronal maturation, suppresses the response and repair of DNA DSBs, and enhances Top1-cc accumulation. Top1-cc could be a risk factor for neurodegeneration as they may interfere with transcription elongation and promote transcriptional decline.
Project description:Structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) proteins (SMC1, SMC3) are evolutionarily conserved chromosomal proteins that are components of the cohesin complex, necessary for sister chromatid cohesion. These proteins may also function in DNA repair. Here we report that SMC1 is a component of the DNA damage response network that functions as an effector in the ATM/NBS1-dependent S-phase checkpoint pathway. SMC1 associates with BRCA1 and is phosphorylated in response to IR in an ATM- and NBS1-dependent manner. Using mass spectrometry, we established that ATM phosphorylates S957 and S966 of SMC1 in vivo. Phosphorylation of S957 and/or S966 of SMC1 is required for activation of the S-phase checkpoint in response to IR. We also discovered that the phosphorylation of NBS1 by ATM is required for the phosphorylation of SMC1, establishing the role of NBS1 as an adaptor in the ATM/NBS1/SMC1 pathway. The ATM/CHK2/CDC25A pathway is also involved in the S-phase checkpoint activation, but this pathway is intact in NBS cells. Our results indicate that the ATM/NBS1/SMC1 pathway is a separate branch of the S-phase checkpoint pathway, distinct from the ATM/CHK2/CDC25A branch. Therefore, this work establishes the ATM/NBS1/SMC1 branch, and provides a molecular basis for the S-phase checkpoint defect in NBS cells.
Project description:The checkpoint kinase ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated) transduces genomic stress signals to halt cell cycle progression and promote DNA repair in response to DNA damage. Here, we report the characterisation of an essential cofactor for ATM, ATMIN (ATM INteracting protein). ATMIN interacts with ATM through a C-terminal motif, which is also present in Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS)1. ATMIN and ATM co-localised in response to ATM activation by chloroquine and hypotonic stress, but not after induction of double-strand breaks by ionising radiation (IR). ATM/ATMIN complex disruption by IR was attenuated in cells with impaired NBS1 function, suggesting competition of NBS1 and ATMIN for ATM binding. ATMIN protein levels were reduced in ataxia telangiectasia cells and ATM protein levels were low in primary murine fibroblasts lacking ATMIN, indicating reciprocal stabilisation. Whereas phosphorylation of Smc1, Chk2 and p53 was normal after IR in ATMIN-deficient cells, basal ATM activity and ATM activation by hypotonic stress and inhibition of DNA replication was impaired. Thus, ATMIN defines a novel NBS1-independent pathway of ATM signalling.
Project description:The repair of DNA damage in highly compact, transcriptionally silent heterochromatin requires that repair and chromatin packaging machineries be tightly coupled and regulated. KAP1 is a heterochromatin protein and co-repressor that binds to HP1 during gene silencing but is also robustly phosphorylated by Ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) at serine 824 in response to DNA damage. The interplay between HP1-KAP1 binding/ATM phosphorylation during DNA repair is not known. We show that HP1? and unmodified KAP1 are enriched in endogenous heterochromatic loci and at a silent transgene prior to damage. Following damage, ?H2AX and pKAP1-s824 rapidly increase and persist at these loci. Cells that lack HP1 fail to form discreet pKAP1-s824 foci after damage but levels are higher and more persistent. KAP1 is phosphorylated at serine 473 in response to DNA damage and its levels are also modulated by HP1. Unlike pKAP1-s824, pKAP1-s473 does not accumulate at damage foci but is diffusely localized in the nucleus. While HP1 association tempers KAP1 phosphorylation, this interaction also slows the resolution of ?H2AX foci. Thus, HP1-dependent regulation of KAP1 influences DNA repair in heterochromatin.
Project description:Telomere length (TL) is a prognostic indicator in Caucasian chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), but its significance in Asian CLL remains unknown. To investigate the prognostic significance of TL and its correlation with cytogenetic aberrations and somatic mutations, we analyzed TL measurements at the cellular level by interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization in patients with CLL in Korea. The present study enrolled 110 patients (41 females and 69 males) diagnosed with CLL according to the World Health Organization criteria (2001-2017). TLs of bone marrow nucleated cells at the single-cell level were measured by quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH) in 71 patients. The correlations of TL with clinical characteristics, cytogenetic aberrations, genetic mutations, and overall survival were assessed. The median value of mean TL in CLL patients (T/C ratio 7.46 (range 1.19-18.14) was significantly shorter than that in the normal controls (T/C ratio 15.28 (range 8.59-24.93) (p < 0.001). Shorter TLs were associated with complex karyotypes (p = 0.030), del(11q22) (p = 0.023), presence of deletion and/or mutation in ATM and/or TP53 (p = 0.019), and SH2B3 mutation (p = 0.015). A shorter TL was correlated with lower hemoglobin levels and adverse survival (mean TL < 9.35, p = 0.021). When the proportion of cells with extremely short TLs (< 7.61) was greater than 90%, CLL patients showed poor survival (p = 0.002). Complex karyotypes, TP53 mutation, and the number of mutated genes were determined to be significant adverse variables by multivariable Cox analysis (p = 0.011, p = 0.002, and p = 0.002, respectively). TL was attrited in CLL, and attrited telomeres were correlated with adverse survival and other well-known adverse prognostic factors. We infer that TL is an independent adverse prognostic predictor in Korean CLL.