The Mre11-Nbs1 Interface Is Essential for Viability and Tumor Suppression.
ABSTRACT: The Mre11 complex (Mre11, Rad50, and Nbs1) is integral to both DNA repair and ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM)-dependent DNA damage signaling. All three Mre11 complex components are essential for viability at the cellular and organismal levels. To delineate essential and non-essential Mre11 complex functions that are mediated by Nbs1, we used TALEN-based genome editing to derive Nbs1 mutant mice (Nbs1mid mice), which harbor mutations in the Mre11 interaction domain of Nbs1. Nbs1mid alleles that abolished interaction were incompatible with viability. Conversely, a 108-amino-acid Nbs1 fragment comprising the Mre11 interface was sufficient to rescue viability and ATM activation in cultured cells and support differentiation of hematopoietic cells in vivo. These data indicate that the essential role of Nbs1 is via its interaction with Mre11 and that most of the Nbs1 protein is dispensable for Mre11 complex functions and suggest that Mre11 and Rad50 directly activate ATM.
Project description:The Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) protein complex and ATM/Tel1 kinase protect genome integrity through their functions in DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair, checkpoint signaling, and telomere maintenance. Nbs1 has a conserved C-terminal motif that binds ATM/Tel1, but the full extent and significance of ATM/Tel1 interactions with MRN are unknown. Here, we show that Tel1 overexpression bypasses the requirement for Nbs1 in DNA damage signaling and telomere maintenance. These activities require Mre11-Rad50, which localizes to DSBs and bind Tel1 in the absence of Nbs1. Fusion of the Tel1-binding motif of Nbs1 to Mre11 is sufficient to restore Tel1 signaling in nbs1? cells. Tel1 overexpression does not restore Tel1 signaling in cells carrying the rad50-I1192W mutation, which impairs the ability of Mre11-Rad50 to form the ATP-bound closed conformation. From these findings, we propose that Tel1 has a high-affinity interaction with the C-terminus of Nbs1 and a low-affinity association with Mre11-Rad50, which together accomplish efficient localization and activation of Tel1 at DSBs and telomeres.
Project description:The MRN (Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1)-ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated) pathway is essential for sensing and signaling from DNA double-strand breaks. The MRN complex acts as a DNA damage sensor, maintains genome stability during DNA replication, promotes homology-dependent DNA repair and activates ATM. MRN is essential for cell viability, which has limited functional studies of the complex. Small-molecule inhibitors of MRN could circumvent this experimental limitation and could also be used as cellular radio- and chemosensitization compounds. Using cell-free systems that recapitulate faithfully the MRN-ATM signaling pathway, we designed a forward chemical genetic screen to identify inhibitors of the pathway, and we isolated 6-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-thioxo-2,3-dihydro-4(1H)-pyrimidinone (mirin, 1) as an inhibitor of MRN. Mirin prevents MRN-dependent activation of ATM without affecting ATM protein kinase activity, and it inhibits Mre11-associated exonuclease activity. Consistent with its ability to target the MRN complex, mirin abolishes the G2/M checkpoint and homology-dependent repair in mammalian cells.
Project description:The MRE11 complex (MRE11, RAD50 and NBS1) and the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase function in the same DNA damage response pathway to effect cell cycle checkpoint activation and apoptosis. The functional interaction between the MRE11 complex and ATM has been proposed to require a conserved C-terminal domain of NBS1 for recruitment of ATM to sites of DNA damage. Human Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) cells and those derived from multiple mouse models of NBS express a hypomorphic NBS1 allele that exhibits impaired ATM activity despite having an intact C-terminal domain. This indicates that the NBS1 C terminus is not sufficient for ATM function. We derived Nbs1(DeltaC/DeltaC) mice in which the C-terminal ATM interaction domain is deleted. Nbs1(DeltaC/DeltaC) cells exhibit intra-S-phase checkpoint defects, but are otherwise indistinguishable from wild-type cells with respect to other checkpoint functions, ionizing radiation sensitivity and chromosome stability. However, multiple tissues of Nbs1(DeltaC/DeltaC) mice showed a severe apoptotic defect, comparable to that of ATM- or CHK2-deficient animals. Analysis of p53 transcriptional targets and ATM substrates showed that, in contrast to the phenotype of Chk2(-/-) mice, NBS1(DeltaC) does not impair the induction of proapoptotic genes. Instead, the defects observed in Nbs1(DeltaC/DeltaC) result from impaired phosphorylation of ATM targets including SMC1 and the proapoptotic factor, BID.
Project description:The activation of ATR-ATRIP in response to double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) depends upon ATM in human cells and Xenopus egg extracts. One important aspect of this dependency involves regulation of TopBP1 by ATM. In Xenopus egg extracts, ATM associates with TopBP1 and thereupon phosphorylates it on S1131. This phosphorylation enhances the capacity of TopBP1 to activate the ATR-ATRIP complex. We show that TopBP1 also interacts with the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex in egg extracts in a checkpoint-regulated manner. This interaction involves the Nbs1 subunit of the complex. ATM can no longer interact with TopBP1 in Nbs1-depleted egg extracts, which suggests that the MRN complex helps to bridge ATM and TopBP1 together. The association between TopBP1 and Nbs1 involves the first pair of BRCT repeats in TopBP1. In addition, the two tandem BRCT repeats of Nbs1 are required for this binding. Functional studies with mutated forms of TopBP1 and Nbs1 suggested that the BRCT-dependent association of these proteins is critical for a normal checkpoint response to DSBs. These findings suggest that the MRN complex is a crucial mediator in the process whereby ATM promotes the TopBP1-dependent activation of ATR-ATRIP in response to DSBs.
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:The MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex is essential for the detection of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and initiation of DNA damage signaling. Here, we show that Rad17, a replication checkpoint protein, is required for the early recruitment of the MRN complex to the DSB site that is independent of MDC1 and contributes to ATM activation. Mechanistically, Rad17 is phosphorylated by ATM at a novel Thr622 site resulting in a direct interaction of Rad17 with NBS1, facilitating recruitment of the MRN complex and ATM to the DSB, thereby enhancing ATM signaling. Repetition of these events creates a positive feedback for Rad17-dependent activation of MRN/ATM signaling which appears to be a requisite for the activation of MDC1-dependent MRN complex recruitment. A point mutation of the Thr622 residue of Rad17 leads to a significant reduction in MRN/ATM signaling and homologous recombination repair, suggesting that Thr622 phosphorylation is important for regulation of the MRN/ATM signaling by Rad17. These findings suggest that Rad17 plays a critical role in the cellular response to DNA damage via regulation of the MRN/ATM pathway.
Project description:The Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex tethers, processes and signals DNA double-strand breaks, promoting genomic stability. To understand the functional architecture of MRN, we determined the crystal structures of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe Mre11 dimeric catalytic domain alone and in complex with a fragment of Nbs1. Two Nbs1 subunits stretch around the outside of the nuclease domains of Mre11, with one subunit additionally bridging and locking the Mre11 dimer via a highly conserved asymmetrical binding motif. Our results show that Mre11 forms a flexible dimer and suggest that Nbs1 not only is a checkpoint adaptor but also functionally influences Mre11-Rad50. Clinical mutations in Mre11 are located along the Nbs1-interaction sites and weaken the Mre11-Nbs1 interaction. However, they differentially affect DNA repair and telomere maintenance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, potentially providing insight into their different human disease pathologies.
Project description:ATM has a central role in controlling the cellular responses to DNA damage. It and other phosphoinositide 3-kinase-related kinases (PIKKs) have giant helical HEAT repeat domains in their amino-terminal regions. The functions of these domains in PIKKs are not well understood. ATM activation in response to DNA damage appears to be regulated by the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex, although the exact functional relationship between the MRN complex and ATM is uncertain. Here we show that two pairs of HEAT repeats in fission yeast ATM (Tel1) interact with an FXF/Y motif at the C terminus of Nbs1. This interaction resembles nucleoporin FXFG motif binding to HEAT repeats in importin-beta. Budding yeast Nbs1 (Xrs2) appears to have two FXF/Y motifs that interact with Tel1 (ATM). In Xenopus egg extracts, the C terminus of Nbs1 recruits ATM to damaged DNA, where it is subsequently autophosphorylated. This interaction is essential for ATM activation. A C-terminal 147-amino-acid fragment of Nbs1 that has the Mre11- and ATM-binding domains can restore ATM activation in an Nbs1-depleted extract. We conclude that an interaction between specific HEAT repeats in ATM and the C-terminal FXF/Y domain of Nbs1 is essential for ATM activation. We propose that conformational changes in the MRN complex that occur upon binding to damaged DNA are transmitted through the FXF/Y-HEAT interface to activate ATM. This interaction also retains active ATM at sites of DNA damage.
Project description:The Nijmegen breakage syndrome 1 (Nbs1) subunit of the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex protects genome integrity by coordinating double-strand break (DSB) repair and checkpoint signaling through undefined interactions with ATM, MDC1, and Sae2/Ctp1/CtIP. Here, fission yeast and human Nbs1 structures defined by X-ray crystallography and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) reveal Nbs1 cardinal features: fused, extended, FHA-BRCT(1)-BRCT(2) domains flexibly linked to C-terminal Mre11- and ATM-binding motifs. Genetic, biochemical, and structural analyses of an Nbs1-Ctp1 complex show Nbs1 recruits phosphorylated Ctp1 to DSBs via binding of the Nbs1 FHA domain to a Ctp1 pThr-Asp motif. Nbs1 structures further identify an extensive FHA-BRCT interface, a bipartite MDC1-binding scaffold, an extended conformational switch, and the molecular consequences associated with cancer predisposing Nijmegen breakage syndrome mutations. Tethering of Ctp1 to a flexible Nbs1 arm suggests a mechanism for restricting DNA end processing and homologous recombination activities of Sae2/Ctp1/CtIP to the immediate vicinity of DSBs.
Project description:UNLABELLED:The Mre11 complex (Mre11, Rad50, and Nbs1) occupies a central node of the DNA damage response (DDR) network and is required for ATM activation in response to DNA damage. Hypomorphic alleles of MRE11 and NBS1 confer embryonic lethality in ATM-deficient mice, indicating that the complex exerts ATM-independent functions that are essential when ATM is absent. To delineate those functions, a conditional ATM allele (ATM(flox)) was crossed to hypomorphic NBS1 mutants (Nbs1(?B/?B) mice). Nbs1(?B/?B) Atm(-/-) hematopoietic cells derived by crossing to vav(cre) were viable in vivo. Nbs1(?B/?B) Atm(-/-) (VAV) mice exhibited a pronounced defect in double-strand break repair and completely penetrant early onset lymphomagenesis. In addition to repair defects observed, fragile site instability was noted, indicating that the Mre11 complex promotes genome stability upon replication stress in vivo. The data suggest combined influences of the Mre11 complex on DNA repair, as well as the responses to DNA damage and DNA replication stress. IMPLICATIONS:A novel mouse model was developed, by combining a vav(cre)-inducible ATM knockout mouse with an NBS1 hypomorphic mutation, to analyze ATM-independent functions of the Mre11 complex in vivo. These data show that the DNA repair, rather than DDR signaling functions of the complex, is acutely required in the context of ATM deficiency to suppress genome instability and lymphomagenesis.