Forks on the Run: Can the Stalling of DNA Replication Promote Epigenetic Changes?
ABSTRACT: Built of DNA polymerases and multiple associated factors, the replication fork steadily progresses along the DNA template and faithfully replicates DNA. This model can be found in practically every textbook of genetics, with the more complex situation of chromatinized DNA in eukaryotes often viewed as a variation. However, the replication-coupled disassembly/reassembly of chromatin adds significant complexity to the whole replication process. During the course of eukaryotic DNA replication the forks encounter various conditions and numerous impediments. These include nucleosomes with a variety of post-translational modifications, euchromatin and heterochromatin, differentially methylated DNA, tightly bound proteins, active gene promoters and DNA loops. At such positions the forks slow down or even stall. Dedicated factors stabilize the fork and prevent its rotation or collapse, while other factors resolve the replication block and facilitate the resumption of elongation. The fate of histones during replication stalling and resumption is not well understood. In this review we briefly describe recent advances in our understanding of histone turnover during DNA replication and focus on the possible mechanisms of nucleosome disassembly/reassembly at paused replication forks. We propose that replication pausing provides opportunities for an epigenetic change of the associated locus.
Project description:DNA replication forks in eukaryotic cells stall at a variety of replication barriers. Stalling forks require strict cellular regulations to prevent fork collapse. However, the mechanism underlying these cellular regulations is poorly understood. In this study, a cellular mechanism was uncovered that regulates chromatin structures to stabilize stalling forks. When replication forks stall, H2BK33, a newly identified acetylation site, is deacetylated and H3K9 trimethylated in the nucleosomes surrounding stalling forks, which results in chromatin compaction around forks. Acetylation-mimic H2BK33Q and its deacetylase clr6-1 mutations compromise this fork stalling-induced chromatin compaction, cause physical separation of replicative helicase and DNA polymerases, and significantly increase the frequency of stalling fork collapse. Furthermore, this fork stalling-induced H2BK33 deacetylation is independent of checkpoint. In summary, these results suggest that eukaryotic cells have developed a cellular mechanism that stabilizes stalling forks by targeting nucleosomes and inducing chromatin compaction around stalling forks. This mechanism is named the "Chromsfork" control: Chromatin Compaction Stabilizes Stalling Replication Forks.
Project description:In bacteria, several salvage responses to DNA replication arrest culminate in reassembly of the replisome on inactivated forks to resume replication. The PriA DNA helicase is a prominent trigger of this replication restart process, preceded in many cases by a repair and/or remodeling of the arrested fork, which can be performed by many specific proteins. The mechanisms that target these rescue effectors to damaged forks in the cell are unknown. We report that the single-stranded DNA binding (SSB) protein is the key factor that links PriA to active chromosomal replication forks in vivo. This targeting mechanism determines the efficiency by which PriA reaches its specific DNA-binding site in vitro and directs replication restart in vivo. The RecG and RecQ DNA helicases, which are involved in intricate replication reactivation pathways, also associate with the chromosomal replication forks by similarly interacting with SSB. These results identify SSB as a platform for linking a 'repair toolbox' with active replication forks, providing a first line of rescue responses to accidental arrest.
Project description:Nuclear Pore complexes (NPCs) act as docking sites to anchor particular DNA lesions facilitating DNA repair by elusive mechanisms. Using replication fork barriers in fission yeast, we report that relocation of arrested forks to NPCs occurred after Rad51 loading and its enzymatic activity. The E3 SUMO ligase Pli1 acts at arrested forks to safeguard integrity of nascent strands and generates poly-SUMOylation which promote relocation to NPCs but impede the resumption of DNA synthesis by homologous recombination (HR). Anchorage to NPCs allows SUMO removal by the SENP SUMO protease Ulp1 and the proteasome, promoting timely resumption of DNA synthesis. Preventing Pli1-mediated SUMO chains was sufficient to bypass the need for anchorage to NPCs and the inhibitory effect of poly-SUMOylation on HR-mediated DNA synthesis. Our work establishes a novel spatial control of Recombination-Dependent Replication (RDR) at a unique sequence that is distinct from mechanisms engaged at collapsed-forks and breaks within repeated sequences.
Project description:In Escherichia coli, DNA replication forks stall on average once per cell cycle. When this occurs, replisome components disengage from the DNA, exposing an intact, or nearly intact fork. Consequently, the fork structure must be regressed away from the initial impediment so that repair can occur. Regression is catalyzed by the powerful, monomeric DNA helicase, RecG. During this reaction, the enzyme couples unwinding of fork arms to rewinding of duplex DNA resulting in the formation of a Holliday junction. RecG works against large opposing forces enabling it to clear the fork of bound proteins. Following subsequent processing of the extruded junction, the PriA helicase mediates reloading of the replicative helicase DnaB leading to the resumption of DNA replication. The single-strand binding protein (SSB) plays a key role in mediating PriA and RecG functions at forks. It binds to each enzyme via linker/OB-fold interactions and controls helicase-fork loading sites in a substrate-dependent manner that involves helicase remodeling. Finally, it is displaced by RecG during fork regression. The intimate and dynamic SSB-helicase interactions play key roles in ensuring fork regression and DNA replication restart.
Project description:Human WRN and BLM genes are members of the conserved RECQ helicase family. Mutations in these genes are associated with Werner and Bloom syndromes. WRN and BLM proteins are implicated in DNA replication, recombination, repair, telomere maintenance, and transcription. Using microfluidics-assisted display of DNA for replication track analysis (ma-RTA), we show that WRN and BLM contribute additively to normal replication fork progression, and non-additively, in a RAD51-dependent pathway, to resumption of replication after arrest by hydroxyurea (HU), a replication-stalling drug. WRN but not BLM is required to support fork progression after HU. Resumption of replication by forks may be necessary but is not sufficient for timely completion of the cell cycle after HU arrest, as depletion of WRN or BLM compromises fork recovery to a similar degree, but only BLM depletion leads to extensive delay of cell division after HU, as well as more pronounced chromatin bridging. Finally, we show that recovery from HU includes apparent removal of some of the DNA that was synthesized immediately after release from HU, a novel phenomenon that we refer to as nascent strand processing, NSP.
Project description:Homologous recombination is a universal mechanism that allows repair of DNA and provides support for DNA replication. Homologous recombination is therefore a major pathway that suppresses non-homology-mediated genome instability. Here, we report that recovery of impeded replication forks by homologous recombination is error-prone. Using a fork-arrest-based assay in fission yeast, we demonstrate that a single collapsed fork can cause mutations and large-scale genomic changes, including deletions and translocations. Fork-arrest-induced gross chromosomal rearrangements are mediated by inappropriate ectopic recombination events at the site of collapsed forks. Inverted repeats near the site of fork collapse stimulate large-scale genomic changes up to 1,500 times over spontaneous events. We also show that the high accuracy of DNA replication during S-phase is impaired by impediments to fork progression, since fork-arrest-induced mutation is due to erroneous DNA synthesis during recovery of replication forks. The mutations caused are small insertions/duplications between short tandem repeats (micro-homology) indicative of replication slippage. Our data establish that collapsed forks, but not stalled forks, recovered by homologous recombination are prone to replication slippage. The inaccuracy of DNA synthesis does not rely on PCNA ubiquitination or trans-lesion-synthesis DNA polymerases, and it is not counteracted by mismatch repair. We propose that deletions/insertions, mediated by micro-homology, leading to copy number variations during replication stress may arise by progression of error-prone replication forks restarted by homologous recombination.
Project description:The coordination of DNA unwinding and synthesis at replication forks promotes efficient and faithful replication of chromosomal DNA. Disruption of the balance between helicase and polymerase activities during replication stress leads to fork progression defects and activation of the Rad53 checkpoint kinase, which is essential for the functional maintenance of stalled replication forks. The mechanism of Rad53-dependent fork stabilization is not known. Using reconstituted budding yeast replisomes, we show that mutational inactivation of the leading strand DNA polymerase, Pol ?, dNTP depletion, and chemical inhibition of DNA polymerases cause excessive DNA unwinding by the replicative DNA helicase, CMG, demonstrating that budding yeast replisomes lack intrinsic mechanisms that control helicase-polymerase coupling at the fork. Importantly, we find that the Rad53 kinase restricts excessive DNA unwinding at replication forks by limiting CMG helicase activity, suggesting a mechanism for fork stabilization by the replication checkpoint.
Project description:Tumor suppressor PTEN regulates cellular activities and controls genome stability through multiple mechanisms. In this study, we report that PTEN is necessary for the protection of DNA replication forks against replication stress. We show that deletion of PTEN leads to replication fork collapse and chromosomal instability upon fork stalling following nucleotide depletion induced by hydroxyurea. PTEN is physically associated with replication protein A 1 (RPA1) via the RPA1 C-terminal domain. STORM and iPOND reveal that PTEN is localized at replication sites and promotes RPA1 accumulation on replication forks. PTEN recruits the deubiquitinase OTUB1 to mediate RPA1 deubiquitination. RPA1 deletion confers a phenotype like that observed in PTEN knockout cells with stalling of replication forks. Expression of PTEN and RPA1 shows strong correlation in colorectal cancer. Heterozygous disruption of RPA1 promotes tumorigenesis in mice. These results demonstrate that PTEN is essential for DNA replication fork protection. We propose that RPA1 is a target of PTEN function in fork protection and that PTEN maintains genome stability through regulation of DNA replication.
Project description:Restarting stalled replication forks is vital to avoid fatal replication errors. Previously, it was demonstrated that hydroxyurea-stalled replication forks rescue replication either by an active restart mechanism or by new origin firing. To our surprise, using the DNA fibre assay, we only detect a slightly reduced fork speed on a UV-damaged template during the first hour after UV exposure, and no evidence for persistent replication fork arrest. Interestingly, no evidence for persistent UV-induced fork stalling was observed even in translesion synthesis defective, Pol?(mut) cells. In contrast, using an assay to measure DNA molecule elongation at the fork, we observe that continuous DNA elongation is severely blocked by UV irradiation, particularly in UV-damaged Pol?(mut) cells. In conclusion, our data suggest that UV-blocked replication forks restart effectively through re-priming past the lesion, leaving only a small gap opposite the lesion. This allows continuation of replication on damaged DNA. If left unfilled, the gaps may collapse into DNA double-strand breaks that are repaired by a recombination pathway, similar to the fate of replication forks collapsed after hydroxyurea treatment.
Project description:In response to DNA damage during S phase, cells slow DNA replication. This slowing is orchestrated by the intra-S checkpoint and involves inhibition of origin firing and reduction of replication fork speed. Slowing of replication allows for tolerance of DNA damage and suppresses genomic instability. Although the mechanisms of origin inhibition by the intra-S checkpoint are understood, major questions remain about how the checkpoint regulates replication forks: Does the checkpoint regulate the rate of fork progression? Does the checkpoint affect all forks, or only those encountering damage? Does the checkpoint facilitate the replication of polymerase-blocking lesions? To address these questions, we have analyzed the checkpoint in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe using a single-molecule DNA combing assay, which allows us to unambiguously separate the contribution of origin and fork regulation towards replication slowing, and allows us to investigate the behavior of individual forks. Moreover, we have interrogated the role of forks interacting with individual sites of damage by using three damaging agents-MMS, 4NQO and bleomycin-that cause similar levels of replication slowing with very different frequency of DNA lesions. We find that the checkpoint slows replication by inhibiting origin firing, but not by decreasing fork rates. However, the checkpoint appears to facilitate replication of damaged templates, allowing forks to more quickly pass lesions. Finally, using a novel analytic approach, we rigorously identify fork stalling events in our combing data and show that they play a previously unappreciated role in shaping replication kinetics in response to DNA damage.