Snapshots of archaeal DNA replication and repair in living cells using super-resolution imaging.
ABSTRACT: Using the haloarchaeon Haloferax volcanii as a model, we developed nascent DNA labeling and the functional GFP-labeled single-stranded binding protein RPA2 as novel tools to gain new insight into DNA replication and repair in live haloarchaeal cells. Our quantitative fluorescence microscopy data revealed that RPA2 forms distinct replication structures that dynamically responded to replication stress and DNA damaging agents. The number of the RPA2 foci per cell followed a probabilistic Poisson distribution, implying hitherto unnoticed stochastic cell-to-cell variation in haloarchaeal DNA replication and repair processes. The size range of haloarchaeal replication structures is very similar to those observed earlier in eukaryotic cells. The improved lateral resolution of 3D-SIM fluorescence microscopy allowed proposing that inhibition of DNA synthesis results in localized replication foci clustering and facilitated observation of RPA2 complexes brought about by chemical agents creating DNA double-strand breaks. Altogether our in vivo observations are compatible with earlier in vitro studies on archaeal single-stranded DNA binding proteins. Our work thus underlines the great potential of live cell imaging for unraveling the dynamic nature of transient molecular interactions that underpin fundamental molecular processes in the Third domain of life.
Project description:Replication protein A (RPA) is a heterotrimeric protein consisting of RPA1, RPA2, and RPA3 subunits that binds to single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) with high affinity. The response to replication stress requires the recruitment of RPA and the MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex. RPA bound to ssDNA stabilizes stalled replication forks by recruiting checkpoint proteins involved in fork stabilization. MRN can bind DNA structures encountered at stalled or collapsed replication forks, such as ssDNA-double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) junctions or breaks, and promote the restart of DNA replication. Here, we demonstrate that RPA2 phosphorylation regulates the assembly of DNA damage-induced RPA and MRN foci. Using purified proteins, we observe a direct interaction between RPA with both NBS1 and MRE11. By utilizing RPA bound to ssDNA, we demonstrate that substituting RPA with phosphorylated RPA or a phosphomimetic weakens the interaction with the MRN complex. Also, the N-terminus of RPA1 is a critical component of the RPA-MRN protein-protein interaction. Deletion of the N-terminal oligonucleotide-oligosaccharide binding fold (OB-fold) of RPA1 abrogates interactions of RPA with MRN and individual proteins of the MRN complex. Further identification of residues critical for MRN binding in the N-terminus of RPA1 shows that substitution of Arg31 and Arg41 with alanines disrupts the RPA-MRN interaction and alters cell cycle progression in response to DNA damage. Thus, the N-terminus of RPA1 and phosphorylation of RPA2 regulate RPA-MRN interactions and are important in the response to DNA damage.
Project description:Failure to reactivate stalled or collapsed DNA replication forks is a potential source of genomic instability. Homologous recombination (HR) is a major mechanism for repairing the DNA damage resulting from replication arrest. The single-strand DNA (ssDNA)-binding protein, replication protein A (RPA), plays a major role in multiple processes of DNA metabolism. However, the role of RPA2 hyperphosphorylation, which occurs in response to DNA damage, had been unclear. Here, we show that hyperphosphorylated RPA2 associates with ssDNA and recombinase protein Rad51 in response to replication arrest by hydroxyurea (HU) treatment. In addition, RPA2 hyperphosphorylation is critical for Rad51 recruitment and HR-mediated repair following HU. However, RPA2 hyperphosphorylation is not essential for both ionizing radiation (IR)-induced Rad51 foci formation and I-Sce-I endonuclease-stimulated HR. Moreover, we show that expression of a phosphorylation-deficient mutant of RPA2 leads to increased chromosomal aberrations following HU treatment but not after exposure to IR. Finally, we demonstrate that loss of RPA2 hyperphosphorylation results in a loss of viability when cells are confronted with replication stress whereas cells expressing hyperphosphorylation-defective RPA2 or wild-type RPA2 have a similar sensitivity to IR. Thus, our data suggest that RPA2 hyperphosphorylation plays a critical role in maintenance of genomic stability and cell survival after a DNA replication block via promotion of HR.
Project description:ATR is an essential kinase activated in response to DNA-replication stress, with a known target being the RPA2 subunit of human replication protein A (RPA). We find that S33-RPA2 phosphorylation by ATR occurs primarily in the late-S and G2 phases, probably at sites of residual stalled DNA-replication forks, with S33-P-RPA2 contained within nuclear repair centers. Although cells in which endogenous RPA2 was ;replaced' with an RPA2 protein with mutations T21A and S33A (T21A/S33A-RPA) had normal levels of DNA replication under non-stress conditions, the mutant cells were severely deficient in the amount of DNA synthesis occurring during replication stress. These cells also had abnormally high levels of chromatin-bound RPA, indicative of increased amounts of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and showed defective recovery from stress. Cells replaced with the mutant RPA2 also generated G1 cells with a broader DNA distribution and high levels of apoptosis following stress, compared with cells expressing wild-type RPA2. Surprisingly, cells expressing the wild-type RPA2 subunit had increased levels of stress-dependent DNA breaks. Our data demonstrate that RPA phosphorylation at the T21 and S33 sites facilitates adaptation of a DNA-replication fork to replication stress.
Project description:Replication Protein A (RPA) is a heterotrimeric, single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-binding complex required for DNA replication and repair, homologous recombination, DNA damage checkpoint signaling, and telomere maintenance. Whilst the larger RPA subunits, Rpa1 and Rpa2, have essential interactions with ssDNA, the molecular functions of the smallest subunit Rpa3 are unknown. Here, we investigate the Rpa3 ortholog Ssb3 in Schizosaccharomyces pombe and find that it is dispensable for cell viability, checkpoint signaling, RPA foci formation, and meiosis. However, increased spontaneous Rad11Rpa1 and Rad22Rad52 nuclear foci in ssb3? cells indicate genome maintenance defects. Moreover, Ssb3 is required for resistance to genotoxins that disrupt DNA replication. Genetic interaction studies indicate that Ssb3 has a close functional relationship with the Mms1-Mms22 protein complex, which is required for survival after DNA damage in S-phase, and with the mitotic functions of Mus81-Eme1 Holliday junction resolvase that is required for recovery from replication fork collapse. From these studies we propose that Ssb3 plays a critical role in mediating RPA functions that are required for repair or tolerance of DNA lesions in S-phase. Rpa3 orthologs in humans and other species may have a similar function.
Project description:Replication Protein A (RPA) is a single-stranded DNA-binding protein essential for DNA replication, repair, recombination and cell-cycle regulation. A human homolog of the RPA2 subunit, called RPA4, was previously identified and shown to be expressed in colon mucosal and placental cells; however, the function of RPA4 was not determined. To examine the function of RPA4 in human cells, we carried out knockdown and replacement studies to determine whether RPA4 can substitute for RPA2 in the cell. Unlike RPA2, exogenous RPA4 expression did not support chromosomal DNA replication and lead to cell-cycle arrest in G2/M. In addition, RPA4 localized to sites of DNA repair and reduced gamma-H2AX caused by RPA2 depletion. These studies suggest that RPA4 cannot support cell proliferation but can support processes that maintain the genomic integrity of the cell.
Project description:The precise nick site in the double-strand origin (DSO) of pZMX201, a 1,668-bp rolling-circle replication (RCR) plasmid from the haloarchaeon Natrinema sp. CX2021, was determined by electron microscopy and DSO mapping. In this plasmid, DSO nicking occurred between residues C404 and G405 within a heptanucleotide sequence (TCTC/GGC) located in the stem region of an imperfect hairpin structure. This nick site sequence was conserved among the haloarchaeal RCR plasmids, including pNB101, suggesting that the DSO nick site might be the same for all members of this plasmid family. Interestingly, the DSOs of pZMX201 and pNB101 were found to be cross-recognized in RCR initiation and termination in a hybrid plasmid system. Mutation analysis of the DSO from pZMX201 (DSO(Z)) in this hybrid plasmid system revealed that: (i) the nucleotides in the middle of the conserved TCTCGGC sequence play more-important roles in the initiation and termination process; (ii) the left half of the hairpin structure is required for initiation but not for termination; and (iii) a 36-bp sequence containing TCTCGGC and the downstream sequence is essential and sufficient for termination. In conclusion, these haloarchaeal plasmids, with novel features that are different from the characteristics of both single-stranded DNA phages and bacterial RCR plasmids, might serve as a good model for studying the evolution of RCR replicons.
Project description:Replication protein A (RPA), the eukaryotic single-stranded DNA-binding complex, is essential for multiple processes in cellular DNA metabolism. The "canonical" RPA is composed of three subunits (RPA1, RPA2, and RPA3); however, there is a human homolog to the RPA2 subunit, called RPA4, that can substitute for RPA2 in complex formation. We demonstrate that the resulting "alternative" RPA (aRPA) complex has solution and DNA binding properties indistinguishable from the canonical RPA complex; however, aRPA is unable to support DNA replication and inhibits canonical RPA function. Two regions of RPA4, the putative L34 loop and the C terminus, are responsible for inhibiting SV40 DNA replication. Given that aRPA inhibits canonical RPA function in vitro and is found in nonproliferative tissues, these studies indicate that RPA4 expression may prevent cellular proliferation via replication inhibition while playing a role in maintaining the viability of quiescent cells.
Project description:Maintenance of genome integrity is critical for proper cell growth. This occurs through accurate DNA replication and repair of DNA lesions. A key factor involved in both DNA replication and the DNA damage response is the heterotrimeric single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding complex Replication Protein A (RPA). Although the RPA complex appears to be structurally conserved throughout eukaryotes, the primary amino acid sequence of each subunit can vary considerably. Examination of sequence differences along with the functional interchangeability of orthologous RPA subunits or regions could provide insight into important regions and their functions. This might also allow for study in simpler systems. We determined that substitution of yeast Replication Factor A (RFA) with human RPA does not support yeast cell viability. Exchange of a single yeast RFA subunit with the corresponding human RPA subunit does not function due to lack of inter-species subunit interactions. Substitution of yeast Rfa2 with domains/regions of human Rpa2 important for Rpa2 function (i.e., the N-terminus and the loop 3-4 region) supports viability in yeast cells, and hybrid proteins containing human Rpa2 N-terminal phospho-mutations result in similar DNA damage phenotypes to analogous yeast Rfa2 N-terminal phospho-mutants. Finally, the human Rpa2 N-terminus (NT) fused to yeast Rfa2 is phosphorylated in a manner similar to human Rpa2 in human cells, indicating that conserved kinases recognize the human domain in yeast. The implication is that budding yeast represents a potential model system for studying not only human Rpa2 N-terminal phosphorylation, but also phosphorylation of Rpa2 N-termini from other eukaryotic organisms.
Project description:Phosphorylation of replication protein A (RPA) by Cdk2 and the checkpoint kinase ATR (ATM and Rad3 related) during replication fork stalling stabilizes the replisome, but how these modifications safeguard the fork is not understood. To address this question, we used single-molecule fiber analysis in cells expressing a phosphorylation-defective RPA2 subunit or lacking phosphatase activity toward RPA2. Deregulation of RPA phosphorylation reduced synthesis at forks both during replication stress and recovery from stress. The ability of phosphorylated RPA to stimulate fork recovery is mediated through the PALB2 tumor suppressor protein. RPA phosphorylation increased localization of PALB2 and BRCA2 to RPA-bound nuclear foci in cells experiencing replication stress. Phosphorylated RPA also stimulated recruitment of PALB2 to single-strand deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in a cell-free system. Expression of mutant RPA2 or loss of PALB2 expression led to significant DNA damage after replication stress, a defect accentuated by poly-ADP (adenosine diphosphate) ribose polymerase inhibitors. These data demonstrate that phosphorylated RPA recruits repair factors to stalled forks, thereby enhancing fork integrity during replication stress.
Project description:Replication protein A (RPA) is a heterotrimeric (70, 32 and 14 kDa subunits), single-stranded DNA-binding protein required for cellular DNA metabolism. All subunits of RPA are essential for life, but the specific functions of the 32 and 14 kDa subunits remains unknown. The 32 kDa subunit (RPA2) has multiple domains, but only the central DNA-binding domain (called DBD D) is essential for life in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To define the essential function(s) of RPA2 in S. cerevisiae, a series of site-directed mutant forms of DBD D were generated. These mutant constructs were then characterized in vitro and in vivo. The mutations had minimal effects on the overall structure and activity of the RPA complex. However, several mutants were shown to disrupt crosslinking of RPA2 to DNA and to dramatically lower the DNA-binding affinity of a RPA2-containing subcomplex. When introduced into S. cerevisiae, all DBD D mutants were viable and supported normal growth rates and DNA replication. These findings indicate that RPA2-DNA interactions are not essential for viability and growth in S. cerevisiae. We conclude that DNA-binding activity of RPA2 is dispensable in yeast and that the essential function of DBD D is intra- and/or inter-protein interactions.