Human RAD50 deficiency: Confirmation of a distinctive phenotype.
ABSTRACT: DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are highly toxic DNA lesions that can lead to chromosomal instability, loss of genes and cancer. The MRE11/RAD50/NBN (MRN) complex is keystone involved in signaling processes inducing the repair of DSB by, for example, in activating pathways leading to homologous recombination repair and nonhomologous end joining. Additionally, the MRN complex also plays an important role in the maintenance of telomeres and can act as a stabilizer at replication forks. Mutations in NBN and MRE11 are associated with Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) and ataxia telangiectasia (AT)-like disorder, respectively. So far, only one single patient with biallelic loss of function variants in RAD50 has been reported presenting with features classified as NBS-like disorder. Here, we report a long-term follow-up of an unrelated patient with facial dysmorphisms, microcephaly, skeletal features, and short stature who is homozygous for a novel variant in RAD50. We could show that this variant, c.2524G?>?A in exon 15 of the RAD50 gene, induces aberrant splicing of RAD50 mRNA mainly leading to premature protein truncation and thereby, most likely, to loss of RAD50 function. Using patient-derived primary fibroblasts, we could show abnormal radioresistant DNA synthesis confirming pathogenicity of the identified variant. Immunoblotting experiments showed strongly reduced protein levels of RAD50 in the patient-derived fibroblasts and provided evidence for a markedly reduced radiation-induced AT-mutated signaling. Comparison with the previously reported case and with patients presenting with NBS confirms that RAD50 mutations lead to a similar, but distinctive phenotype.
Project description:The MRE11/RAD50/NBN (MRN) complex plays a key role in recognizing and signaling DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Hypomorphic mutations in NBN (previously known as NBS1) and MRE11A give rise to the autosomal-recessive diseases Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) and ataxia-telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD), respectively. To date, no disease due to RAD50 deficiency has been described. Here, we report on a patient previously diagnosed as probably having NBS, with microcephaly, mental retardation, 'bird-like' face, and short stature. At variance with this diagnosis, she never had severe infections, had normal immunoglobulin levels, and did not develop lymphoid malignancy up to age 23 years. We found that she is compound heterozygous for mutations in the RAD50 gene that give rise to low levels of unstable RAD50 protein. Cells from the patient were characterized by chromosomal instability; radiosensitivity; failure to form DNA damage-induced MRN foci; and impaired radiation-induced activation of and downstream signaling through the ATM protein, which is defective in the human genetic disorder ataxia-telangiectasia. These cells were also impaired in G1/S cell-cycle-checkpoint activation and displayed radioresistant DNA synthesis and G2-phase accumulation. The defective cellular phenotype was rescued by wild-type RAD50. In conclusion, we have identified and characterized a patient with a RAD50 deficiency that results in a clinical phenotype that can be classified as an NBS-like disorder (NBSLD).
Project description:Heterochromatin Protein 1 (HP1) and the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex are conserved factors that play crucial role in genome stability and integrity. Despite their involvement in overlapping cellular functions, ranging from chromatin organization, telomere maintenance to DNA replication and repair, a tight functional relationship between HP1 and the MRN complex has never been elucidated. Here we show that the Drosophila HP1a protein binds to the MRN complex through its chromoshadow domain (CSD). In addition, loss of any of the MRN members reduces HP1a levels indicating that the MRN complex acts as regulator of HP1a stability. Moreover, overexpression of HP1a in nbs (but not in rad50 or mre11) mutant cells drastically reduces DNA damage associated with the loss of Nbs suggesting that HP1a and Nbs work in concert to maintain chromosome integrity in flies. We have also found that human HP1? and NBS1 interact with each other and that, similarly to Drosophila, siRNA-mediated inhibition of NBS1 reduces HP1? levels in human cultured cells. Surprisingly, fibroblasts from Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome (NBS) patients, carrying the 657del5 hypomorphic mutation in NBS1 and expressing the p26 and p70 NBS1 fragments, accumulate HP1? indicating that, differently from NBS1 knockout cells, the presence of truncated NBS1 extends HP1? turnover and/or promotes its stability. Remarkably, an siRNA-mediated reduction of HP1? in NBS fibroblasts decreases the hypersensitivity to irradiation, a characteristic of the NBS syndrome. Overall, our data provide an unanticipated evidence of a close interaction between HP1 and NBS1 that is essential for genome stability and point up HP1? as a potential target to counteract chromosome instability in NBS patient cells.
Project description:Using Drosophila as a model system, we identified here a stringent requirement for Mre11-Rad50-Nbs (MRN) function in telomere protection during early embryonic development. Animals homozygous for hypomorphic mutations in either mre11 or nbs develop normally with minimal telomere dysfunction. However, they produce inviable embryos that succumb to failure of mitosis caused by covalent fusion of telomeric DNA. Interestingly, the molecular defect is not the absence of MRN interaction or of Mre11 nuclease activities, but the depletion of the maternal pool of Nbs protein in these embryos. Because of Nbs depletion, Mre11 and Rad50 (MR) are excluded from chromatin. This maternal effect lethality in Drosophila is similar to that seen in mice carrying hypomorphic mrn mutations found in human patients, suggesting a common defect in telomere maintenance because of the loss of MRN integrity.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The MRE11, RAD50, and NBN genes encode proteins of the MRE11-RAD50-NBN (MRN) complex involved in cellular response to DNA damage and the maintenance of genome stability. In our previous study we showed that the germline p.I171V mutation in NBN may be considered as a risk factor in the development of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and some specific haplotypes of that gene may be associated with childhood leukemia. These findings raise important questions about the role of mutations in others genes of the MRN complex in childhood leukemia. The aim of this study was to answer the question whether MRE11 and RAD50 alterations may be associated with childhood ALL or AML. METHODS:We estimated the frequency of constitutional mutations and polymorphisms in selected regions of MRE11, RAD50, and NBN in the group of 220 children diagnosed with childhood leukemias and controls (n=504/2200). The analysis was performed by specific amplification of region of interest by PCR and followed by multi-temperature single-strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-MSSCP) technique. We performed two molecular tests to examine any potential function of the detected the c.551+19G>A SNP in RAD50 gene. To our knowledge, this is the first analysis of the MRE11, RAD50 and NBN genes in childhood leukemia. RESULTS:The frequency of either the AA genotype or A allele of RAD50_rs17166050 were significantly different in controls compared to leukemia group (ALL+AML) (p<0.0019 and p<0.0019, respectively). The cDNA analysis of AA or GA genotypes carriers has not revealed evidence of splicing abnormality of RAD50 pre-mRNA. We measured the allelic-specific expression of G and A alleles at c.551+19G>A and the statistically significant overexpression of the G allele has been observed. Additionally we confirmed the higher incidence of the p.I171V mutation in the leukemia group (7/220) than among controls (12/2400) (p<0.0001). CONCLUSION:The formerly reported sequence variants in the RAD50 and MRE11 gene may not constitute a risk factor of childhood ALL in Polish population. The RAD50_rs17166050 variant allele is linked to decreased ALL risk (p<0.0009, OR=0.6358 (95%CI: 0.4854-0.8327)). Despite the fact that there is no splicing abnormality in carriers of the variant allele but an excess of the G over the A allele was consistently observed. This data demonstrate that some specific alternations of the RAD50 gene may be associated with childhood ALL.
Project description:The MRN complex, composed of MRE11, RAD50 and NBS, plays important roles in responding to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). In metazoans, functional studies of genes encoding these proteins have been challenging because complete loss-of-function mutations are lethal at the organismal level and because NBS has multiple functions in DNA damage responses. To study functions of Drosophila NBS in DNA damage responses, we used a separation-of-function mutation that causes loss of the forkhead-associated (FHA) domain. Loss of the FHA domain resulted in hypersensitivity to ionizing radiation and defects in gap repair by homologous recombination, but had only a small effect on the DNA damage checkpoint response and did not impair DSB repair by end joining. We also found that heterozygosity for an nbs null mutation caused reduced gap repair and loss of the checkpoint response to low-dose irradiation. These findings shed light on possible sources of the cancer predisposition found in human carriers of NBN mutations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The members of MRE11/RAD50/NBN (MRN) protein complex participates in DNA double-strand break repair and DNA-damage checkpoint activation. We have previously shown that the p.I171V NBN gene mutation may contribute to the development of laryngeal cancer. This study tested the hypothesis that variants of the MRE11 and RAD50 genes, previously described as cancer risk factors, predispose to increased susceptibility to head and neck cancer. FINDINGS:In this study we analyzed the RAD50 and MRE11 genes in 358 patients: 175 with a single laryngeal cancer (LC), 115 with multiple primary tumors but one malignancy (primary or second) localized in the larynx (MPT-LC), 68 patients with multiple primary tumors localized in the head or neck (MPT) and 506 controls. No carriers of previously reported mutation in the MRE11 or RAD50 gene (particularly the pathogenic c.687delT) were detected in the present study. We identified the p.V127I variant (2/175 LC, 2/506 controls; OR=2.91; 95% CI 0.41-20.85) and p.V315L variant (2/115 MPT-LC, 1/506 controls; OR=8.96; 95% CI 0.81-99.68) of the RAD50 gene. CONCLUSIONS:Our data indicated that previously described common genetic variations in the MRE11 and RAD50 genes do not contribute to an increased risk of laryngeal cancer and second primary tumors localized in the head and neck. Prospective studies with larger groups of patients may reveal the possible impact of these genes in tumor occurrence.
Project description:Mre11, Rad50, and Nbs1 form an evolutionarily conserved protein complex (Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1, MRN) that has been proposed to function as a DNA damage sensor. Hypomorphic mutations in Mre11 and Nbs1 result in the human ataxia-telangiectasia-like disorder and Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS), respectively. In contrast, complete inactivation of Mre11, Rad50, or Nbs1 leads to early embryonic lethality, suggesting that the hypomorphic mutations may fail to reveal some of the essential functions of MRN. Here, we use Cre-loxP-mediated recombination to restrict Nbs1 deletion to B lymphocytes. We find that disruption of Nbs1 results in the accumulation of high levels of spontaneous DNA damage, impaired proliferation, and chromosomal endoreduplication. Moreover, we show that Ig class-switch recombination (CSR) is diminished in Nbs1-deficient B cells. The CSR defect is B cell-intrinsic, independent of switch-region transcription, and a consequence of inefficient recombination at the DNA level. Our findings reveal that Nbs1 is critical for efficient Ig CSR and maintenance of the integrity of chromosomal structure and number.
Project description:Nibrin (NBN) is a member of a DNA repair complex together with MRE11 and RAD50. The complex is associated particularly with the repair of DNA double strand breaks and with the regulation of cell cycle check points. Hypomorphic mutation of components of the complex leads to human disorders characterised by radiosensitivity and increased tumour occurrence, particularly of the lymphatic system. We have examined here the relationship between DNA damage, mutation frequency and mutation spectrum in vitro and in vivo in mouse models carrying NBN mutations and a lacZ reporter plasmid. We find that NBN mutation leads to increased spontaneous DNA damage in fibroblasts in vitro and high basal mutation rates in lymphatic tissue of mice in vivo. The characteristic mutation spectrum is dominated by single base transitions rather than the deletions and complex rearrangements expected after abortive repair of DNA double strand breaks. We conclude that in the absence of wild type nibrin, the repair of spontaneous errors, presumably arising during DNA replication, makes a major contribution to the basal mutation rate. This applies also to cells heterozygous for an NBN null mutation. Mutation frequencies after irradiation in vivo were not increased in mice with nibrin mutations as might have been expected considering the radiosensitivity of NBS patient cells in vitro. Evidently apoptosis is efficient, even in the absence of wild type nibrin.
Project description:The MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) protein complex is one of the primary vehicles for repairing DNA double strand breaks and maintaining the genomic stability within the cell. The role of the MRN complex to recognize and process DNA double-strand breaks as well as signal other damage response factors is critical for maintaining proper cellular function. Mutations in any one of the components of the MRN complex that effect function or expression of the repair machinery could be detrimental to the cell and may initiate and/or propagate disease. Here, we discuss, in a structural and biochemical context, mutations in each of the three MRN components that have been associated with diseases such as ataxia telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD), Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS), NBS-like disorder (NBSLD) and certain types of cancers. Overall, deepening our understanding of disease-causing mutations of the MRN complex at the structural and biochemical level is foundational to the future aim of treating diseases associated with these aberrations.
Project description:Nibrin (NBN), located on chromosome 8q21 is a gene involved in DNA double-strand break repair that has been implicated in the rare autosomal recessive chromosomal instability syndrome known as Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome (NBS). NBS is characterized by specific physical characteristics (microcephaly and dysmorphic facies), immunodeficiency, and increased risk of malignancy. Individuals who are heterozygous for NBN mutations are clinically asymptomatic, but may display an elevated risk for certain cancers including, but not limited to, ovarian and prostate cancer as well as various lymphoid malignancies. In this study, 94 unrelated familial prostate cancer cases from the University of Michigan Prostate Cancer Genetics Project (n = 54) and Johns Hopkins University (n = 40) were subjected to targeted next-generation sequencing of the exons, including UTRs, of NBN. One individual of European descent, diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 52, was identified to have a heterozygous 2117 C > G mutation in exon 14 of the gene, that results in a premature stop at codon 706 (S706X). Sequencing of germline DNA from additional male relatives showed partial co-segregation of the NBN S706X mutation with prostate cancer. This NBN mutation was not observed among 2768 unrelated European men (1859 with prostate cancer and 909 controls). NBN is involved in double-strand break repair as a component of the MRE11 (meiotic recombination 11)/RAD50/NBN genomic stability complex. The S706X mutation truncates the protein in a highly conserved region of NBN near the MRE11 binding site, thus suggesting a role for rare NBN mutations in prostate cancer susceptibility.