A Survey of Reported Disease-Related Mutations in the MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 Complex.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:The MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex accumulates at sites of DNA double-strand breaks in large chromatin domains flanking the lesion site. The mechanism of MRN accumulation involves direct binding of the Nijmegen breakage syndrome 1 (NBS1) subunit to phosphorylated mediator of the DNA damage checkpoint 1 (MDC1), a large nuclear adaptor protein that interacts directly with phosphorylated H2AX. NBS1 contains an FHA domain and two BRCT domains at its amino terminus. Here, we show that both of these domains participate in the interaction with phosphorylated MDC1. Point mutations in key amino acid residues of either the FHA or the BRCT domains compromise the interaction with MDC1 and lead to defects in MRN accumulation at sites of DNA damage. Surprisingly, only mutation in the FHA domain, but not in the BRCT domains, yields a G2/M checkpoint defect, indicating that MDC1-dependent chromatin accumulation of the MRN complex at sites of DNA breaks is not required for G2/M checkpoint activation.
Project description:The Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 (MRN) complex initiates and coordinates DNA repair and signaling events at double-strand breaks. The interaction between MRN and DNA ends is critical for the recruitment of DNA-processing enzymes, end tethering, and activation of the ATM protein kinase. Here we visualized MRN binding to duplex DNA molecules using single-molecule FRET, and found that MRN unwinds 15-20 base pairs at the end of the duplex, holding the branched structure open for minutes at a time in an ATP-dependent reaction. A Rad50 catalytic domain mutant that is specifically deficient in this ATP-dependent opening is impaired in DNA end resection in vitro and in resection-dependent repair of breaks in human cells, demonstrating the importance of MRN-generated single strands in the repair of DNA breaks.
Project description:Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS), a condition similar to Ataxia-Telangiectasia (A-T), is a radiation-hypersensitive genetic disorder showing chromosomal instability, radio-resistant DNA synthesis, immunodeficiency, and predisposition to malignances. The product of the responsible gene, NBS1, forms a complex with MRE11 and RAD50 (MRN complex). The MRN complex is necessary for the DNA damage-induced activation of ATM. However, the regulation of MRN complex formation is still unclear. Here, we investigated the regulatory mechanisms of MRN complex formation. We used an immunoprecipitation assay to determine whether levels of the MRN complex were increased by radiation-induced DNA damage and found that the levels of these proteins and their mRNAs did not increase. ATM-dependent phosphorylation of NBS1 contributed to the DNA damage-induced MRN complex formation. However, pre-treatment of cells with an ATM-specific inhibitor did not affect homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) repair. G0 phase cells, decreasing NBS1 and HR activity but not NHEJ, gained HR-related chromatin association of RAD51 by overexpression of NBS1, suggesting that the amount of NBS1 may be important for repressing accidental activation of HR. These evidences suggest that NBS1 is regulated by two kind of mechanisms: complex formation dependent on ATM, and protein degradation mediated by an unknown MG132-resistant pathway. Such regulation of NBS1 may contribute to cellular responses to double-strand breaks.
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 MRN (MRE11-RAD50-NBS1) complex is essential for repair of DNA double-strand breaks and stalled replication forks. Mutations of the MRN complex subunit MRE11 cause the hereditary cancer-susceptibility disease ataxia-telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD). Here we show that MRE11 directly interacts with PIH1D1, a subunit of heat-shock protein 90 cochaperone R2TP complex, which is required for the assembly of large protein complexes, such as RNA polymerase II, small nucleolar ribonucleoproteins and mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1. The MRE11-PIH1D1 interaction is dependent on casein kinase 2 (CK2) phosphorylation of two acidic sequences within the MRE11 C terminus containing serines 558/561 and 688/689. Conversely, the PIH1D1 phospho-binding domain PIH-N is required for association with MRE11 phosphorylated by CK2. Consistent with these findings, depletion of PIH1D1 resulted in MRE11 destabilization and affected DNA-damage repair processes dependent on MRE11. Additionally, mutations of serines 688/689, which abolish PIH1D1 binding, also resulted in decreased MRE11 stability. As depletion of R2TP frequently leads to instability of its substrates and as truncation mutation of MRE11 lacking serines 688/689 leads to decreased levels of the MRN complex both in ATLD patients and an ATLD mouse model, our results suggest that the MRN complex is a novel R2TP complex substrate and that their interaction is regulated by CK2 phosphorylation.
Project description:DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) represent one of the most serious forms of DNA damage that can occur in the genome. Here, we show that the DSB-induced signaling cascade and homologous recombination (HR)-mediated DSB repair pathway can be genetically separated. We demonstrate that the MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex acts to promote DNA end resection and the generation of single-stranded DNA, which is critically important for HR repair. These functions of the MRN complex can occur independently of the H2AX-mediated DNA damage signaling cascade, which promotes stable accumulation of other signaling and repair proteins such as 53BP1 and BRCA1 to sites of DNA damage. Nevertheless, mild defects in HR repair are observed in H2AX-deficient cells, suggesting that the H2AX-dependent DNA damage-signaling cascade assists DNA repair. We propose that the MRN complex is responsible for the initial recognition of DSBs and works together with both CtIP and the H2AX-dependent DNA damage-signaling cascade to facilitate repair by HR and regulate DNA damage checkpoints.
Project description: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:DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) can be processed by the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex, which is essential to promote ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) activation. However, the molecular mechanisms linking MRN activity to ATM are not fully understood. Here, using Xenopus laevis egg extract we show that MRN-dependent processing of DSBs leads to the accumulation of short single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides (ssDNA oligos). The MRN complex isolated from the extract containing DSBs is bound to ssDNA oligos and stimulates ATM activity. Elimination of ssDNA oligos results in rapid extinction of ATM activity. Significantly, ssDNA oligos can be isolated from human cells damaged with ionizing radiation and injection of small synthetic ssDNA oligos into undamaged cells also induces ATM activation. These results suggest that MRN-dependent generation of ssDNA oligos, which constitute a unique signal of ongoing DSB repair not encountered in normal DNA metabolism, stimulates ATM activity.
Project description:The MRE11-RAD50-Nijmegen breakage syndrome 1 (NBS1 [MRN]) complex accumulates at sites of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in microscopically discernible nuclear foci. Focus formation by the MRN complex is dependent on MDC1, a large nuclear protein that directly interacts with phosphorylated H2AX. In this study, we identified a region in MDC1 that is essential for the focal accumulation of the MRN complex at sites of DNA damage. This region contains multiple conserved acidic sequence motifs that are constitutively phosphorylated in vivo. We show that these motifs are efficiently phosphorylated by caseine kinase 2 (CK2) in vitro and directly interact with the N-terminal forkhead-associated domain of NBS1 in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. Mutation of these conserved motifs in MDC1 or depletion of CK2 by small interfering RNA disrupts the interaction between MDC1 and NBS1 and abrogates accumulation of the MRN complex at sites of DNA DSBs in vivo. Thus, our data reveal the mechanism by which MDC1 physically couples the MRN complex to damaged chromatin.