Ubiquitin ligase WWP2 targets RNA polymerase II in a DNA-PK-dependent transcription shutoff circuitry for DNA repair
ABSTRACT: DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) at RNA polymerase II (RNAPII)-transcribed genes lead to inhibition of transcription. DNA protein kinase (DNA-PK) complex plays a pivotal role in transcription inhibition at DSBs by stimulating proteasome-dependent eviction of RNAPII at these lesions. How DNA-PK triggers RNAPII eviction to inhibit transcription at DSBs remained unclear. Here we show that the HECT E3 ubiquitin ligase WWP2 associates with components of the DNA-PK and RNAPII complexes and is recruited to DSBs at RNAPII-transcribed genes. In response to DSBs, WWP2 targets the RNAPII subunit RPB1 for K48-linked ubiquitylation, thereby driving DNA-PK- and proteasome-dependent eviction of RNAPII. The lack of WWP2 or expression of non-ubiquitylatable RPB1 abrogates the loading of Non-Homologous End-Joining (NHEJ) factors, including DNA-PK and XRCC4/DNA ligase IV, and impairs DSB repair. These findings suggest that WWP2 operates in a DNA-PK-dependent shut-off circuitry for RNAPII clearance that promotes DSB repair by protecting the NHEJ machinery from collision with the transcription machinery.
Project description:The DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PK(CS)) plays an important role during the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). It is recruited to DNA ends in the early stages of the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) process, which mediates DSB repair. To study DNA-PK(CS) recruitment in vivo, we used a laser system to introduce DSBs in a specified region of the cell nucleus. We show that DNA-PK(CS) accumulates at DSB sites in a Ku80-dependent manner, and that neither the kinase activity nor the phosphorylation status of DNA-PK(CS) influences its initial accumulation. However, impairment of both of these functions results in deficient DSB repair and the maintained presence of DNA-PK(CS) at unrepaired DSBs. The use of photobleaching techniques allowed us to determine that the kinase activity and phosphorylation status of DNA-PK(CS) influence the stability of its binding to DNA ends. We suggest a model in which DNA-PK(CS) phosphorylation/autophosphorylation facilitates NHEJ by destabilizing the interaction of DNA-PK(CS) with the DNA ends.
Project description:The repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) is critical for the maintenance of genomic integrity and viability for all organisms. Mammals have evolved at least two genetically discrete ways to mediate DNA DSB repair: homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). In mammalian cells, most DSBs are preferentially repaired by NHEJ. Recent work has demonstrated that NHEJ consists of at least two sub-pathways-the main Ku heterodimer-dependent or "classic" NHEJ (C-NHEJ) pathway and an "alternative" NHEJ (A-NHEJ) pathway, which usually generates microhomology-mediated signatures at repair junctions. In our study, recombinant adeno-associated virus knockout vectors were utilized to construct a series of isogenic human somatic cell lines deficient in the core C-NHEJ factors (Ku, DNA-PK(cs), XLF, and LIGIV), and the resulting cell lines were characterized for their ability to carry out DNA DSB repair. The absence of DNA-PK(cs), XLF, or LIGIV resulted in cell lines that were profoundly impaired in DNA DSB repair activity. Unexpectedly, Ku86-null cells showed wild-type levels of DNA DSB repair activity that was dominated by microhomology joining events indicative of A-NHEJ. Importantly, A-NHEJ DNA DSB repair activity could also be efficiently de-repressed in LIGIV-null and DNA-PK(cs)-null cells by subsequently reducing the level of Ku70. These studies demonstrate that in human cells C-NHEJ is the major DNA DSB repair pathway and they show that Ku is the critical C-NHEJ factor that regulates DNA NHEJ DSB pathway choice.
Project description:DNA double-strand breaks (DSB) are formed by various exogenous and endogenous factors and are repaired by homologous recombination and non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) is the principal enzyme for NHEJ. We explored the role and the underlying mechanism of cAMP signaling in the NHEJ repair of DSBs resulted from gamma ray irradiation to non-small cell lung cancer (NSLC) cells. Activated cAMP signaling by expression of an activated stimulatory GTP-binding protein or by pretreatment with isoproterenol and prostaglandin E2, delayed the repair of DSBs resulted from gamma ray irradiation, and the delaying effects depended on protein kinase A (PKA). Activated cAMP signaling suppressed XRCC4 and DNA ligase IV recruitment into DSB foci, and reduced phosphorylation at T2609 in DNA-PK catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) with a concomitant increase in phosphorylation at S2056 in PKA-dependent ways following gamma ray irradiation. cAMP signaling decreased phosphorylation of T2609 by protein phosphatase 2A-dependent inhibition of ATM. We conclude that cAMP signaling delays the repair of gamma ray-induced DNA DSBs in NSLC cells by inhibiting NHEJ via PKA-dependent pathways, and that cAMP signaling differentially modulates DNA-PKcs phosphorylation at S2056 and T2609, which might contribute to the inhibition of NHEJ in NSLC cells.
Project description:Homologous recombination (HR) and nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) are two distinct DNA double-stranded break (DSB) repair pathways. Here, we report that DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), the core component of NHEJ, partnering with DNA-damage checkpoint kinases ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and ATM- and Rad3-related (ATR), regulates HR repair of DSBs. The regulation was accomplished through modulation of the p53 and replication protein A (RPA) interaction. We show that upon DNA damage, p53 and RPA were freed from a p53-RPA complex by simultaneous phosphorylations of RPA at the N-terminus of RPA32 subunit by DNA-PK and of p53 at Ser37 and Ser46 in a Chk1/Chk2-independent manner by ATR and ATM, respectively. Neither the phosphorylation of RPA nor of p53 alone could dissociate p53 and RPA. Furthermore, disruption of the release significantly compromised HR repair of DSBs. Our results reveal a mechanism for the crosstalk between HR repair and NHEJ through the co-regulation of p53-RPA interaction by DNA-PK, ATM and ATR.
Project description:Nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) is a key pathway for efficient repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and V(D)J recombination. NHEJ defects in humans cause immunodeficiency and increased cellular sensitivity to ionizing irradiation (IR) and are variably associated with growth retardation, microcephaly, and neurodevelopmental delay. Repair of DNA DSBs is important for reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). To compare the specific contribution of DNA ligase 4 (LIG4), Artemis, and DNA-protein kinase catalytic subunit (PKcs) in this process and to gain insights into phenotypic variability associated with these disorders, we reprogrammed patient-derived fibroblast cell lines with NHEJ defects. Deficiencies of LIG4 and of DNA-PK catalytic activity, but not Artemis deficiency, were associated with markedly reduced reprogramming efficiency, which could be partially rescued by genetic complementation. Moreover, we identified increased genomic instability in LIG4-deficient iPSCs. Cell cycle synchronization revealed a severe defect of DNA repair and a G0/G1 cell cycle arrest, particularly in LIG4- and DNA-PK catalytically deficient iPSCs. Impaired myeloid differentiation was observed in LIG4-, but not Artemis- or DNA-PK-mutated iPSCs. These results indicate a critical importance of the NHEJ pathway for somatic cell reprogramming, with a major role for LIG4 and DNA-PKcs and a minor, if any, for Artemis.
Project description:The repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) is essential to maintain genomic integrity. In higher eukaryotes, DNA DSBs are predominantly repaired by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), but DNA ends can also be joined by an alternative error-prone mechanism termed microhomology-mediated end joining (MMEJ). In MMEJ, the repair of DNA breaks is mediated by annealing at regions of microhomology and is always associated with deletions at the break site. In budding yeast, the Mre11/Rad5/Xrs2 complex has been demonstrated to play a role in both classical NHEJ and MMEJ, but the involvement of the analogous MRE11/RAD50/NBS1 (MRN) complex in end joining in higher eukaryotes is less certain. Here we demonstrate that in Xenopus laevis egg extracts, the MRN complex is not required for classical DNA-PK-dependent NHEJ. However, the XMRN complex is necessary for resection-based end joining of mismatched DNA ends. This XMRN-dependent end joining process is independent of the core NHEJ components Ku70 and DNA-PK, occurs with delayed kinetics relative to classical NHEJ and brings about repair at sites of microhomology. These data indicate a role for the X. laevis MRN complex in MMEJ.
Project description:DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair by nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) requires the assembly of several proteins on DNA ends. Although biochemical studies have elucidated several aspects of the NHEJ reaction mechanism, much less is known about NHEJ in living cells, mainly because of the inability to visualize NHEJ repair proteins at DNA damage. Here we provide evidence that a pulsed near IR laser can produce DSBs without any visible alterations in the nucleus, and we show that NHEJ proteins accumulate in the irradiated areas. The levels of DSBs and Ku accumulation diminished in time, showing that this approach allows us to study DNA repair kinetics in vivo. Remarkably, the Ku heterodimers on DNA ends were in dynamic equilibrium with Ku70/80 in solution, showing that NHEJ complex assembly is reversible. Accumulation of XRCC4/ligase IV on DSBs depended on the presence of Ku70/80, but not DNA-PK(CS). We detected a direct interaction between Ku70 and XRCC4 that could explain these requirements. Our results suggest that this assembly constitutes the core of the NHEJ reaction and that XRCC4 may serve as a flexible tether between Ku70/80 and ligase IV.
Project description:Nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) is an important pathway for the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and plays a critical role in maintaining genomic stability in mammalian cells. While Ku70/80 (Ku) functions in NHEJ as part of the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), genetic evidence indicates that the role of Ku in NHEJ goes beyond its participation in DNA-PK. Inositol hexakisphosphate (IP(6)) was previously found to stimulate NHEJ in vitro and Ku was identified as an IP(6)-binding factor. Through mutational analysis, we identified a bipartite IP(6)-binding site in Ku and generated IP(6)-binding mutants that ranged from 1.22% to 58.48% of wild-type binding. Significantly, these Ku IP(6)-binding mutants were impaired for participation in NHEJ in vitro and we observed a positive correlation between IP(6) binding and NHEJ. Ku IP(6)-binding mutants were separation-of-function mutants that bound DNA and activated DNA-PK as well as wild-type Ku. Our observations identify a hitherto undefined IP(6)-binding site in Ku and show that this interaction is important for DSB repair by NHEJ in vitro. Moreover, these data indicate that in addition to binding of exposed DNA termini and activation of DNA-PK, the Ku heterodimer plays a role in mammalian NHEJ that is regulated by binding of IP(6).
Project description:Long-term neurological deficiencies resulting from hippocampal cytotoxicity induced by cranial irradiation (IR) present a challenge in the treatment of primary and metastatic brain cancers, especially in children. Previously, we showed that lithium protected hippocampal neurons from IR-induced apoptosis and improved neurocognitive function in treated mice. Here, we demonstrate accelerated repair of IR-induced chromosomal double-strand breaks (DSBs) in lithium-treated neurons. Lithium treatment not only increased IR-induced DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) threonine 2609 foci, a surrogate marker for activated nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) repair, but also enhanced double-strand DNA end-rejoining activity in hippocampal neurons. The increased NHEJ repair coincided with reduced numbers of IR-induced gamma-H2AX foci, well-characterized in situ markers of DSBs. These findings were confirmed in vivo in irradiated mice. Consistent with a role of NHEJ repair in lithium-mediated neuroprotection, attenuation of IR-induced apoptosis of hippocampal neurons by lithium was dramatically abrogated when DNA-PK function was abolished genetically in SCID mice or inhibited biochemically by the DNA-PK inhibitor IC86621. Importantly, none of these findings were evident in glioma cancer cells. These results support our hypothesis that lithium protects hippocampal neurons by promoting the NHEJ repair-mediated DNA repair pathway and warrant future investigation of lithium-mediated neuroprotection during cranial IR, especially in the pediatric population.
Project description:Nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) is the major pathway for the repair of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) in human cells. NHEJ requires the catalytic subunit of the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PKcs), Ku70, Ku80, XRCC4, DNA ligase IV and Artemis, as well as DNA polymerases mu and lambda and polynucleotide kinase. Recent studies have identified an additional participant, XLF, for XRCC4-like factor (also called Cernunnos), which interacts with the XRCC4-DNA ligase IV complex and stimulates its activity in vitro, however, its precise role in the DNA damage response is not fully understood. Since the protein kinase activity of DNA-PKcs is required for NHEJ, we asked whether XLF might be a physiological target of DNA-PK. Here, we have identified two major in vitro DNA-PK phosphorylation sites in the C-terminal region of XLF, serines 245 and 251. We show that these represent the major phosphorylation sites in XLF in vivo and that serine 245 is phosphorylated in vivo by DNA-PK, while serine 251 is phosphorylated by Ataxia-Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM). However, phosphorylation of XLF did not have a significant effect on the ability of XLF to interact with DNA in vitro or its recruitment to laser-induced DSBs in vivo. Similarly, XLF in which the identified in vivo phosphorylation sites were mutated to alanine was able to complement the DSB repair defect as well as radiation sensitivity in XLF-deficient 2BN cells. We conclude that phosphorylation of XLF at these sites does not play a major role in the repair of IR-induced DSBs in vivo.