ResearchPad - dna-replication https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Maximizing viral detection with SIV droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assays]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14590 Highly sensitive detection of HIV-1 nucleic acids is of critical importance for evaluating treatment interventions superimposed on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in HIV-1 infected individuals. SIV infection of rhesus macaques models many key aspects of human HIV-1 infection and plays a key role in evaluation of approaches for prevention, treatment and attempted eradication of HIV infection. Here we describe two droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assays, a ddPCR DNA assay and an RT-ddPCR RNA assay for detecting simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) on the RainDance platform. We demonstrate that RainDance ddPCR can tolerate significantly higher cell DNA input without inhibition on a per reaction basis (compared to both qPCR and Bio-Rad ddPCR), thus allowing a large quantity of sample to be analyzed in each reaction. In addition, the combination of a high processivity RT enzyme and RainDance ddPCR could overcome inhibition in severely inhibited (99.99% inhibition in qPCR quantification) viral RNA samples. These assays offer valuable tools for assessing low level viral production/replication and strategies for targeting residual virus in the setting of cART suppression of viral replication. The methodologies presented here can be adapted for a broad range of applications where highly sensitive nucleic acid detection is required.

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<![CDATA[A DNA repair protein and histone methyltransferase interact to promote genome stability in the Caenorhabditis elegans germ line]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79a3e8d5eed0c4841d1c27

Histone modifications regulate gene expression and chromosomal events, yet how histone-modifying enzymes are targeted is poorly understood. Here we report that a conserved DNA repair protein, SMRC-1, associates with MET-2, the C. elegans histone methyltransferase responsible for H3K9me1 and me2 deposition. We used molecular, genetic, and biochemical methods to investigate the biological role of SMRC-1 and to explore its relationship with MET-2. SMRC-1, like its mammalian ortholog SMARCAL1, provides protection from DNA replication stress. SMRC-1 limits accumulation of DNA damage and promotes germline and embryonic viability. MET-2 and SMRC-1 localize to mitotic and meiotic germline nuclei, and SMRC-1 promotes an increase in MET-2 abundance in mitotic germline nuclei upon replication stress. In the absence of SMRC-1, germline H3K9me2 generally decreases after multiple generations at high culture temperature. Genetic data are consistent with MET-2 and SMRC-1 functioning together to limit replication stress in the germ line and in parallel to promote other germline processes. We hypothesize that loss of SMRC-1 activity causes chronic replication stress, in part because of insufficient recruitment of MET-2 to nuclei.

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<![CDATA[PDIP38/PolDIP2 controls the DNA damage tolerance pathways by increasing the relative usage of translesion DNA synthesis over template switching]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897795d5eed0c4847d30a7

Replicative DNA polymerases are frequently stalled at damaged template strands. Stalled replication forks are restored by the DNA damage tolerance (DDT) pathways, error-prone translesion DNA synthesis (TLS) to cope with excessive DNA damage, and error-free template switching (TS) by homologous DNA recombination. PDIP38 (Pol-delta interacting protein of 38 kDa), also called Pol δ-interacting protein 2 (PolDIP2), physically associates with TLS DNA polymerases, polymerase η (Polη), Polλ, and PrimPol, and activates them in vitro. It remains unclear whether PDIP38 promotes TLS in vivo, since no method allows for measuring individual TLS events in mammalian cells. We disrupted the PDIP38 gene, generating PDIP38-/- cells from the chicken DT40 and human TK6 B cell lines. These PDIP38-/- cells did not show a significant sensitivity to either UV or H2O2, a phenotype not seen in any TLS-polymerase-deficient DT40 or TK6 mutants. DT40 provides a unique opportunity of examining individual TLS and TS events by the nucleotide sequence analysis of the immunoglobulin variable (Ig V) gene as the cells continuously diversify Ig V by TLS (non-templated Ig V hypermutation) and TS (Ig gene conversion) during in vitro culture. PDIP38-/- cells showed a shift in Ig V diversification from TLS to TS. We measured the relative usage of TLS and TS in TK6 cells at a chemically synthesized UV damage (CPD) integrated into genomic DNA. The loss of PDIP38 also caused an increase in the relative usage of TS. The number of UV-induced sister chromatid exchanges, TS events associated with crossover, was increased a few times in PDIP38-/- human and chicken cells. Collectively, the loss of PDIP38 consistently causes a shift in DDT from TLS to TS without enhancing cellular sensitivity to DNA damage. We propose that PDIP38 controls the relative usage of TLS and TS increasing usage of TLS without changing the overall capability of DDT.

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<![CDATA[Rescue of collapsed replication forks is dependent on NSMCE2 to prevent mitotic DNA damage]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730a3d5eed0c484f37e1c

NSMCE2 is an E3 SUMO ligase and a subunit of the SMC5/6 complex that associates with the replication fork and protects against genomic instability. Here, we study the fate of collapsed replication forks generated by prolonged hydroxyurea treatment in human NSMCE2-deficient cells. Double strand breaks accumulate during rescue by converging forks in normal cells but not in NSMCE2-deficient cells. Un-rescued forks persist into mitosis, leading to increased mitotic DNA damage. Excess RAD51 accumulates and persists at collapsed forks in NSMCE2-deficient cells, possibly due to lack of BLM recruitment to stalled forks. Despite failure of BLM to accumulate at stalled forks, NSMCE2-deficient cells exhibit lower levels of hydroxyurea-induced sister chromatid exchange. In cells deficient in both NSMCE2 and BLM, hydroxyurea-induced double strand breaks and sister chromatid exchange resembled levels found in NSCME2-deficient cells. We conclude that the rescue of collapsed forks by converging forks is dependent on NSMCE2.

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<![CDATA[Strand break-induced replication fork collapse leads to C-circles, C-overhangs and telomeric recombination]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e913d5eed0c48496f7a0

Telomerase-independent ALT (alternative lengthening of telomeres) cells are characterized by high frequency of telomeric homologous recombination (HR), C-rich extrachromosomal circles (C-circles) and C-rich terminal 5' overhangs (C-overhangs). However, underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we show that both C-circle and C-overhang form when replication fork collapse is induced by strand break at telomeres. We find that endogenous DNA break predominantly occur on C-rich strand of telomeres in ALT cells, resulting in high frequency of replication fork collapse. While collapsed forks could be rescued by replication fork regression leading to telomeric homologous recombination, those unresolved are converted to C-circles and C-overhang at lagging and leading synthesized strand, respectively. Meanwhile, multiple hallmarks of ALT are provoked, suggesting that strand break-induced replication stress underlies ALT. These findings provide a molecular basis underlying telomeric HR and biogenesis of C-circle and C-overhang, thus implicating the specific mechanism to resolve strand break-induced replication defect at telomeres in ALT cells.

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<![CDATA[The Cdk8/19-cyclin C transcription regulator functions in genome replication through metazoan Sld7]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59feebd5eed0c4841357c1

Accurate genome duplication underlies genetic homeostasis. Metazoan Mdm2 binding protein (MTBP) forms a main regulatory platform for origin firing together with Treslin/TICRR and TopBP1 (Topoisomerase II binding protein 1 (TopBP1)–interacting replication stimulating protein/TopBP1-interacting checkpoint and replication regulator). We report the first comprehensive analysis of MTBP and reveal conserved and metazoa-specific MTBP functions in replication. This suggests that metazoa have evolved specific molecular mechanisms to adapt replication principles conserved with yeast to the specific requirements of the more complex metazoan cells. We uncover one such metazoa-specific process: a new replication factor, cyclin-dependent kinase 8/19–cyclinC (Cdk8/19-cyclin C), binds to a central domain of MTBP. This interaction is required for complete genome duplication in human cells. In the absence of MTBP binding to Cdk8/19-cyclin C, cells enter mitosis with incompletely duplicated chromosomes, and subsequent chromosome segregation occurs inaccurately. Using remote homology searches, we identified MTBP as the metazoan orthologue of yeast synthetic lethal with Dpb11 7 (Sld7). This homology finally demonstrates that the set of yeast core factors sufficient for replication initiation in vitro is conserved in metazoa. MTBP and Sld7 contain two homologous domains that are present in no other protein, one each in the N and C termini. In MTBP the conserved termini flank the metazoa-specific Cdk8/19-cyclin C binding region and are required for normal origin firing in human cells. The N termini of MTBP and Sld7 share an essential origin firing function, the interaction with Treslin/TICRR or its yeast orthologue Sld3, respectively. The C termini may function as homodimerisation domains. Our characterisation of broadly conserved and metazoa-specific initiation processes sets the basis for further mechanistic dissection of replication initiation in vertebrates. It is a first step in understanding the distinctions of origin firing in higher eukaryotes.

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<![CDATA[Structure of the DP1–DP2 PolD complex bound with DNA and its implications for the evolutionary history of DNA and RNA polymerases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4b7f56d5eed0c48484117d

PolD is an archaeal replicative DNA polymerase (DNAP) made of a proofreading exonuclease subunit (DP1) and a larger polymerase catalytic subunit (DP2). Recently, we reported the individual crystal structures of the DP1 and DP2 catalytic cores, thereby revealing that PolD is an atypical DNAP that has all functional properties of a replicative DNAP but with the catalytic core of an RNA polymerase (RNAP). We now report the DNA-bound cryo–electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of the heterodimeric DP1–DP2 PolD complex from Pyrococcus abyssi, revealing a unique DNA-binding site. Comparison of PolD and RNAPs extends their structural similarities and brings to light the minimal catalytic core shared by all cellular transcriptases. Finally, elucidating the structure of the PolD DP1–DP2 interface, which is conserved in all eukaryotic replicative DNAPs, clarifies their evolutionary relationships with PolD and sheds light on the domain acquisition and exchange mechanism that occurred during the evolution of the eukaryotic replisome.

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<![CDATA[The molecular biology and HPV drug responsiveness of cynomolgus macaque papillomaviruses support their use in the development of a relevant in vivo model for antiviral drug testing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e6c2d5eed0c484ef3d31

Due to the extreme tissue and species restriction of the papillomaviruses (PVs), there is a great need for animal models that accurately mimic PV infection in humans for testing therapeutic strategies against human papillomaviruses (HPVs). In this study, we present data that demonstrate that in terms of gene expression during initial viral DNA amplification, Macaca fascicularis PV (MfPV) types 5 and 8 appear to be similar to mucosal oncogenic HPVs, while MfPV1 (isolated from skin) resembles most high-risk cutaneous beta HPVs (HPV5). Similarities were also observed in replication properties during the initial amplification phase of the MfPV genomes. We demonstrate that high-risk mucosal HPV-specific inhibitors target the transient replication of the MfPV8 genomes, which indicates that similar pathways are used by the high-risk HPVs and MfPVs during their genome replication. Taking all into account, we propose that Macaca fascicularis may serve as a highly relevant model for preclinical tests designed to evaluate therapeutic strategies against HPV-associated lesions.

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<![CDATA[CDK contribution to DSB formation and recombination in fission yeast meiosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c466528d5eed0c484517b92

CDKs (cyclin-dependent kinases) associate with different cyclins to form different CDK-complexes that are fundamental for an ordered cell cycle progression, and the coordination of this progression with different aspects of the cellular physiology. During meiosis programmed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) initiate recombination that in addition to generating genetic variability are essential for the reductional chromosome segregation during the first meiotic division, and therefore for genome stability and viability of the gametes. However, how meiotic progression and DSB formation are coordinated, and the role CDKs have in the process, is not well understood. We have used single and double cyclin deletion mutants, and chemical inhibition of global CDK activity using the cdc2-asM17 allele, to address the requirement of CDK activity for DSB formation and recombination in fission yeast. We report that several cyclins (Cig1, Cig2, and the meiosis-specific Crs1) control DSB formation and recombination, with a major contribution of Crs1. Moreover, complementation analysis indicates specificity at least for this cyclin, suggesting that different CDK complexes might act in different pathways to promote recombination. Down-regulation of CDK activity impinges on the formation of linear elements (LinEs, protein complexes required for break formation at most DSB hotspot sites). This defect correlates with a reduction in the capability of one structural component (Rec25) to bind chromatin, suggesting a molecular mechanism by which CDK controls break formation. However, reduction in DSB formation in cyclin deletion mutants does not always correspondingly correlate with a proportional reduction in meiotic recombination (crossovers), suggesting that specific CDK complexes might also control downstream events balancing repair pathways. Therefore, our work points to CDK regulation of DSB formation as a key conserved feature in the initiation of meiotic recombination, in addition to provide a view of possible roles CDK might have in other steps of the recombination process.

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<![CDATA[RNase H1 directs origin-specific initiation of DNA replication in human mitochondria]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c37b7b0d5eed0c48449094a

Human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication is first initiated at the origin of H-strand replication. The initiation depends on RNA primers generated by transcription from an upstream promoter (LSP). Here we reconstitute this process in vitro using purified transcription and replication factors. The majority of all transcription events from LSP are prematurely terminated after ~120 nucleotides, forming stable R-loops. These nascent R-loops cannot directly prime mtDNA synthesis, but must first be processed by RNase H1 to generate 3′-ends that can be used by DNA polymerase γ to initiate DNA synthesis. Our findings are consistent with recent studies of a knockout mouse model, which demonstrated that RNase H1 is required for R-loop processing and mtDNA maintenance in vivo. Both R-loop formation and DNA replication initiation are stimulated by the mitochondrial single-stranded DNA binding protein. In an RNase H1 deficient patient cell line, the precise initiation of mtDNA replication is lost and DNA synthesis is initiated from multiple sites throughout the mitochondrial control region. In combination with previously published in vivo data, the findings presented here suggest a model, in which R-loop processing by RNase H1 directs origin-specific initiation of DNA replication in human mitochondria.

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<![CDATA[A high-throughput screen to identify novel small molecule inhibitors of the Werner Syndrome Helicase-Nuclease (WRN)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa55ed5eed0c484ca3891

Werner syndrome (WS), an autosomal recessive genetic disorder, displays accelerated clinical symptoms of aging leading to a mean lifespan less than 50 years. The WS helicase-nuclease (WRN) is involved in many important pathways including DNA replication, recombination and repair. Replicating cells are dependent on helicase activity, leading to the pursuit of human helicases as potential therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. Small molecule inhibitors of DNA helicases can be used to induce synthetic lethality, which attempts to target helicase-dependent compensatory DNA repair pathways in tumor cells that are already genetically deficient in a specific pathway of DNA repair. Alternatively, helicase inhibitors may be useful as tools to study the specialized roles of helicases in replication and DNA repair. In this study, approximately 350,000 small molecules were screened based on their ability to inhibit duplex DNA unwinding by a catalytically active WRN helicase domain fragment in a high-throughput fluorometric assay to discover new non-covalent small molecule inhibitors of the WRN helicase. Select compounds were screened to exclude ones that inhibited DNA unwinding by other helicases in the screen, bound non-specifically to DNA, acted as irreversible inhibitors, or possessed unfavorable chemical properties. Several compounds were tested for their ability to impair proliferation of cultured tumor cells. We observed that two of the newly identified WRN helicase inhibitors inhibited proliferation of cancer cells in a lineage-dependent manner. These studies represent the first high-throughput screen for WRN helicase inhibitors and the results have implications for anti-cancer strategies targeting WRN in different cancer cells and genetic backgrounds.

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<![CDATA[Activation of E2F-dependent transcription by the mouse cytomegalovirus M117 protein affects the viral host range]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1813ccd5eed0c484775d94

Cytomegaloviruses (CMVs) have a highly restricted host range as they replicate only in cells of their own or closely related species. To date, the molecular mechanisms underlying the CMV host restriction remain poorly understood. However, it has been shown that mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) can be adapted to human cells and that adaptation goes along with adaptive mutations in several viral genes. In this study, we identify MCMV M117 as a novel host range determinant. Mutations in this gene enable the virus to cross the species barrier and replicate in human RPE-1 cells. We show that the M117 protein is expressed with early kinetics, localizes to viral replication compartments, and contributes to the inhibition of cellular DNA synthesis. Mechanistically, M117 interacts with members of the E2F transcription factor family and induces E2F target gene expression in murine and human cells. While the N-terminal part of M117 mediates E2F interaction, the C-terminal part mediates self-interaction. Both parts are required for the activation of E2F-dependent transcription. We further show that M117 is dispensable for viral replication in cultured mouse fibroblasts and endothelial cells, but is required for colonization of mouse salivary glands in vivo. Conversely, inactivation of M117 or pharmacological inhibition of E2F facilitates MCMV replication in human RPE-1 cells, whereas replacement of M117 by adenovirus E4orf6/7, a known E2F activator, prevents it. These results indicate that E2F activation is detrimental for MCMV replication in human cells. In summary, this study identifies MCMV M117 as a novel E2F activator that functions as a host range determinant by precluding MCMV replication in human cells.

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<![CDATA[Ribonuclease H1-targeted R-loops in surface antigen gene expression sites can direct trypanosome immune evasion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1c0ab6d5eed0c484426932

Switching of the Variant Surface Glycoprotein (VSG) in Trypanosoma brucei provides a crucial host immune evasion strategy that is catalysed both by transcription and recombination reactions, each operating within specialised telomeric VSG expression sites (ES). VSG switching is likely triggered by events focused on the single actively transcribed ES, from a repertoire of around 15, but the nature of such events is unclear. Here we show that RNA-DNA hybrids, called R-loops, form preferentially within sequences termed the 70 bp repeats in the actively transcribed ES, but spread throughout the active and inactive ES, in the absence of RNase H1, which degrades R-loops. Loss of RNase H1 also leads to increased levels of VSG coat switching and replication-associated genome damage, some of which accumulates within the active ES. This work indicates VSG ES architecture elicits R-loop formation, and that these RNA-DNA hybrids connect T. brucei immune evasion by transcription and recombination.

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<![CDATA[Danger signals activate a putative innate immune system during regeneration in a filamentous fungus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ae430d5eed0c4845891aa

The ability to respond to injury is a biological process shared by organisms of different kingdoms that can even result in complete regeneration of a part or structure that was lost. Due to their immobility, multicellular fungi are prey to various predators and are therefore constantly exposed to mechanical damage. Nevertheless, our current knowledge of how fungi respond to injury is scarce. Here we show that activation of injury responses and hyphal regeneration in the filamentous fungus Trichoderma atroviride relies on the detection of two danger or alarm signals. As an early response to injury, we detected a transient increase in cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]c) that was promoted by extracellular ATP, and which is likely regulated by a mechanism of calcium-induced calcium-release. In addition, we demonstrate that the mitogen activated protein kinase Tmk1 plays a key role in hyphal regeneration. Calcium- and Tmk1-mediated signaling cascades activated major transcriptional changes early following injury, including induction of a set of regeneration associated genes related to cell signaling, stress responses, transcription regulation, ribosome biogenesis/translation, replication and DNA repair. Interestingly, we uncovered the activation of a putative fungal innate immune response, including the involvement of HET domain genes, known to participate in programmed cell death. Our work shows that fungi and animals share danger-signals, signaling cascades, and the activation of the expression of genes related to immunity after injury, which are likely the result of convergent evolution.

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<![CDATA[BLM prevents instability of structure-forming DNA sequences at common fragile sites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c099406d5eed0c4842ae0ea

Genome instability often arises at common fragile sites (CFSs) leading to cancer-associated chromosomal rearrangements. However, the underlying mechanisms of how CFS protection is achieved is not well understood. We demonstrate that BLM plays an important role in the maintenance of genome stability of structure-forming AT-rich sequences derived from CFSs (CFS-AT). BLM deficiency leads to increased DSB formation and hyper mitotic recombination at CFS-AT and induces instability of the plasmids containing CFS-AT. We further showed that BLM is required for suppression of CFS breakage upon oncogene expression. Both helicase activity and ATR-mediated phosphorylation of BLM are important for preventing genetic instability at CFS-AT sequences. Furthermore, the role of BLM in protecting CFS-AT is not epistatic to that of FANCM, a translocase that is involved in preserving CFS stability. Loss of BLM helicase activity leads to drastic decrease of cell viability in FANCM deficient cells. We propose that BLM and FANCM utilize different mechanisms to remove DNA secondary structures forming at CFS-AT on replication forks, thereby preventing DSB formation and maintaining CFS stability.

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<![CDATA[Insights into antitrypanosomal drug mode-of-action from cytology-based profiling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c059dded5eed0c4849c95b5

Chemotherapy continues to have a major impact on reducing the burden of disease caused by trypanosomatids. Unfortunately though, the mode-of-action (MoA) of antitrypanosomal drugs typically remains unclear or only partially characterised. This is the case for four of five current drugs used to treat Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT); eflornithine is a specific inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase. Here, we used a panel of T. brucei cellular assays to probe the MoA of the current HAT drugs. The assays included DNA-staining followed by microscopy and quantitative image analysis, or flow cytometry; terminal dUTP nick end labelling to monitor mitochondrial (kinetoplast) DNA replication; antibody-based detection of sites of nuclear DNA damage; and fluorescent dye-staining of mitochondria or lysosomes. We found that melarsoprol inhibited mitosis; nifurtimox reduced mitochondrial protein abundance; pentamidine triggered progressive loss of kinetoplast DNA and disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential; and suramin inhibited cytokinesis. Thus, current antitrypanosomal drugs perturb distinct and specific cellular compartments, structures or cell cycle phases. Further exploiting the findings, we show that putative mitogen-activated protein-kinases contribute to the melarsoprol-induced mitotic defect, reminiscent of the mitotic arrest associated signalling cascade triggered by arsenicals in mammalian cells, used to treat leukaemia. Thus, cytology-based profiling can rapidly yield novel insight into antitrypanosomal drug MoA.

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<![CDATA[Herpes ICP8 protein stimulates homologous recombination in human cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b8acddb40307c144d0de050

Recombineering has transformed functional genomic analysis. Genome modification by recombineering using the phage lambda Red homologous recombination protein Beta in Escherichia coli has approached 100% efficiency. While highly efficient in E. coli, recombineering using the Red Synaptase/Exonuclease pair (SynExo) in other organisms declines in efficiency roughly correlating with phylogenetic distance from E. coli. SynExo recombinases are common to double-stranded DNA viruses infecting a variety of organisms, including humans. Human Herpes virus 1 (HHV1) encodes a SynExo comprised of ICP8 synaptase and UL12 exonuclease. In a previous study, the Herpes SynExo was reconstituted in vitro and shown to catalyze a model recombination reaction. Here we describe stimulation of gene targeting to edit a novel fluorescent protein gene in the human genome using ICP8 and compared its efficiency to that of a “humanized” version of Beta protein from phage λ. ICP8 significantly enhanced gene targeting rates in HEK 293T cells while Beta was not only unable to catalyze recombineering but inhibited gene targeting using endogenous recombination functions, despite both synaptases being well-expressed and localized to the nucleus. This proof of concept encourages developing species-specific SynExo recombinases for genome engineering.

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<![CDATA[Rad51 recruitment and exclusion of non-homologous end joining during homologous recombination at a Tus/Ter mammalian replication fork barrier]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b60218a463d7e3d6d2261bd

Classical non-homologous end joining (C-NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR) compete to repair mammalian chromosomal double strand breaks (DSBs). However, C-NHEJ has no impact on HR induced by DNA nicking enzymes. In this case, the replication fork is thought to convert the DNA nick into a one-ended DSB, which lacks a readily available partner for C-NHEJ. Whether C-NHEJ competes with HR at a non-enzymatic mammalian replication fork barrier (RFB) remains unknown. We previously showed that conservative “short tract” gene conversion (STGC) induced by a chromosomal Tus/Ter RFB is a product of bidirectional replication fork stalling. This finding raises the possibility that Tus/Ter-induced STGC proceeds via a two-ended DSB intermediate. If so, Tus/Ter-induced STGC might be subject to competition by C-NHEJ. However, in contrast to the DSB response, where genetic ablation of C-NHEJ stimulates HR, we report here that Tus/Ter-induced HR is unaffected by deletion of either of two C-NHEJ genes, Xrcc4 or Ku70. These results show that Tus/Ter-induced HR does not entail the formation of a two-ended DSB to which C-NHEJ has competitive access. We found no evidence that the alternative end-joining factor, DNA polymerase θ, competes with Tus/Ter-induced HR. We used chromatin-immunoprecipitation to compare Rad51 recruitment to a Tus/Ter RFB and to a neighboring site-specific DSB. Rad51 accumulation at Tus/Ter was more intense and more sustained than at a DSB. In contrast to the DSB response, Rad51 accumulation at Tus/Ter was restricted to within a few hundred base pairs of the RFB. Taken together, these findings suggest that the major DNA structures that bind Rad51 at a Tus/Ter RFB are not conventional DSBs. We propose that Rad51 acts as an “early responder” at stalled forks, binding single stranded daughter strand gaps on the arrested lagging strand, and that Rad51-mediated fork remodeling generates HR intermediates that are incapable of Ku binding and therefore invisible to the C-NHEJ machinery.

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<![CDATA[A Link among DNA Replication, Recombination, and Gene Expression Revealed by Genetic and Genomic Analysis of TEBICHI Gene of Arabidopsis thaliana]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4bab0ee8fa60bda512

Spatio-temporal regulation of gene expression during development depends on many factors. Mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana TEBICHI (TEB) gene encoding putative helicase and DNA polymerase domains-containing protein result in defects in meristem maintenance and correct organ formation, as well as constitutive DNA damage response and a defect in cell cycle progression; but the molecular link between these phenotypes of teb mutants is unknown. Here, we show that mutations in the DNA replication checkpoint pathway gene, ATR, but not in ATM gene, enhance developmental phenotypes of teb mutants, although atr suppresses cell cycle defect of teb mutants. Developmental phenotypes of teb mutants are also enhanced by mutations in RAD51D and XRCC2 gene, which are involved in homologous recombination. teb and teb atr double mutants exhibit defects in adaxial-abaxial polarity of leaves, which is caused in part by the upregulation of ETTIN (ETT)/AUXIN RESPONSIVE FACTOR 3 (ARF3) and ARF4 genes. The Helitron transposon in the upstream of ETT/ARF3 gene is likely to be involved in the upregulation of ETT/ARF3 in teb. Microarray analysis indicated that teb and teb atr causes preferential upregulation of genes nearby the Helitron transposons. Furthermore, interestingly, duplicated genes, especially tandemly arrayed homologous genes, are highly upregulated in teb or teb atr. We conclude that TEB is required for normal progression of DNA replication and for correct expression of genes during development. Interplay between these two functions and possible mechanism leading to altered expression of specific genes will be discussed.

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<![CDATA[Short Telomeres Initiate Telomere Recombination in Primary and Tumor Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0bab0ee8fa60b77a00

Human tumors that lack telomerase maintain telomeres by alternative lengthening mechanisms. Tumors can also form in telomerase-deficient mice; however, the genetic mechanism responsible for tumor growth without telomerase is unknown. In yeast, several different recombination pathways maintain telomeres in the absence of telomerase—some result in telomere maintenance with minimal effects on telomere length. To examine non-telomerase mechanisms for telomere maintenance in mammalian cells, we used primary cells and lymphomas from telomerase-deficient mice (mTR−/− and Eμmyc+mTR−/−) and CAST/EiJ mouse embryonic fibroblast cells. These cells were analyzed using pq-ratio analysis, telomere length distribution outliers, CO-FISH, Q-FISH, and multicolor FISH to detect subtelomeric recombination. Telomere length was maintained during long-term growth in vivo and in vitro. Long telomeres, characteristic of human ALT cells, were not observed in either late passage or mTR−/− tumor cells; instead, we observed only minimal changes in telomere length. Telomere length variation and subtelomeric recombination were frequent in cells with short telomeres, indicating that length maintenance is due to telomeric recombination. We also detected telomere length changes in primary mTR−/− cells that had short telomeres. Using mouse mTR+/− and human hTERT+/− primary cells with short telomeres, we found frequent length changes indicative of recombination. We conclude that telomere maintenance by non-telomerase mechanisms, including recombination, occurs in primary cells and is initiated by short telomeres, even in the presence of telomerase. Most intriguing, our data indicate that some non-telomerase telomere maintenance mechanisms occur without a significant increase in telomere length.

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