ResearchPad - genome-integrity-repair-and-replication https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[High density of unrepaired genomic ribonucleotides leads to Topoisomerase 1-mediated severe growth defects in absence of ribonucleotide reductase]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na85dac79-eea9-4627-9003-096103eea53c Cellular levels of ribonucleoside triphosphates (rNTPs) are much higher than those of deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs), thereby influencing the frequency of incorporation of ribonucleoside monophosphates (rNMPs) by DNA polymerases (Pol) into DNA. RNase H2-initiated ribonucleotide excision repair (RER) efficiently removes single rNMPs in genomic DNA. However, processing of rNMPs by Topoisomerase 1 (Top1) in absence of RER induces mutations and genome instability. Here, we greatly increased the abundance of genomic rNMPs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by depleting Rnr1, the major subunit of ribonucleotide reductase, which converts ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides. We found that in strains that are depleted of Rnr1, RER-deficient, and harbor an rNTP-permissive replicative Pol mutant, excessive accumulation of single genomic rNMPs severely compromised growth, but this was reversed in absence of Top1. Thus, under Rnr1 depletion, limited dNTP pools slow DNA synthesis by replicative Pols and provoke the incorporation of high levels of rNMPs in genomic DNA. If a threshold of single genomic rNMPs is exceeded in absence of RER and presence of limited dNTP pools, Top1-mediated genome instability leads to severe growth defects. Finally, we provide evidence showing that accumulation of RNA/DNA hybrids in absence of RNase H1 and RNase H2 leads to cell lethality under Rnr1 depletion.

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<![CDATA[Exo1 phosphorylation inhibits exonuclease activity and prevents fork collapse in rad53 mutants independently of the 14-3-3 proteins]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N73889f2d-b7b5-417a-84d4-3e0a271adfd7

Abstract

The S phase checkpoint is crucial to maintain genome stability under conditions that threaten DNA replication. One of its critical functions is to prevent Exo1-dependent fork degradation, and Exo1 is phosphorylated in response to different genotoxic agents. Exo1 seemed to be regulated by several post-translational modifications in the presence of replicative stress, but the specific contribution of checkpoint-dependent phosphorylation to Exo1 control and fork stability is not clear. We show here that Exo1 phosphorylation is Dun1-independent and Rad53-dependent in response to DNA damage or dNTP depletion, and in both situations Exo1 is similarly phosphorylated at multiple sites. To investigate the correlation between Exo1 phosphorylation and fork stability, we have generated phospho-mimic exo1 alleles that rescue fork collapse in rad53 mutants as efficiently as exo1-nuclease dead mutants or the absence of Exo1, arguing that Rad53-dependent phosphorylation is the mayor requirement to preserve fork stability. We have also shown that this rescue is Bmh1–2 independent, arguing that the 14-3-3 proteins are dispensable for fork stabilization, at least when Exo1 is downregulated. Importantly, our results indicated that phosphorylation specifically inhibits the 5' to 3'exo-nuclease activity, suggesting that this activity of Exo1 and not the flap-endonuclease, is the enzymatic activity responsible of the collapse of stalled replication forks in checkpoint mutants.

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<![CDATA[SIRT6 coordinates with CHD4 to promote chromatin relaxation and DNA repair]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3b066112-ce0d-4815-96a3-dd72222182e3

Abstract

Genomic instability is an underlying hallmark of cancer and is closely associated with defects in DNA damage repair (DDR). Chromatin relaxation is a prerequisite for DDR, but how chromatin accessibility is regulated remains elusive. Here we report that the histone deacetylase SIRT6 coordinates with the chromatin remodeler CHD4 to promote chromatin relaxation in response to DNA damage. Upon DNA damage, SIRT6 rapidly translocates to DNA damage sites, where it interacts with and recruits CHD4. Once at the damage sites, CHD4 displaces heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) from histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation (H3K9me3). Notably, loss of SIRT6 or CHD4 leads to impaired chromatin relaxation and disrupted DNA repair protein recruitment. These molecular changes, in-turn, lead to defective homologous recombination (HR) and cancer cell hypersensitivity to DNA damaging agents. Furthermore, we show that SIRT6-mediated CHD4 recruitment has a specific role in DDR within compacted chromatin by HR in G2 phase, which is an ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM)-dependent process. Taken together, our results identify a novel function for SIRT6 in recruiting CHD4 onto DNA double-strand breaks. This newly identified novel molecular mechanism involves CHD4-dependent chromatin relaxation and competitive release of HP1 from H3K9me3 within the damaged chromatin, which are both essential for accurate HR.

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<![CDATA[Nuclear envelope attachment of telomeres limits TERRA and telomeric rearrangements in quiescent fission yeast cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Naaca8c92-a9fb-4b25-b6b5-24f34940d002

Abstract

Telomere anchoring to nuclear envelope (NE) is a key feature of nuclear genome architecture. Peripheral localization of telomeres is important for chromatin silencing, telomere replication and for the control of inappropriate recombination. Here, we report that fission yeast quiescent cells harbor predominantly a single telomeric cluster anchored to the NE. Telomere cluster association to the NE relies on Rap1–Bqt4 interaction, which is impacted by the length of telomeric sequences. In quiescent cells, reducing telomere length or deleting bqt4, both result in an increase in transcription of the telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA). In the absence of Bqt4, telomere shortening leads to deep increase in TERRA level and the concomitant formation of subtelomeric rearrangements (STEEx) that accumulate massively in quiescent cells. Taken together, our data demonstrate that Rap1–Bqt4-dependent telomere association to NE preserves telomere integrity in post-mitotic cells, preventing telomeric transcription and recombination. This defines the nuclear periphery as an area where recombination is restricted, creating a safe zone for telomeres of post-mitotic cells.

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<![CDATA[Poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation mediates early phase histone eviction at DNA lesions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N291c2f05-29a5-4596-af65-70ee3297f422

Abstract

Nucleosomal histones are barriers to the DNA repair process particularly at DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). However, the molecular mechanism by which these histone barriers are removed from the sites of DNA damage remains elusive. Here, we have generated a single specific inducible DSB in the cells and systematically examined the histone removal process at the DNA lesion. We found that histone removal occurred immediately following DNA damage and could extend up to a range of few kilobases from the lesion. To examine the molecular mechanism underlying DNA damage-induced histone removal, we screened histone modifications and found that histone ADP-ribosylation was associated with histone removal at DNA lesions. PARP inhibitor treatment suppressed the immediate histone eviction at DNA lesions. Moreover, we examined histone chaperones and found that the FACT complex recognized ADP-ribosylated histones and mediated the removal of histones in response to DNA damage. Taken together, our results reveal a pathway that regulates early histone barrier removal at DNA lesions. It may also explain the mechanism by which PARP inhibitor regulates early DNA damage repair.

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<![CDATA[Cooperation of the NEIL3 and Fanconi anemia/BRCA pathways in interstrand crosslink repair]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N79a10ade-8c40-46f4-8e44-5f8c83aa7fdc

Abstract

The NEIL3 DNA glycosylase is a base excision repair enzyme that excises bulky base lesions from DNA. Although NEIL3 has been shown to unhook interstrand crosslinks (ICL) in Xenopus extracts, how NEIL3 participants in ICL repair in human cells and its corporation with the canonical Fanconi anemia (FA)/BRCA pathway remain unclear. Here we show that the NEIL3 and the FA/BRCA pathways are non-epistatic in psoralen-ICL repair. The NEIL3 pathway is the major pathway for repairing psoralen-ICL, and the FA/BRCA pathway is only activated when NEIL3 is not present. Mechanistically, NEIL3 is recruited to psoralen-ICL in a rapid, PARP-dependent manner. Importantly, the NEIL3 pathway repairs psoralen-ICLs without generating double-strand breaks (DSBs), unlike the FA/BRCA pathway. In addition, we found that the RUVBL1/2 complex physically interact with NEIL3 and function within the NEIL3 pathway in psoralen-ICL repair. Moreover, TRAIP is important for the recruitment of NEIL3 but not FANCD2, and knockdown of TRAIP promotes FA/BRCA pathway activation. Interestingly, TRAIP is non-epistatic with both NEIL3 and FA pathways in psoralen-ICL repair, suggesting that TRAIP may function upstream of the two pathways. Taken together, the NEIL3 pathway is the major pathway to repair psoralen-ICL through a unique DSB-free mechanism in human cells.

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<![CDATA[Effects of chain length and geometry on the activation of DNA damage bypass by polyubiquitylated PCNA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4a53abe3-f9c5-4c26-9260-5cf5799db5a4

Abstract

Ubiquitylation of the eukaryotic sliding clamp, PCNA, activates a pathway of DNA damage bypass that facilitates the replication of damaged DNA. In its monoubiquitylated form, PCNA recruits a set of damage-tolerant DNA polymerases for translesion synthesis. Alternatively, modification by K63-linked polyubiquitylation triggers a recombinogenic process involving template switching. Despite the identification of proteins interacting preferentially with polyubiquitylated PCNA, the molecular function of the chain and the relevance of its K63-linkage are poorly understood. Using genetically engineered mimics of polyubiquitylated PCNA, we have now examined the properties of the ubiquitin chain required for damage bypass in budding yeast. By varying key parameters such as the geometry of the junction, cleavability and capacity for branching, we demonstrate that either the structure of the ubiquitin-ubiquitin junction or its dynamic assembly or disassembly at the site of action exert a critical impact on damage bypass, even though known effectors of polyubiquitylated PCNA are not strictly linkage-selective. Moreover, we found that a single K63-junction supports substantial template switching activity, irrespective of its attachment site on PCNA. Our findings provide insight into the interrelationship between the two branches of damage bypass and suggest the existence of a yet unidentified, highly linkage-selective receptor of polyubiquitylated PCNA.

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<![CDATA[The unstructured linker arms of MutL enable GATC site incision beyond roadblocks during initiation of DNA mismatch repair]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N841cdd27-67d1-4bff-8046-16cf2055d89e

Abstract

DNA mismatch repair (MMR) maintains genome stability through repair of DNA replication errors. In Escherichia coli, initiation of MMR involves recognition of the mismatch by MutS, recruitment of MutL, activation of endonuclease MutH and DNA strand incision at a hemimethylated GATC site. Here, we studied the mechanism of communication that couples mismatch recognition to daughter strand incision. We investigated the effect of catalytically-deficient Cas9 as well as stalled RNA polymerase as roadblocks placed on DNA in between the mismatch and GATC site in ensemble and single molecule nanomanipulation incision assays. The MMR proteins were observed to incise GATC sites beyond a roadblock, albeit with reduced efficiency. This residual incision is completely abolished upon shortening the disordered linker regions of MutL. These results indicate that roadblock bypass can be fully attributed to the long, disordered linker regions in MutL and establish that communication during MMR initiation occurs along the DNA backbone.

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<![CDATA[Recognition and processing of branched DNA substrates by Slx1–Slx4 nuclease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N53fd7feb-2d2c-4dbe-9885-5569663ff54a

Abstract

Structure-selective endonucleases cleave branched DNA substrates. Slx1 is unique among structure-selective nucleases because it can cleave all branched DNA structures at multiple sites near the branch point. The mechanism behind this broad range of activity is unknown. The present study structurally and biochemically investigated fungal Slx1 to define a new protein interface that binds the non-cleaved arm of branched DNAs. The DNA arm bound at this new site was positioned at a sharp angle relative to the arm that was modeled to interact with the active site, implying that Slx1 uses DNA bending to localize the branch point as a flexible discontinuity in DNA. DNA binding at the new interface promoted a disorder-order transition in a region of the protein that was located in the vicinity of the active site, potentially participating in its formation. This appears to be a safety mechanism that ensures that DNA cleavage occurs only when the new interface is occupied by the non-cleaved DNA arm. Models of Slx1 that interacted with various branched DNA substrates were prepared. These models explain the way in which Slx1 cuts DNA toward the 3′ end away from the branch point and elucidate the unique ability of Slx1 to cleave various DNA structures.

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<![CDATA[Single-molecule visualization of human BLM helicase as it acts upon double- and single-stranded DNA substrates]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2a1fcd02-dfc3-4181-a737-ec91d742dcd2

Abstract

Bloom helicase (BLM) and its orthologs are essential for the maintenance of genome integrity. BLM defects represent the underlying cause of Bloom Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that is marked by strong cancer predisposition. BLM deficient cells accumulate extensive chromosomal aberrations stemming from dysfunctions in homologous recombination (HR). BLM participates in several HR stages and helps dismantle potentially harmful HR intermediates. However, much remains to be learned about the molecular mechanisms of these BLM-mediated regulatory effects. Here, we use DNA curtains to directly visualize the activity of BLM helicase on single molecules of DNA. Our data show that BLM is a robust helicase capable of rapidly (∼70–80 base pairs per second) unwinding extensive tracts (∼8–10 kilobases) of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). Importantly, we find no evidence for BLM activity on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) that is bound by replication protein A (RPA). Likewise, our results show that BLM can neither associate with nor translocate on ssDNA that is bound by the recombinase protein RAD51. Moreover, our data reveal that the presence of RAD51 also blocks BLM translocation on dsDNA substrates. We discuss our findings within the context of potential regulator roles for BLM helicase during DNA replication and repair.

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<![CDATA[UBR5 interacts with the replication fork and protects DNA replication from DNA polymerase η toxicity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6e69765d-697a-4f92-a6e2-d388219a4ce1

Abstract

Accurate DNA replication is critical for the maintenance of genome integrity and cellular survival. Cancer-associated alterations often involve key players of DNA replication and of the DNA damage-signalling cascade. Post-translational modifications play a fundamental role in coordinating replication and repair and central among them is ubiquitylation. We show that the E3 ligase UBR5 interacts with components of the replication fork, including the translesion synthesis (TLS) polymerase polη. Depletion of UBR5 leads to replication problems, such as slower S-phase progression, resulting in the accumulation of single stranded DNA. The effect of UBR5 knockdown is related to a mis-regulation in the pathway that controls the ubiquitylation of histone H2A (UbiH2A) and blocking this modification is sufficient to rescue the cells from replication problems. We show that the presence of polη is the main cause of replication defects and cell death when UBR5 is silenced. Finally, we unveil a novel interaction between polη and H2A suggesting that UbiH2A could be involved in polη recruitment to the chromatin and the regulation of TLS.

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<![CDATA[Poly(ADP-ribose)-dependent chromatin unfolding facilitates the association of DNA-binding proteins with DNA at sites of damage]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N56229df8-bee7-476a-a831-aa0b69c69263

Abstract

The addition of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) chains along the chromatin fiber due to PARP1 activity regulates the recruitment of multiple factors to sites of DNA damage. In this manuscript, we investigated how, besides direct binding to PAR, early chromatin unfolding events controlled by PAR signaling contribute to recruitment to DNA lesions. We observed that different DNA-binding, but not histone-binding, domains accumulate at damaged chromatin in a PAR-dependent manner, and that this recruitment correlates with their affinity for DNA. Our findings indicate that this recruitment is promoted by early PAR-dependent chromatin remodeling rather than direct interaction with PAR. Moreover, recruitment is not the consequence of reduced molecular crowding at unfolded damaged chromatin but instead originates from facilitated binding to more exposed DNA. These findings are further substantiated by the observation that PAR-dependent chromatin remodeling at DNA lesions underlies increased DNAse hypersensitivity. Finally, the relevance of this new mode of PAR-dependent recruitment to DNA lesions is demonstrated by the observation that reducing the affinity for DNA of both CHD4 and HP1α, two proteins shown to be involved in the DNA-damage response, strongly impairs their recruitment to DNA lesions.

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<![CDATA[Mrc1 and Tof1 prevent fragility and instability at long CAG repeats by their fork stabilizing function]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5f1ba9d5eed0c48469b902

Abstract

Fork stabilization at DNA impediments is key to maintaining replication fork integrity and preventing chromosome breaks. Mrc1 and Tof1 are two known stabilizers that travel with the replication fork. In addition to a structural role, Mrc1 has a DNA damage checkpoint function. Using a yeast model system, we analyzed the role of Mrc1 and Tof1 at expanded CAG repeats of medium and long lengths, which are known to stall replication forks and cause trinucleotide expansion diseases such as Huntington's disease and myotonic dystrophy. We demonstrate that the fork stabilizer but not the checkpoint activation function of Mrc1 is key for preventing DNA breakage and death of cells containing expanded CAG tracts. In contrast, both Mrc1 functions are important in preventing repeat length instability. Mrc1 has a general fork protector role that is evident at forks traversing both repetitive and non-repetitive DNA, though it becomes crucial at long CAG repeat lengths. In contrast, the role of Tof1 in preventing fork breakage is specific to long CAG tracts of 85 or more repeats. Our results indicate that long CAG repeats have a particular need for Tof1 and highlight the importance of fork stabilizers in maintaining fork integrity during replication of structure-forming repeats.

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<![CDATA[A chromatin-associated protein required for inducing and limiting meiotic DNA double-strand break formation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c26b340d5eed0c48475faab

Abstract

Programmed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are required for meiotic recombination, but the number is strictly controlled because they are potentially harmful. Here we report a novel protein, Pars11, which is required for Spo11-dependent DSB formation in the protist Tetrahymena. Pars11 localizes to chromatin early in meiotic prophase in a Spo11-independent manner and is removed before the end of prophase. Pars11 removal depends on DSB formation and ATR-dependent phosphorylation. In the absence of the DNA damage sensor kinase ATR, Pars11 is retained on chromatin and excess DSBs are generated. Similar levels of Pars11 persistence and DSB overproduction occur in a non-phosphorylatable pars11 mutant. We conclude that Pars11 supports DSB formation by Spo11 until enough DSBs are formed; thereafter, DSB production stops in response to ATR-dependent degradation of Pars11 or its removal from chromatin. A similar DSB control mechanism involving a Rec114-Tel1/ATM-dependent negative feedback loop regulates DSB formation in budding yeast. However, there is no detectable sequence homology between Pars11 and Rec114, and DSB numbers are more tightly controlled by Pars11 than by Rec114. The discovery of this mechanism for DSB regulation in the evolutionarily distant protist and fungal lineages suggests that it is conserved across eukaryotes.

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<![CDATA[Next-generation sequencing reveals two populations of damage-induced small RNAs at endogenous DNA double-strand breaks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c26b32bd5eed0c48475f665

Abstract

Recent studies suggest that transcription takes place at DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), that transcripts at DSBs are processed by Drosha and Dicer into damage-induced small RNAs (diRNAs), and that diRNAs are required for DNA repair. However, diRNAs have been mostly detected in reporter constructs or repetitive sequences, and their existence at endogenous loci has been questioned by recent reports. Using the homing endonuclease I-PpoI, we have investigated diRNA production in genetically unperturbed human and mouse cells. I-PpoI is an ideal tool to clarify the requirements for diRNA production because it induces DSBs in different types of loci: the repetitive 28S locus, unique genes and intergenic loci. We show by extensive sequencing that the rDNA locus produces substantial levels of diRNAs, whereas unique genic and intergenic loci do not. Further characterization of diRNAs emerging from the 28S locus reveals the existence of two diRNA subtypes. Surprisingly, Drosha and its partner DGCR8 are dispensable for diRNA production and only one diRNAs subtype depends on Dicer processing. Furthermore, we provide evidence that diRNAs are incorporated into Argonaute. Our findings provide direct evidence for diRNA production at endogenous loci in mammalian cells and give insights into RNA processing at DSBs.

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<![CDATA[Conditional genome engineering reveals canonical and divergent roles for the Hus1 component of the 9–1–1 complex in the maintenance of the plastic genome ofLeishmania]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c26b361d5eed0c48475ffb5

Abstract

Leishmania species are protozoan parasites whose remarkably plastic genome limits the establishment of effective genetic manipulation and leishmaniasis treatment. The strategies used by Leishmania to maintain its genome while allowing variability are not fully understood. Here, we used DiCre-mediated conditional gene deletion to show that HUS1, a component of the 9–1–1 (RAD9-RAD1-HUS1) complex, is essential and is required for a G2/M checkpoint. By analyzing genome-wide instability in HUS1 ablated cells, HUS1 is shown to have a conserved role, by which it preserves genome stability and also a divergent role, by which it promotes genome variability. These roles of HUS1 are related to distinct patterns of formation and resolution of single-stranded DNA and γH2A, throughout the cell cycle. Our findings suggest that Leishmania 9–1–1 subunits have evolved to co-opt canonical genomic maintenance and genomic variation functions. Hence, this study reveals a pivotal function of HUS1 in balancing genome stability and transmission in Leishmania. These findings may be relevant to understanding the evolution of genome maintenance and plasticity in other pathogens and eukaryotes.

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<![CDATA[Computational insights into the mutagenicity of two tobacco-derived carcinogenic DNA lesions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c26b339d5eed0c48475f904

Abstract

4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone is a potent carcinogen found in all tobacco products that leads to a variety of DNA lesions in cells, including O6-[4-oxo-4-(3-pyridyl)butyl]guanine (POB-G) and O6-[4-hydroxy-4-(3-pyridyl)butyl]guanine (PHB-G), which differ by only a single substituent in the bulky moiety. This work uses a multiscale computational approach to shed light on the intrinsic conformational and base-pairing preferences of POB-G and PHB-G, and the corresponding properties in DNA and the polymerase η active site. Our calculations reveal that both lesions form stable pairs with C and T, with the T pairs being the least distorted relative to canonical DNA. This rationalizes the experimentally reported mutational profile for POB-G and validates our computational model. The same approach predicts that PHB-G is more mutagenic than POB-G due to a difference in the bulky moiety hydrogen-bonding pattern, which increases the stability of the PHB-G:T pair. The mutagenicity of PHB-G is likely further increased by stabilization of an intercalated DNA conformation that is associated with deletion mutations. This work thereby uncovers structural explanations for the reported mutagenicity of POB-G, provides the first clues regarding the mutagenicity of PHB-G and complements a growing body of literature highlighting that subtle chemical changes can affect the biological outcomes of DNA adducts.

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<![CDATA[Pif1 is essential for efficient replisome progression through lagging strand G-quadruplex DNA secondary structures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c26b31cd5eed0c48475f3e6

Abstract

Pif1 DNA helicase is a potent unwinder of G-quadruplex (G4) structures in vitro and functions to maintain genome stability at G4 sequences in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here, we developed and utilized a live-cell imaging approach to quantitatively measure the progression rates of single replication forks through different G4 containing sequences in individual yeast cells. We show that in the absence of Pif1, replication rates through specific lagging strand G4 sequences in vivo is significantly decreased. In contrast, we found that in the absence of Pif1, replication rates through the same G4s on the leading strand are not decreased relative to the respective WT strains, showing that Pif1 is essential only for efficient replication through lagging strand G4s. Additionally, we show that a canonical PIP sequence in Pif1 interacts with PCNA and that replication through G4 structures is significantly slower in the absence of this interaction in vitro and in vivo. Thus, Pif1–PCNA interaction is essential for optimal replisome progression through G4 sequences, highlighting the importance of coupling between Pif1 activity and replisome progression during yeast genome replication.

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<![CDATA[An E2F7-dependent transcriptional program modulates DNA damage repair and genomic stability]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c02408fd5eed0c4843a7134

Abstract

The cellular response to DNA damage is essential for maintaining the integrity of the genome. Recent evidence has identified E2F7 as a key player in DNA damage-dependent transcriptional regulation of cell-cycle genes. However, the contribution of E2F7 to cellular responses upon genotoxic damage is still poorly defined. Here we show that E2F7 represses the expression of genes involved in the maintenance of genomic stability, both throughout the cell cycle and upon induction of DNA lesions that interfere with replication fork progression. Knockdown of E2F7 leads to a reduction in 53BP1 and FANCD2 foci and to fewer chromosomal aberrations following treatment with agents that cause interstrand crosslink (ICL) lesions but not upon ionizing radiation. Accordingly, E2F7-depleted cells exhibit enhanced cell-cycle re-entry and clonogenic survival after exposure to ICL-inducing agents. We further report that expression and functional activity of E2F7 are p53-independent in this context. Using a cell-based assay, we show that E2F7 restricts homologous recombination through the transcriptional repression of RAD51. Finally, we present evidence that downregulation of E2F7 confers an increased resistance to chemotherapy in recombination-deficient cells. Taken together, our results reveal an E2F7-dependent transcriptional program that contributes to the regulation of DNA repair and genomic integrity.

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<![CDATA[Human RTEL1 stabilizes long G-overhangs allowing telomerase-dependent over-extension]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c02409dd5eed0c4843a72e6

Abstract

Telomere maintenance protects the cell against genome instability and senescence. Accelerated telomere attrition is a characteristic of premature aging syndromes including Dyskeratosis congenita (DC). Mutations in hRTEL1 are associated with a severe form of DC called Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome (HHS). HHS patients carry short telomeres and HHS cells display telomere damage. Here we investigated how hRTEL1 contributes to telomere maintenance in human primary as well as tumor cells. Transient depletion of hRTEL1 resulted in rapid telomere shortening only in the context of telomerase-positive cells with very long telomeres and high levels of telomerase. The effect of hRTEL1 on telomere length is telomerase dependent without impacting telomerase biogenesis or targeting of the enzyme to telomeres. Instead, RTEL1 depletion led to a decrease in both G-overhang content and POT1 association with telomeres with limited telomere uncapping. Strikingly, overexpression of POT1 restored telomere length but not the overhang, demonstrating that G-overhang loss is the primary defect caused by RTEL1 depletion. We propose that hRTEL1 contributes to the maintenance of long telomeres by preserving long G-overhangs, thereby facilitating POT1 binding and elongation by telomerase.

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