Homologous recombination (HR) is initiated by DNA end resection, a process in which stretches of single-strand DNA (ssDNA) are generated and used for homology search. Factors implicated in resection include nucleases MRE11, EXO1, and DNA2, which process DNA ends into 3' ssDNA overhangs; helicases such as BLM, which unwind DNA; and other proteins such as BRCA1 and CtIP whose functions remain unclear. CDK-mediated phosphorylation of CtIP on T847 is required to promote resection, whereas CDK-dependent phosphorylation of CtIP-S327 is required for interaction with BRCA1. Here, we provide evidence that CtIP functions independently of BRCA1 in promoting DSB end resection. First, using mouse models expressing S327A or T847A mutant CtIP as a sole species, and B cells deficient in CtIP, we show that loss of the CtIP-BRCA1 interaction does not detectably affect resection, maintenance of genomic stability or viability, whereas T847 is essential for these functions. Second, although loss of 53BP1 rescues the embryonic lethality and HR defects in BRCA1-deficient mice, it does not restore viability or genome integrity in CtIP(-/-) mice. Third, the increased resection afforded by loss of 53BP1 and the rescue of BRCA1-deficiency depend on CtIP but not EXO1. Finally, the sensitivity of BRCA1-deficient cells to poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibition is partially rescued by the phospho-mimicking mutant CtIP (CtIP-T847E). Thus, in contrast to BRCA1, CtIP has indispensable roles in promoting resection and embryonic development.
p53 influences genomic stability, apoptosis, autophagy, response to stress, and DNA damage. New p53-target genes could elucidate mechanisms through which p53 controls cell integrity and response to damage.
The DNA damage response (DDR) protein 53BP1 protects DNA ends from excessive resection in G1, and thereby favors repair by nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) as opposed to homologous recombination (HR). During S phase, BRCA1 antagonizes 53BP1 to promote HR. The pro-NHEJ and antirecombinase functions of 53BP1 are mediated in part by RIF1, the only known factor that requires 53BP1 phosphorylation for its recruitment to double-strand breaks (DSBs). Here, we show that a 53BP1 phosphomutant, 53BP18A, comprising alanine substitutions of the eight most N-terminal S/TQ phosphorylation sites, mimics 53BP1 deficiency by restoring genome stability in BRCA1-deficient cells yet behaves like wild-type 53BP1 with respect to immunoglobulin class switch recombination (CSR). 53BP18A recruits RIF1 but fails to recruit the DDR protein PTIP to DSBs, and disruption of PTIP phenocopies 53BP18A. We conclude that 53BP1 promotes productive CSR and suppresses mutagenic DNA repair through distinct phosphodependent interactions with RIF1 and PTIP.
Defective DNA repair by homologous recombination (HR) is thought to be a major contributor to tumorigenesis in individuals carrying Brca1 mutations. Here, we show that DNA breaks in Brca1-deficient cells are aberrantly joined into complex chromosome rearrangements by a process dependent on the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) factors 53BP1 and DNA ligase 4. Loss of 53BP1 alleviates hypersensitivity of Brca1 mutant cells to PARP inhibition and restores error-free repair by HR. Mechanistically, 53BP1 deletion promotes ATM-dependent processing of broken DNA ends to produce recombinogenic single-stranded DNA competent for HR. In contrast, Lig4 deficiency does not rescue the HR defect in Brca1 mutant cells but prevents the joining of chromatid breaks into chromosome rearrangements. Our results illustrate that HR and NHEJ compete to process DNA breaks that arise during DNA replication and that shifting the balance between these pathways can be exploited to selectively protect or kill cells harboring Brca1 mutations.
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are byproducts of normal cellular metabolism and obligate intermediates in antigen receptor diversification reactions. These lesions are potentially dangerous because they can lead to deletion of genetic material or chromosome translocation. The chromatin-binding protein 53BP1 and the histone variant H2AX are required for efficient class switch (CSR) and V(D)J recombination in part because they protect DNA ends from resection and thereby favor nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ). Here, we examine the mechanism of DNA end resection in primary B cells. We find that resection depends on both CtBP-interacting protein (CtIP, Rbbp8) and exonuclease 1 (Exo1). Inhibition of CtIP partially rescues the CSR defect in 53BP1- and H2AX-deficient lymphocytes, as does interference with the RecQ helicases Bloom (Blm) and Werner (Wrn). We conclude that CtIP, Exo1, and RecQ helicases contribute to the metabolism of DNA ends during DSB repair in B lymphocytes and that minimizing resection favors efficient CSR.
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