Activation-induced deaminase (AID) triggers antibody class switch recombination (CSR) in B cells by initiating DNA double strand breaks that are repaired by nonhomologous end-joining pathways. A role for AID at the repair step is unclear. We show that specific inactivation of the C-terminal AID domain encoded by exon 5 (E5) allows very efficient deamination of the AID target regions but greatly impacts the efficiency and quality of subsequent DNA repair. Specifically eliminating E5 not only precludes CSR but also, causes an atypical, enzymatic activity-dependent dominant-negative effect on CSR. Moreover, the E5 domain is required for the formation of AID-dependent Igh-cMyc chromosomal translocations. DNA breaks at the Igh switch regions induced by AID lacking E5 display defective end joining, failing to recruit DNA damage response factors and undergoing extensive end resection. These defects lead to nonproductive resolutions, such as rearrangements and homologous recombination that can antagonize CSR. Our results can explain the autosomal dominant inheritance of AID variants with truncated E5 in patients with hyper-IgM syndrome 2 and establish that AID, through the E5 domain, provides a link between DNA damage and repair during CSR.
Many cancer research efforts focus on exploiting genetic-level features that may be targeted for therapy. Tissue-level features of the tumour microenvironment also represent useful therapeutic targets. Here we investigate the presence of low oxygen tension and sensitivity to NOS inhibition of tumour vasculature as potential tumour-specific features that may be targeted by hypoxic cytotoxins, a class of therapeutics currently under investigation. We have previously demonstrated that tirapazamine (TPZ) mediates central vascular dysfunction in tumours. TPZ is a hypoxic cytotoxin that is also a competitive inhibitor of NOS. Here we further investigated the vascular-targeting activity of TPZ by combining it with NOS inhibitor L-NNA, or with low oxygen content gas breathing. Tumours were analyzed via multiplex immunohistochemical staining that revealed irreversible loss of perfusion and enhanced tumour cell death when TPZ was combined with either low oxygen or a NOS inhibitor. Tumour growth rate was reduced by TPZ + NOS inhibition, and tumours previously resistant to TPZ-mediated vascular dysfunction were sensitized by low oxygen breathing. Additional mapping analysis suggests that tumours with reduced vascular-associated stroma may have greater sensitivity to these effects. These results indicate that poorly oxygenated tumour vessels, also being abnormally organized and with inadequate smooth muscle, may be successfully targeted for significant anti-cancer effects by inhibition of NOS and hypoxia-activated prodrug toxicity. This strategy illustrates a novel use of hypoxia-activated cytotoxic prodrugs as vascular targeting agents, and also represents a novel mechanism for targeting tumour vessels.
The enzyme activation-induced deaminase (AID) deaminates deoxycytidine at the immunoglobulin genes, thereby initiating antibody affinity maturation and isotype class switching during immune responses. In contrast, off-target DNA damage caused by AID is oncogenic. Central to balancing immunity and cancer is AID regulation, including the mechanisms determining AID protein levels. We describe a specific functional interaction between AID and the Hsp40 DnaJa1, which provides insight into the function of both proteins. Although both major cytoplasmic type I Hsp40s, DnaJa1 and DnaJa2, are induced upon B-cell activation and interact with AID in vitro, only DnaJa1 overexpression increases AID levels and biological activity in cell lines. Conversely, DnaJa1, but not DnaJa2, depletion reduces AID levels, stability and isotype switching. In vivo, DnaJa1-deficient mice display compromised response to immunization, AID protein and isotype switching levels being reduced by half. Moreover, DnaJa1 farnesylation is required to maintain, and farnesyltransferase inhibition reduces, AID protein levels in B cells. Thus, DnaJa1 is a limiting factor that plays a non-redundant role in the functional stabilization of AID.
Diverse guanine-rich RNAs and DNAs that fold to form guanine quadruplexes are known to form tight complexes with Fe(III) heme. We show here that a wide variety of such complexes robustly catalyze two-electron oxidations, transferring oxygen from hydrogen peroxide to thioanisole, indole, and styrene substrates. Use of (18)O-labeled hydrogen peroxide reveals the source of the oxygen transferred to form thioanisole sulfoxide and styrene oxide to be the activated ferryl moiety within these systems. Hammett analysis of the kinetics of thioanisole sulfoxide formation is unable to distinguish between a one-step, direct oxygen transfer and a two-step, oxygen rebound mechanism for this catalysis. Oxygen transfer to indole produces a range of products, including indigo and related dyes. Docking of heme onto a high-resolution structure of the G-quadruplex fold of Bcl-2 promoter DNA, which both binds heme and transfers oxygen, suggests a relatively open active site for this class of ribozymes and deoxyribozymes. That heme-dependent catalysis of oxygen transfer is a property of many RNAs and DNAs has ramifications for primordial evolution, enzyme design, cellular oxidative disease, and anticancer therapeutics.
Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is a DNA mutator enzyme essential for adaptive immunity. AID initiates somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination (CSR) by deaminating cytosine to uracil in specific immunoglobulin (Ig) gene regions. However, other loci, including cancer-related genes, are also targeted. Thus, tight regulation of AID is crucial to balance immunity versus disease such as cancer. AID is regulated by several mechanisms including nucleocytoplasmic shuttling. Here we have studied nuclear import kinetics and subnuclear trafficking of AID in live cells and characterized in detail its nuclear localization signal. Importantly, we find that the nuclear localization signal motif also directs AID to nucleoli where it colocalizes with its interaction partner, catenin-?-like 1 (CTNNBL1), and physically associates with nucleolin and nucleophosmin. Moreover, we demonstrate that release of AID from nucleoli is dependent on its C-terminal motif. Finally, we find that CSR efficiency correlates strongly with the arithmetic product of AID nuclear import rate and DNA deamination activity. Our findings suggest that directional nucleolar transit is important for the physiological function of AID and demonstrate that nuclear/nucleolar import and DNA cytosine deamination together define the biological activity of AID. This is the first study on subnuclear trafficking of AID and demonstrates a new level in its complex regulation. In addition, our results resolve the problem related to dissociation of deamination activity and CSR activity of AID mutants.
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