7 research outputs found

    Endonuclease-independent LINE-1 retrotransposition at mammalian telomeres

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    Long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1 or L1) elements are abundant, non-long-terminal-repeat (non-LTR) retrotransposons that comprise 17% of human DNA(1). The average human genome contains similar to 80-100 retrotransposition- competent L1s (ref. 2), and they mobilize by a process that uses both the L1 endonuclease and reverse transcriptase, termed target-site primed reverse transcription(3-5). We have previously reported an efficient, endonuclease-independent L1 retrotransposition pathway (ENi) in certain Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines that are defective in the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway of DNA double-strand-break repair(6). Here we have characterized ENi retrotransposition events generated in V3 CHO cells, which are deficient in DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) activity and have both dysfunctional telomeres and an NHEJ defect. Notably, similar to 30% of ENi retrotransposition events insert in an orientation-specific manner adjacent to a perfect telomere repeat (5'-TTAGGG-3'). Similar insertions were not detected among ENi retrotransposition events generated in controls or in XR-1 CHO cells deficient for XRCC4, an NHEJ factor that is required for DNA ligation but has no known function in telomere maintenance. Furthermore, transient expression of a dominant-negative allele of human TRF2 ( also called TERF2) in XRCC4-deficient XR-1 cells, which disrupts telomere capping, enables telomere-associated ENi retrotransposition events. These data indicate that L1s containing a disabled endonuclease can use dysfunctional telomeres as an integration substrate. The findings highlight similarities between the mechanism of ENi retrotransposition and the action of telomerase, because both processes can use a 3' OH for priming reverse transcription at either internal DNA lesions or chromosome ends(7,8). Thus, we propose that ENi retrotransposition is an ancestral mechanism of RNA-mediated DNA repair associated with non-LTR retrotransposons that may have been used before the acquisition of an endonuclease domain.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/62964/1/nature05560.pd

    Impact of telomerase ablation on organismal viability, aging, and tumorigenesis in mice lacking the DNA repair proteins PARP-1, Ku86, or DNA-PKcs

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    The DNA repair proteins poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1), Ku86, and catalytic subunit of DNA-PK (DNA-PKcs) have been involved in telomere metabolism. To genetically dissect the impact of these activities on telomere function, as well as organismal cancer and aging, we have generated mice doubly deficient for both telomerase and any of the mentioned DNA repair proteins, PARP-1, Ku86, or DNA-PKcs. First, we show that abrogation of PARP-1 in the absence of telomerase does not affect the rate of telomere shortening, telomere capping, or organismal viability compared with single telomerase-deficient controls. Thus, PARP-1 does not have a major role in telomere metabolism, not even in the context of telomerase deficiency. In contrast, mice doubly deficient for telomerase and either Ku86 or DNA-PKcs manifest accelerated loss of organismal viability compared with single telomerase-deficient mice. Interestingly, this loss of organismal viability correlates with proliferative defects and age-related pathologies, but not with increased incidence of cancer. These results support the notion that absence of telomerase and short telomeres in combination with DNA repair deficiencies accelerate the aging process without impacting on tumorigenesis

    Role of Mammalian Rad54 in Telomere Length Maintenance

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    The homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair pathway participates in telomere length maintenance in yeast but its putative role at mammalian telomeres is unknown. Mammalian Rad54 is part of the HR machinery, and Rad54-deficient mice show a reduced HR capability. Here, we show that Rad54-deficient mice also show significantly shorter telomeres than wild-type controls, indicating that Rad54 activity plays an essential role in telomere length maintenance in mammals. Rad54 deficiency also resulted in an increased frequency of end-to-end chromosome fusions involving telomeres compared to the controls, suggesting a putative role of Rad54 in telomere capping. Finally, the study of mice doubly deficient for Rad54 and DNA-PKcs showed that telomere fusions due to DNA-PKcs deficiency were not rescued in the absence of Rad54, suggesting that they are not mediated by Rad54 activity

    Functional interaction between DNA-PKcs and telomerase in telomere length maintenance

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    DNA-PKcs is the catalytic subunit of the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) complex that functions in the non-homologous end-joining of double-strand breaks, and it has been shown previously to have a role in telomere capping. In particular, DNA-PKcs deficiency leads to chromosome fusions involving telomeres produced by leading-strand synthesis. Here, by generating mice doubly deficient in DNA-PKcs and telomerase (Terc(–/–)/DNA-PKcs(–/–)), we demonstrate that DNA-PKcs also has a fundamental role in telomere length maintenance. In particular, Terc(–/–)/DNA-PKcs(–/–) mice displayed an accelerated rate of telomere shortening when compared with Terc(–/–) controls, suggesting a functional interaction between both activities in maintaining telomere length. In addition, we also provide direct demonstration that DNA-PKcs is essential for both end-to-end fusions and apoptosis triggered by critically short telomeres. Our data predict that, in telomerase-deficient cells, i.e. human somatic cells, DNA-PKcs abrogation may lead to a faster rate of telomere degradation and cell cycle arrest in the absence of increased apoptosis and/or fusion of telomere-exhausted chromosomes. These results suggest a critical role of DNA-PKcs in both cancer and aging

    Identification of a nonsense mutation in the carboxyl-terminal region of DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit in the i scid mouse

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    DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) consists of a heterodimeric protein (Ku) and a large catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs). The Ku protein has double-stranded DNA end-binding activity that serves to recruit the complex to DNA ends. Despite having serine/threonine protein kinase activity, DNA-PKcs falls into the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase superfamily. DNA-PK functions in DNA double-strand break repair and V(D)J recombination, and recent evidence has shown that mouse scid cells are defective in DNA-PKcs. In this study we have cloned the cDNA for the carboxyl-terminal region of DNA-PKcs in rodent cells and identified the existence of two differently spliced products in human cells. We show that DNA-PKcs maps to the same chromosomal region as the mouse scid gene. scid cells contain approximately wild-type levels of DNA-PKcs transcripts, whereas the V-3 cell line, which is also defective in DNA-PKcs, contains very reduced transcript levels. Sequence comparison of the carboxyl-terminal region of scid and wild-type mouse cells enabled us to identify a nonsense mutation within a highly conserved region of the gene in mouse scid cells. This represents a strong candidate for the inactivating mutation in DNA-PKcs in the scid mouse

    A YAC Contig Encompassing the XRCC5 (Ku80) DNA Repair Gene and Complementation of Defective Cells by YAC Protoplast Fusion.

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    The Chinese hamster ovaryxrsmutants are sensitive to ionizing radiation, defective in DNA double-strand break rejoining, and unable to carry out V(D)J recombination effectively. Recently, the gene defective in these mutants, XRCC5, has been shown to encode Ku80, a component of the Ku protein and DNA-dependent protein kinase. We present here a YAC contig involving 25 YACs mapping to the region 2q33–q34, which encompasses the XRCC5 gene. Eight new markers for this region of chromosome 2 are identified. YACs encoding the Ku80 gene were transferred toxrscells by protoplast fusion, and complementation of all the defective phenotypes has been obtained with two YACs. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this approach as a strategy for cloning human genes complementing defective rodent cell lines