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Maternal embryonic leucine-zipper kinase (MELK) overexpression impacts survival and proliferation of multiple cancer types, most notably glioblastomas and breast cancer. This makes MELK an attractive molecular target for cancer therapy. Yet the molecular mechanisms underlying the involvement of MELK in tumorigenic processes are unknown. MELK participates in numerous protein-protein interactions that affect cell cycle, proliferation, apoptosis, and embryonic development. Here we used both in vitro and in-cell assays to identify a direct interaction between MELK and arrestin-3. A part of this interaction involves the MELK kinase domain, and we further show that the interaction between the MELK kinase domain and arrestin-3 decreases the number of cells in S-phase, as compared to cells expressing the MELK kinase domain alone. Thus, we describe a new mechanism of regulation of MELK function, which may contribute to the control of cell fate.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Replicative DNA helicases expose the two strands of the double helix to the replication apparatus, but accessory helicases are often needed to help forks move past naturally occurring hard-to-replicate sites, such as tightly bound proteins, RNA/DNA hybrids, and DNA secondary structures. Although the Schizosaccharomyces pombe 5'-to-3' DNA helicase Pfh1 is known to promote fork progression, its genomic targets, dynamics, and mechanisms of action are largely unknown. Here we address these questions by integrating genome-wide identification of Pfh1 binding sites, comprehensive analysis of the effects of Pfh1 depletion on replication and DNA damage, and proteomic analysis of Pfh1 interaction partners by immunoaffinity purification mass spectrometry. Of the 621 high confidence Pfh1-binding sites in wild type cells, about 40% were sites of fork slowing (as marked by high DNA polymerase occupancy) and/or DNA damage (as marked by high levels of phosphorylated H2A). The replication and integrity of tRNA and 5S rRNA genes, highly transcribed RNA polymerase II genes, and nucleosome depleted regions were particularly Pfh1-dependent. The association of Pfh1 with genomic integrity at highly transcribed genes was S phase dependent, and thus unlikely to be an artifact of high transcription rates. Although Pfh1 affected replication and suppressed DNA damage at discrete sites throughout the genome, Pfh1 and the replicative DNA polymerase bound to similar extents to both Pfh1-dependent and independent sites, suggesting that Pfh1 is proximal to the replication machinery during S phase. Consistent with this interpretation, Pfh1 co-purified with many key replisome components, including the hexameric MCM helicase, replicative DNA polymerases, RPA, and the processivity clamp PCNA in an S phase dependent manner. Thus, we conclude that Pfh1 is an accessory DNA helicase that interacts with the replisome and promotes replication and suppresses DNA damage at hard-to-replicate sites. These data provide insight into mechanisms by which this evolutionarily conserved helicase helps preserve genome integrity.
The ATR replication checkpoint ensures that stalled forks remain stable when replisome movement is impeded. Using an improved iPOND protocol combined with SILAC mass spectrometry, we characterized human replisome dynamics in response to fork stalling. Our data provide a quantitative picture of the replisome and replication stress response proteomes in 32 experimental conditions. Importantly, rather than stabilize the replisome, the checkpoint prevents two distinct types of fork collapse. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of protein abundance on nascent DNA is sufficient to identify protein complexes and place newly identified replisome-associated proteins into functional pathways. As an example, we demonstrate that ZNF644 complexes with the G9a/GLP methyltransferase at replication forks and is needed to prevent replication-associated DNA damage. Our data reveal how the replication checkpoint preserves genome integrity, provide insights into the mechanism of action of ATR inhibitors, and will be a useful resource for replication, DNA repair, and chromatin investigators.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) contributes to the regulation of gene expression, chromatin structure, and genomic stability. Because HDAC3 associates with oncoproteins that drive leukemia and lymphoma, we engineered a conditional deletion allele in mice to explore the physiological roles of Hdac3 in hematopoiesis. We used the Vav-Cre transgenic allele to trigger recombination, which yielded a dramatic loss of lymphoid cells, hypocellular bone marrow, and mild anemia. Phenotypic and functional analysis suggested that Hdac3 was required for the formation of the earliest lymphoid progenitor cells in the marrow, but that the marrow contained 3-5 times more multipotent progenitor cells. Hdac3(-/-) stem cells were severely compromised in competitive bone marrow transplantation. In vitro, Hdac3(-/-) stem and progenitor cells failed to proliferate, and most cells remained undifferentiated. Moreover, one-third of the Hdac3(-/-) stem and progenitor cells were in S phase 2 hours after BrdU labeling in vivo, suggesting that these cells were impaired in transit through the S phase. DNA fiber-labeling experiments indicated that Hdac3 was required for efficient DNA replication in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Thus, Hdac3 is required for the passage of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells through the S phase, for stem cell functions, and for lymphopoiesis.
Given the fundamental roles of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in the regulation of DNA repair, replication, transcription and chromatin structure, it is fitting that therapies targeting HDAC activities are now being explored as anti-cancer agents. In fact, two histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDIs), SAHA and Depsipeptide, are FDA approved for single-agent treatment of refractory cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL). An important target of these HDIs, histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3), regulates processes such as DNA repair, metabolism, and tumorigenesis through the regulation of chromatin structure and gene expression. Here we show that HDAC3 inhibition using a first in class selective inhibitor, RGFP966, resulted in decreased cell growth in CTCL cell lines due to increased apoptosis that was associated with DNA damage and impaired S phase progression. Through isolation of proteins on nascent DNA (iPOND), we found that HDAC3 was associated with chromatin and is present at and around DNA replication forks. DNA fiber labeling analysis showed that inhibition of HDAC3 resulted in a significant reduction in DNA replication fork velocity within the first hour of drug treatment. These results suggest that selective inhibition of HDAC3 could be useful in treatment of CTCL by disrupting DNA replication of the rapidly cycling tumor cells, ultimately leading to cell death.
SMARCAL1 is an ATPase in the SNF2 family that functions at damaged replication forks to promote their stability and restart. It acts by translocating on DNA to catalyze DNA strand annealing, branch migration, and fork regression. Many SNF2 enzymes work as motor subunits of large protein complexes. To determine if SMARCAL1 is also a member of a protein complex and to further understand how it functions in the replication stress response, we used a proteomics approach to identify interacting proteins. In addition to the previously characterized interaction with replication protein A (RPA), we found that SMARCAL1 forms complexes with several additional proteins including DNA-PKcs and the WRN helicase. SMARCAL1 and WRN co-localize at stalled replication forks independently of one another. The SMARCAL1 interaction with WRN is indirect and is mediated by RPA acting as a scaffold. SMARCAL1 and WRN act independently to prevent MUS81 cleavage of the stalled fork. Biochemical experiments indicate that both catalyze fork regression with SMARCAL1 acting more efficiently and independently of WRN. These data suggest that RPA brings a complex of SMARCAL1 and WRN to stalled forks, but that they may act in different pathways to promote fork repair and restart.
Telomerase is a multi-subunit enzyme that reverse transcribes telomere repeats onto the ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes and is therefore critical for genome stability. S. cerevisiae telomerase activity is cell-cycle regulated; telomeres are not elongated during G1 phase. Previous work has shown that Est1 protein levels are low during G1 phase, preventing telomerase complex assembly. However, the pathway targeting Est1p for degradation remained uncharacterized. Here, we show that Est1p stability through the cell cycle mirrors that of Clb2p, a known target of the Anaphase Promoting Complex (APC). Indeed, Est1p is stabilized by mutations in both essential and non-essential components of the APC. Mutations of putative Destruction boxes (D-boxes), regions shown to be important for recognition of known APC substrates, stabilize Est1p, suggesting that Est1p is likely to be targeted for degradation directly by the APC. However, we do not detect degradation or ubiquitination of recombinant Est1p by the APC in vitro, suggesting either that the recombinant protein lacks necessary post-translational modification and/or conformation, or that the APC affects Est1p degradation by an indirect mechanism. Together, these studies shed light on the regulation of yeast telomerase assembly and demonstrate a new connection between telomere maintenance and cell cycle regulation pathways.
Minichromosome maintenance protein 10 (Mcm10) is a non-enzymatic replication factor required for proper assembly of the eukaryotic replication fork. Mcm10 interacts with single-stranded and double-stranded DNA, DNA polymerase α and Mcm2-7, and is important for activation of the pre-replicative complex and recruitment of subsequent proteins to the origin at the onset of S-phase. In addition, Mcm10 has recently been implicated in coordination of helicase and polymerase activities during replication fork progression. The nature of Mcm10's involvement in these activities, whether direct or indirect, remains unknown. However, recent biochemical and structural characterization of Mcm10 from multiple organisms has provided insights into how Mcm10 utilizes a modular architecture to act as a replisome scaffold, which helps to define possible roles in origin DNA melting, Pol α recruitment and coordination of enzymatic activities during elongation.
SMARCAL1 (SWI/SNF-related, matrix-associated, actin-dependent regulator of chromatin, subfamily A-like1) maintains genome integrity during DNA replication. Here we investigated its mechanism of action. We found that SMARCAL1 travels with elongating replication forks, and its absence leads to MUS81-dependent double-strand break formation. Binding to specific nucleic acid substrates activates SMARCAL1 activity in a reaction that requires its HARP2 (Hep-A-related protein 2) domain. Homology modeling indicates that the HARP domain is similar in structure to the DNA-binding domain of the PUR proteins. Limited proteolysis, small-angle X-ray scattering, and functional assays indicate that the core enzymatic unit consists of the HARP2 and ATPase domains that fold into a stable structure. Surprisingly, SMARCAL1 is capable of binding three-way and four-way Holliday junctions and model replication forks that lack a designed ssDNA region. Furthermore, SMARCAL1 remodels these DNA substrates by promoting branch migration and fork regression. SMARCAL1 mutations that cause Schimke immunoosseous dysplasia or that inactivate the HARP2 domain abrogate these activities. These results suggest that SMARCAL1 continuously surveys replication forks for damage. If damage is present, it remodels the fork to promote repair and restart. Failures in the process lead to activation of an alternative repair mechanism that depends on MUS81-catalyzed cleavage of the damaged fork.
The t(8;21) and t(16;21) that are associated with acute myeloid leukaemia disrupt two closely related genes termed Myeloid Translocation Genes 8 (MTG8) and 16 (MTG16), respectively. Many of the transcription factors that recruit Mtg16 regulate haematopoietic stem and progenitor cell functions and are required to maintain stem cell self-renewal potential. Accordingly, we found that Mtg16-null bone marrow (BM) failed in BM transplant assays. Moreover, when removed from the animal, Mtg16-deficient stem cells continued to show defects in stem cell self-renewal assays, suggesting a requirement for Mtg16 in this process. Gene expression analysis indicated that Mtg16 was required to suppress the expression of several key cell-cycle regulators including E2F2, and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays detected Mtg16 near an E2A binding site within the first intron of E2F2. BrdU incorporation assays indicated that in the absence of Mtg16 more long-term stem cells were in the S phase, even after competitive BM transplantation where normal stem and progenitor cells are present, suggesting that Mtg16 plays a role in the maintenance of stem cell quiescence.