53BP1-RIF1-shieldin counteracts DSB resection through CST-and Polα-dependent fill-in

Content introduction:

  • 53BP1–RIF1–shieldin counteracts DSB resection through CST- and Polα-dependent fill-in
  • Leukaemia hijacks a neural mechanism to invade the central nervous system
  • Thymic tuft cells promote an IL-4-enriched medulla and shape thymocyte development
  • The shieldin complex mediates 53BP1-dependent DNA repair
  • Glucose-regulated phosphorylation of TET2 by AMPK reveals a pathway linking diabetes to cancer

1. 53BP1–RIF1–shieldin counteracts DSB resection through CST- and Polα-dependent fill-in

In DNA repair, the resection of double-strand breaks dictates the choice between homology-directed repair—which requires a 3′ overhang—and classical non-homologous end joining, which can join unresected ends. BRCA1-mutant cancers show minimal resection of double-strand breaks, which renders them deficient in homology-directed repair and sensitive to inhibitors of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1). When BRCA1 is absent, the resection of double-strand breaks is thought to be prevented by 53BP1, RIF1 and the REV7–SHLD1–SHLD2–SHLD3 (shieldin) complex, and loss of these factors diminishes sensitivity to PARP1 inhibitors. Here Zachary Mirman at Rockefeller University in New York, USA and his colleagues address the mechanism by which 53BP1–RIF1–shieldin regulates the generation of recombinogenic 3′ overhangs. They report that CTC1–STN1–TEN1 (CST), a complex similar to replication protein A that functions as an accessory factor of polymerase-α (Polα)–primase, is a downstream effector in the 53BP1 pathway. CST interacts with shieldin and localizes with Polα to sites of DNA damage in a 53BP1- and shieldin-dependent manner. As with loss of 53BP1, RIF1 or shieldin, the depletion of CST leads to increased resection. In BRCA1-deficient cells, CST blocks RAD51 loading and promotes the efficacy of PARP1 inhibitors. In addition, Polα inhibition diminishes the effect of PARP1 inhibitors. These data suggest that CST–Polα-mediated fill-in helps to control the repair of double-strand breaks by 53BP1, RIF1 and shieldin.

Read more, please click https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0324-7

2. Leukaemia hijacks a neural mechanism to invade the central nervous system

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) has a marked propensity to metastasize to the central nervous system (CNS). In contrast to brain metastases from solid tumours, metastases of ALL seldom involve the parenchyma but are isolated to the leptomeninges, which is an infrequent site for carcinomatous invasion. Although metastasis to the CNS occurs across all subtypes of ALL, a unifying mechanism for invasion has not yet been determined. Here Hisayuki Yao at Duke University in Durham, USA and his colleagues show that ALL cells in the circulation are unable to breach the blood–brain barrier in mice; instead, they migrate into the CNS along vessels that pass directly between vertebral or calvarial bone marrow and the subarachnoid space. The basement membrane of these bridging vessels is enriched in laminin, which is known to coordinate pathfinding of neuronal progenitor cells in the CNS. The laminin receptor α6 integrin is expressed in most cases of ALL. They found that α6 integrin–laminin interactions mediated the migration of ALL cells towards the cerebrospinal fluid in vitro. Mice with ALL xenografts were treated with either a PI3Kδ inhibitor, which decreased α6 integrin expression on ALL cells, or specific α6 integrin-neutralizing antibodies and showed significant reductions in ALL transit along bridging vessels, blast counts in the cerebrospinal fluid and CNS disease symptoms despite minimally decreased bone marrow disease burden. Their data suggest that α6 integrin expression, which is common in ALL, allows cells to use neural migratory pathways to invade the CNS.

Read more, please click https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0342-5

3. Thymic tuft cells promote an IL-4-enriched medulla and shape thymocyte development

The thymus is responsible for generating a diverse yet self-tolerant pool of T cells. Although the thymic medulla consists mostly of developing and mature AIRE+ epithelial cells, recent evidence has suggested that there is far greater heterogeneity among medullary thymic epithelial cells than was previously thought. Here Corey N. Miller at University of California in San Francisco, USA and his colleagues describe in detail an epithelial subset that is remarkably similar to peripheral tuft cells that are found at mucosal barriers. Similar to the periphery, thymic tuft cells express the canonical taste transduction pathway and IL-25. However, they are unique in their spatial association with cornified aggregates, ability to present antigens and expression of a broad diversity of taste receptors. Some thymic tuft cells pass through an Aire-expressing stage and depend on a known AIRE-binding partner, HIPK2, for their development. Notably, the taste chemosensory protein TRPM5 is required for their thymic function through which they support the development and polarization of thymic invariant natural killer T cells and act to establish a medullary microenvironment that is enriched in the type 2 cytokine, IL-4. These findings indicate that there is a compartmentalized medullary environment in which differentiation of a minor and highly specialized epithelial subset has a non-redundant role in shaping thymic function.

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4. The shieldin complex mediates 53BP1-dependent DNA repair

53BP1 is a chromatin-binding protein that regulates the repair of DNA double-strand breaks by suppressing the nucleolytic resection of DNA termini. This function of 53BP1 requires interactions with PTIP and RIF1, the latter of which recruits REV7 (also known as MAD2L2) to break sites. How 53BP1-pathway proteins shield DNA ends is currently unknown, but there are two models that provide the best potential explanation of their action. In one model the 53BP1 complex strengthens the nucleosomal barrier to end-resection nucleases, and in the other 53BP1 recruits effector proteins with end-protection activity. Here Sylvie M. Noordermeer at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and his colleagues identify a 53BP1 effector complex, shieldin, that includes C20orf196 (also known as SHLD1), FAM35A (SHLD2), CTC-534A2.2 (SHLD3) and REV7. Shieldin localizes to double-strand-break sites in a 53BP1- and RIF1-dependent manner, and its SHLD2 subunit binds to single-stranded DNA via OB-fold domains that are analogous to those of RPA1 and POT1. Loss of shieldin impairs non-homologous end-joining, leads to defective immunoglobulin class switching and causes hyper-resection. Mutations in genes that encode shieldin subunits also cause resistance to poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibition in BRCA1-deficient cells and tumours, owing to restoration of homologous recombination. Finally, they show that binding of single-stranded DNA by SHLD2 is critical for shieldin function, consistent with a model in which shieldin protects DNA ends to mediate 53BP1-dependent DNA repair.

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5. Glucose-regulated phosphorylation of TET2 by AMPK reveals a pathway linking diabetes to cancer

Diabetes is a complex metabolic syndrome that is characterized by prolonged high blood glucose levels and frequently associated with life-threatening complications. Epidemiological studies have suggested that diabetes is also linked to an increased risk of cancer. High glucose levels may be a prevailing factor that contributes to the link between diabetes and cancer, but little is known about the molecular basis of this link and how the high glucose state may drive genetic and/or epigenetic alterations that result in a cancer phenotype. Here Di Wu at Fudan University in Shanghai, China and his colleagues show that hyperglycaemic conditions have an adverse effect on the DNA 5-hydroxymethylome. They identify the tumour suppressor TET2 as a substrate of the AMP-activated kinase (AMPK), which phosphorylates TET2 at serine 99, thereby stabilizing the tumour suppressor. Increased glucose levels impede AMPK-mediated phosphorylation at serine 99, which results in the destabilization of TET2 followed by dysregulation of both 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) and the tumour suppressive function of TET2 in vitro and in vivo. Treatment with the anti-diabetic drug metformin protects AMPK-mediated phosphorylation of serine 99, thereby increasing TET2 stability and 5hmC levels. These findings define a novel ‘phospho-switch’ that regulates TET2 stability and a regulatory pathway that links glucose and AMPK to TET2 and 5hmC, which connects diabetes to cancer. Their data also unravel an epigenetic pathway by which metformin mediates tumour suppression. Thus, this study presents a new model for how a pernicious environment can directly reprogram the epigenome towards an oncogenic state, offering a potential strategy for cancer prevention and treatment.

Read more, please click https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0350-5

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