UMR3348 – Genome integrity, RNA and Cancer

Unit publications

Year of publication 2021

Lucilla Fabbri, Alina Chakraborty, Caroline Robert, Stéphan Vagner (2021 Sep 4)

The plasticity of mRNA translation during cancer progression and therapy resistance.

Nature reviews. Cancer : 558-577 : DOI : 10.1038/s41568-021-00380-y Learn more
Summary

Translational control of mRNAs during gene expression allows cells to promptly and dynamically adapt to a variety of stimuli, including in neoplasia in response to aberrant oncogenic signalling (for example, PI3K-AKT-mTOR, RAS-MAPK and MYC) and microenvironmental stress such as low oxygen and nutrient supply. Such translational rewiring allows rapid, specific changes in the cell proteome that shape specific cancer phenotypes to promote cancer onset, progression and resistance to anticancer therapies. In this Review, we illustrate the plasticity of mRNA translation. We first highlight the diverse mechanisms by which it is regulated, including by translation factors (for example, eukaryotic initiation factor 4F (eIF4F) and eIF2), RNA-binding proteins, tRNAs and ribosomal RNAs that are modulated in response to aberrant intracellular pathways or microenvironmental stress. We then describe how translational control can influence tumour behaviour by impacting on the phenotypic plasticity of cancer cells as well as on components of the tumour microenvironment. Finally, we highlight the role of mRNA translation in the cellular response to anticancer therapies and its promise as a key therapeutic target.

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Satish Bodakuntla, Xidi Yuan, Mariya Genova, Sudarshan Gadadhar, Sophie Leboucher, Marie-Christine Birling, Dennis Klein, Rudolf Martini, Carsten Janke, Maria M Magiera (2021 Sep 1)

Distinct roles of α- and β-tubulin polyglutamylation in controlling axonal transport and in neurodegeneration.

The EMBO journal : e108498 : DOI : 10.15252/embj.2021108498 Learn more
Summary

Tubulin polyglutamylation is a post-translational modification of the microtubule cytoskeleton, which is generated by a variety of enzymes with different specificities. The “tubulin code” hypothesis predicts that modifications generated by specific enzymes selectively control microtubule functions. Our recent finding that excessive accumulation of polyglutamylation in neurons causes their degeneration and perturbs axonal transport provides an opportunity for testing this hypothesis. By developing novel mouse models and a new glutamylation-specific antibody, we demonstrate here that the glutamylases TTLL1 and TTLL7 generate unique and distinct glutamylation patterns on neuronal microtubules. We find that under physiological conditions, TTLL1 polyglutamylates α-tubulin, while TTLL7 modifies β-tubulin. TTLL1, but not TTLL7, catalyses the excessive hyperglutamylation found in mice lacking the deglutamylase CCP1. Consequently, deletion of TTLL1, but not of TTLL7, prevents degeneration of Purkinje cells and of myelinated axons in peripheral nerves in these mice. Moreover, loss of TTLL1 leads to increased mitochondria motility in neurons, while loss of TTLL7 has no such effect. By revealing how specific patterns of tubulin glutamylation, generated by distinct enzymes, translate into specific physiological and pathological readouts, we demonstrate the relevance of the tubulin code for homeostasis.

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Antony Carr, Sarah Lambert (2021 Aug 4)

Recombination-dependent replication: new perspectives from site-specific fork barriers.

Current opinion in genetics & development : 129-135 : DOI : S0959-437X(21)00094-0 Learn more
Summary

Replication stress (RS) is intrinsic to normal cell growth, is enhanced by exogenous factors and elevated in many cancer cells due to oncogene expression. Most genetic changes are a result of RS and the mechanisms by which cells tolerate RS has received considerable attention because of the link to cancer evolution and opportunities for cancer cell-specific therapeutic intervention. Site-specific replication fork barriers have provided unique insights into how cells respond to RS and their recent use has allowed a deeper understanding of the mechanistic and spatial mechanism that restart arrested forks and how these correlate with RS-dependent mutagenesis. Here we review recent data from site-specific fork arrest systems used in yeast and highlight their strengths and limitations.

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Charlotte Audoynaud, Stéphan Vagner, Sarah Lambert (2021 Jul 5)

Non-homologous end-joining at challenged replication forks: an RNA connection?

Trends in genetics : TIG : DOI : S0168-9525(21)00166-9 Learn more
Summary

Defective DNA replication, known as ‘replication stress’, is a source of DNA damage, a hallmark of numerous human diseases, including cancer, developmental defect, neurological disorders, and premature aging. Recent work indicates that non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) is unexpectedly active during DNA replication to repair replication-born DNA lesions and to safeguard replication fork integrity. However, erroneous NHEJ events are deleterious to genome stability. RNAs are novel regulators of NHEJ activity through their ability to modulate the assembly of repair complexes in trans. At DNA damage sites, RNAs and DNA-embedded ribonucleotides modulate repair efficiency and fidelity. We discuss here how RNAs and associated proteins, including RNA binding proteins, may regulate NHEJ to sustain genome stability during DNA replication.

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Shensi Shen, Isabelle Girault, Hélène Malka-Mahieu, Caroline Robert, Stéphan Vagner (2021 Jun 23)

detection of the eIF4F translation initiation complex in mammalian cells and tissues.

STAR protocols : 100621 : DOI : 10.1016/j.xpro.2021.100621 Learn more
Summary

The eukaryotic translation initiation complex eIF4F plays an important role in gene expression. The methods that are used to monitor the formation of the eIF4F complex are usually indirect and provide no information on its subcellular localization. This protocol describes a proximity ligation assay-based procedure allowing the direct visualization of the eIF4F complex, as well as its absolute quantification per cell using adapted image analysis software. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Boussemart et al. (2014).

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Åsa Ehlén, Gaetana Sessa, Sophie Zinn-Justin, Aura Carreira (2021 Mar 10)

The phospho-dependent role of BRCA2 on the maintenance of chromosome integrity.

Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) : 1-12 : DOI : 10.1080/15384101.2021.1892994 Learn more
Summary

Chromosomal instability is a hallmark of cancer. The tumor suppressor protein BRCA2 performs an important role in the maintenance of genome integrity particularly in interphase; as a mediator of homologous recombination DNA repair pathway, it participates in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks, inter-strand crosslinks and replicative DNA lesions. BRCA2 also protects stalled replication forks from aberrant degradation. Defects in these functions lead to structural chromosomal aberrations. BRCA2 is a large protein containing highly disordered regions that are heavily phosphorylated particularly in mitosis. The functions of these modifications are getting elucidated and reveal emerging activities in chromosome alignment, chromosome segregation and abscission during cell division. Defects in these activities result in numerical chromosomal aberrations. In addition to BRCA2, other factors of the DNA damage response (DDR) participate in mitosis in close association with cell cycle kinases and phosphatases suggesting that the maintenance of genome integrity functions of these factors extends beyond DNA repair. Here we will discuss the regulation of BRCA2 functions through phosphorylation by cell cycle kinases particularly in mitosis, and illustrate with some examples how BRCA2 and other DDR proteins partially rewire their interactions, essentially via phosphorylation, to fulfill mitotic specific functions that ensure chromosome stability.

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Martin Dutertre, Rym Sfaxi, Stéphan Vagner (2021 Feb 27)

Reciprocal Links between Pre-messenger RNA 3′-End Processing and Genome Stability.

Trends in biochemical sciences : DOI : S0968-0004(21)00023-2 Learn more
Summary

The 3′-end processing of most pre-messenger RNAs (pre-mRNAs) involves RNA cleavage and polyadenylation and is coupled to transcription termination. In both yeast and human cells, pre-mRNA 3′-end cleavage is globally inhibited by DNA damage. Recently, further links between pre-mRNA 3′-end processing and the control of genome stability have been uncovered, as reviewed here. Upon DNA damage, various genes related to the DNA damage response (DDR) escape 3′-end processing inhibition or are regulated through alternative polyadenylation (APA). Conversely, various pre-mRNA 3′-end processing factors prevent genome instability and are found at sites of DNA damage. Finally, the reciprocal link between pre-mRNA 3′-end processing and genome stability control seems important because it is conserved in evolution and involved in disease development.

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Gaetana Sessa, Belén Gómez-González, Sonia Silva, Carmen Pérez-Calero, Romane Beaurepere, Sonia Barroso, Sylvain Martineau, Charlotte Martin, Åsa Ehlén, Juan S Martínez, Bérangère Lombard, Damarys Loew, Stephan Vagner, Andrés Aguilera, Aura Carreira (2021 Feb 26)

BRCA2 promotes R-loop resolution by DDX5 helicase at DNA breaks to facilitate their repair by homologous recombination.

The EMBO journal : e106018 : DOI : 10.15252/embj.2020106018 Learn more
Summary

The BRCA2 tumor suppressor is a DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair factor essential for maintaining genome integrity. BRCA2-deficient cells spontaneously accumulate DNA-RNA hybrids, a known source of genome instability. However, the specific role of BRCA2 on these structures remains poorly understood. Here we identified the DEAD-box RNA helicase DDX5 as a BRCA2-interacting protein. DDX5 associates with DNA-RNA hybrids that form in the vicinity of DSBs, and this association is enhanced by BRCA2. Notably, BRCA2 stimulates the DNA-RNA hybrid-unwinding activity of DDX5 helicase. An impaired BRCA2-DDX5 interaction, as observed in cells expressing the breast cancer variant BRCA2-T207A, reduces the association of DDX5 with DNA-RNA hybrids, decreases the number of RPA foci, and alters the kinetics of appearance of RAD51 foci upon irradiation. Our findings are consistent with DNA-RNA hybrids constituting an impediment for the repair of DSBs by homologous recombination and reveal BRCA2 and DDX5 as active players in their removal.

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Satish Bodakuntla, Carsten Janke, Maria M Magiera (2021 Jan 19)

Tubulin polyglutamylation, a regulator of microtubule functions, can cause neurodegeneration.

Neuroscience letters : 135656 : DOI : S0304-3940(21)00034-3 Learn more
Summary

Neurodegenerative diseases lead to a progressive demise of neuronal functions that ultimately results in neuronal death. Besides a large variety of molecular pathways that have been linked to the degeneration of neurons, dysfunctions of the microtubule cytoskeleton are common features of many human neurodegenerative disorders. Yet, it is unclear whether microtubule dysfunctions are causative, or mere bystanders in the disease progression. A so-far little explored regulatory mechanism of the microtubule cytoskeleton, the posttranslational modifications of tubulin, emerge as candidate mechanisms involved in neuronal dysfunction, and thus, degeneration. Here we review the role of tubulin polyglutamylation, a prominent modification of neuronal microtubules. We discuss the current understanding of how polyglutamylation controls microtubule functions in healthy neurons, and how deregulation of this modification leads to neurodegeneration in mice and humans.

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Sudarshan Gadadhar, Gonzalo Alvarez Viar, Jan Niklas Hansen, An Gong, Aleksandr Kostarev, Côme Ialy-Radio, Sophie Leboucher, Marjorie Whitfield, Ahmed Ziyyat, Aminata Touré, Luis Alvarez, Gaia Pigino , Carsten Janke (2021 Jan 8)

Tubulin glycylation controls axonemal dynein activity, flagellar beat, and male fertility

ScienceScience : DOI : 10.1126/science.abd4914 Learn more
Summary

Abstract

Posttranslational modifications of the microtubule cytoskeleton have emerged as key regulators of cellular functions, and their perturbations have been linked to a growing number of human pathologies. Tubulin glycylation modifies microtubules specifically in cilia and flagella, but its functional and mechanistic roles remain unclear. In this study, we generated a mouse model entirely lacking tubulin glycylation. Male mice were subfertile owing to aberrant beat patterns of their sperm flagella, which impeded the straight swimming of sperm cells. Using cryo-electron tomography, we showed that lack of glycylation caused abnormal conformations of the dynein arms within sperm axonemes, providing the structural basis for the observed dysfunction. Our findings reveal the importance of microtubule glycylation for controlled flagellar beating, directional sperm swimming, and male fertility.

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Year of publication 2020

Shensi Shen, Stéphan Vagner, Caroline Robert (2020 Nov 12)

Persistent Cancer Cells: The Deadly Survivors.

Cell : 860-874 : DOI : S0092-8674(20)31391-X Learn more
Summary

Persistent cancer cells are the discrete and usually undetected cells that survive cancer drug treatment and constitute a major cause of treatment failure. These cells are characterized by their slow proliferation, highly flexible energy consumption, adaptation to their microenvironment, and phenotypic plasticity. Mechanisms that underlie their persistence offer highly coveted and sought-after therapeutic targets, and include diverse epigenetic, transcriptional, and translational regulatory processes, as well as complex cell-cell interactions. Although the successful clinical targeting of persistent cancer cells remains to be realized, immense progress has been made in understanding their persistence, yielding promising preclinical results.

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Karol Kramarz, Kamila Schirmeisen, Virginie Boucherit, Anissia Ait Saada, Claire Lovo, Benoit Palancade, Catherine Freudenreich, Sarah A E Lambert (2020 Nov 7)

The nuclear pore primes recombination-dependent DNA synthesis at arrested forks by promoting SUMO removal.

Nature communications : 5643 : DOI : 10.1038/s41467-020-19516-z Learn more
Summary

Nuclear Pore complexes (NPCs) act as docking sites to anchor particular DNA lesions facilitating DNA repair by elusive mechanisms. Using replication fork barriers in fission yeast, we report that relocation of arrested forks to NPCs occurred after Rad51 loading and its enzymatic activity. The E3 SUMO ligase Pli1 acts at arrested forks to safeguard integrity of nascent strands and generates poly-SUMOylation which promote relocation to NPCs but impede the resumption of DNA synthesis by homologous recombination (HR). Anchorage to NPCs allows SUMO removal by the SENP SUMO protease Ulp1 and the proteasome, promoting timely resumption of DNA synthesis. Preventing Pli1-mediated SUMO chains was sufficient to bypass the need for anchorage to NPCs and the inhibitory effect of poly-SUMOylation on HR-mediated DNA synthesis. Our work establishes a novel spatial control of Recombination-Dependent Replication (RDR) at a unique sequence that is distinct from mechanisms engaged at collapsed-forks and breaks within repeated sequences.

https://www-nature-com.insb.bib.cnrs.fr/articles/s41467-020-19516-z

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Satish Bodakuntla, A S Jijumon, Carsten Janke, Maria M Magiera (2020 Nov 5)

Purification of Tubulin with Controlled Posttranslational Modifications and Isotypes from Limited Sources by Polymerization-Depolymerization Cycles.

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE : DOI : 10.3791/61826 Learn more
Summary

One important aspect of studies of the microtubule cytoskeleton is the investigation of microtubule behavior in in vitro reconstitution experiments. They allow the analysis of the intrinsic properties of microtubules, such as dynamics, and their interactions with microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs). The “tubulin code” is an emerging concept that points to different tubulin isotypes and various posttranslational modifications (PTMs) as regulators of microtubule properties and functions. To explore the molecular mechanisms of the tubulin code, it is crucial to perform in vitro reconstitution experiments using purified tubulin with specific isotypes and PTMs. To date, this was technically challenging as brain tubulin, which is widely used in in vitro experiments, harbors many PTMs and has a defined isotype composition. Hence, we developed this protocol to purify tubulin from different sources and with different isotype compositions and controlled PTMs, using the classical approach of polymerization and depolymerization cycles. Compared to existing methods based on affinity purification, this approach yields pure, polymerization-competent tubulin, as tubulin resistant to polymerization or depolymerization is discarded during the successive purification steps. We describe the purification of tubulin from cell lines, grown either in suspension or as adherent cultures, and from single mouse brains. The method first describes the generation of cell mass in both suspension and adherent settings, the lysis step, followed by the successive stages of tubulin purification by polymerization-depolymerization cycles. Our method yields tubulin that can be used in experiments addressing the impact of the tubulin code on the intrinsic properties of microtubules and microtubule interactions with associated proteins.

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Shubham Kesarwani, Prakash Lama, Anchal Chandra, P Purushotam Reddy, A S Jijumon, Satish Bodakuntla, Balaji M Rao, Carsten Janke, Ranabir Das, Minhajuddin Sirajuddin (2020 Oct 5)

Genetically encoded live-cell sensor for tyrosinated microtubules.

The Journal of cell biology : DOI : e201912107 Learn more
Summary

Microtubule cytoskeleton exists in various biochemical forms in different cells due to tubulin posttranslational modifications (PTMs). Tubulin PTMs are known to affect microtubule stability, dynamics, and interaction with MAPs and motors in a specific manner, widely known as tubulin code hypothesis. At present, there exists no tool that can specifically mark tubulin PTMs in living cells, thus severely limiting our understanding of their dynamics and cellular functions. Using a yeast display library, we identified a binder against terminal tyrosine of α-tubulin, a unique PTM site. Extensive characterization validates the robustness and nonperturbing nature of our binder as tyrosination sensor, a live-cell tubulin nanobody specific towards tyrosinated microtubules. Using this sensor, we followed nocodazole-, colchicine-, and vincristine-induced depolymerization events of tyrosinated microtubules in real time and found each distinctly perturbs the microtubule polymer. Together, our work describes a novel tyrosination sensor and its potential applications to study the dynamics of microtubule and their PTM processes in living cells.

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Sandra Cunha Silveira, Géraldine Buhagiar‑Labarchède, Rosine Onclercq‑Delic, Simon Gemble, Elias Bou Samra, Hamza Mameri, Patricia Duchambon, Christelle Machon, Jérôme Guitton & Mounira Amor‑Guéret (2020 Aug 17)

A decrease in NAMPT activity impairs basal PARP-1 activity in cytidine deaminase deficient-cells, independently of NAD+

Scientific Reports : 10 : 13907 : DOI : 10.1038/s41598-020-70874-6 Learn more
Summary

Cytidine deaminase (CDA) deficiency causes pyrimidine pool disequilibrium. We previously reported that the excess cellular dC and dCTP resulting from CDA deficiency jeopardizes genome stability, decreasing basal poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1) activity and increasing ultrafine anaphase bridge (UFB) formation. Here, we investigated the mechanism underlying the decrease in PARP-1 activity in CDA-deficient cells. PARP-1 activity is dependent on intracellular NAD+ concentration. We therefore hypothesized that defects of the NAD+ salvage pathway might result in decreases in PARP-1 activity. We found that the inhibition or depletion of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), the rate-limiting enzyme in the NAD+ salvage biosynthesis pathway, mimicked CDA deficiency, resulting in a decrease in basal PARP-1 activity, regardless of NAD+ levels. Furthermore, the expression of exogenous wild-type NAMPT fully restored basal PARP-1 activity and prevented the increase in UFB frequency in CDA-deficient cells. No such effect was observed with the catalytic mutant. Our findings demonstrate that (1) the inhibition of NAMPT activity in CDA-proficient cells lowers basal PARP-1 activity, and (2) the expression of exogenous wild-type NAMPT, but not of the catalytic mutant, fully restores basal PARP-1 activity in CDA-deficient cells; these results strongly suggest that basal PARP-1 activity in CDA-deficient cells decreases due to a reduction of NAMPT activity.

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