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Genes Dev. 2012 Jan 15;26(2):163-75. doi: 10.1101/gad.179721.111.

R-loop-mediated genome instability in mRNA cleavage and polyadenylation mutants.

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1
Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Abstract

Genome instability via RNA:DNA hybrid-mediated R loops has been observed in mutants involved in various aspects of transcription and RNA processing. The prevalence of this mechanism among essential chromosome instability (CIN) genes remains unclear. In a secondary screen for increased Rad52 foci in CIN mutants, representing ∼25% of essential genes, we identified seven essential subunits of the mRNA cleavage and polyadenylation (mCP) machinery. Genome-wide analysis of fragile sites by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and microarray (ChIP-chip) of phosphorylated H2A in these mutants supported a transcription-dependent mechanism of DNA damage characteristic of R loops. In parallel, we directly detected increased RNA:DNA hybrid formation in mCP mutants and demonstrated that CIN is suppressed by expression of the R-loop-degrading enzyme RNaseH. To investigate the conservation of CIN in mCP mutants, we focused on FIP1L1, the human ortholog of yeast FIP1, a conserved mCP component that is part of an oncogenic fusion in eosinophilic leukemia. We found that truncation fusions of yeast FIP1 analogous to those in cancer cause loss of function and that siRNA knockdown of FIP1L1 in human cells increases DNA damage and chromosome breakage. Our findings illuminate how mCP maintains genome integrity by suppressing R-loop formation and suggest that this function may be relevant to certain human cancers.

PMID:
22279048
PMCID:
PMC3273840
DOI:
10.1101/gad.179721.111
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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