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Oncogene. 2014 Jul 24;33(30):3939-46. doi: 10.1038/onc.2013.365. Epub 2013 Sep 9.

The MutSβ complex is a modulator of p53-driven tumorigenesis through its functions in both DNA double-strand break repair and mismatch repair.

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Department of Cell Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA.
Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.
Department of Systems and Computational Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA.


Loss of the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) protein MSH3 leads to the development of a variety of tumors in mice without significantly affecting survival rates, suggesting a modulating role for the MutSβ (MSH2-MSH3) complex in late-onset tumorigenesis. To better study the role of MSH3 in tumor progression, we crossed Msh3(-/-) mice onto a tumor predisposing p53-deficient background. Survival of Msh3/p53 mice was not reduced compared with p53 single mutant mice; however, the tumor spectrum changed significantly from lymphoma to sarcoma, indicating MSH3 as a potent modulator of p53-driven tumorigenesis. Interestingly, Msh3(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts displayed increased chromatid breaks and persistence of γH2AX foci following ionizing radiation, indicating a defect in DNA double-strand break repair (DSBR). Msh3/p53 tumors showed increased loss of heterozygosity, elevated genome-wide copy-number variation and a moderate microsatellite instability phenotype compared with Msh2/p53 tumors, revealing that MSH2-MSH3 suppresses tumorigenesis by maintaining chromosomal stability. Our results show that the MSH2-MSH3 complex is important for the suppression of late-onset tumors due to its roles in DNA DSBR as well as in DNA MMR. Further, they demonstrate that MSH2-MSH3 suppresses chromosomal instability and modulates the tumor spectrum in p53-deficient tumorigenesis and possibly has a role in other chromosomally unstable tumors as well.

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