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Cell. 2016 Feb 11;164(4):644-55. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.12.039.

Long Neural Genes Harbor Recurrent DNA Break Clusters in Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells.

Author information

1
Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
2
Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address: alt@enders.tch.harvard.edu.
3
Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address: bjoern.schwer@childrens.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by non-homologous end joining is critical for neural development, and brain cells frequently contain somatic genomic variations that might involve DSB intermediates. We now use an unbiased, high-throughput approach to identify genomic regions harboring recurrent DSBs in primary neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs). We identify 27 recurrent DSB clusters (RDCs), and remarkably, all occur within gene bodies. Most of these NSPC RDCs were detected only upon mild, aphidicolin-induced replication stress, providing a nucleotide-resolution view of replication-associated genomic fragile sites. The vast majority of RDCs occur in long, transcribed, and late-replicating genes. Moreover, almost 90% of identified RDC-containing genes are involved in synapse function and/or neural cell adhesion, with a substantial fraction also implicated in tumor suppression and/or mental disorders. Our characterization of NSPC RDCs reveals a basis of gene fragility and suggests potential impacts of DNA breaks on neurodevelopment and neural functions.

PMID:
26871630
PMCID:
PMC4752721
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2015.12.039
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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