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J Exp Med. 2009 Apr 13;206(4):893-908. doi: 10.1084/jem.20082396. Epub 2009 Apr 6.

Impact of a hypomorphic Artemis disease allele on lymphocyte development, DNA end processing, and genome stability.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 48109, USA.

Abstract

Artemis was initially discovered as the gene inactivated in human radiosensitive T(-)B(-) severe combined immunodeficiency, a syndrome characterized by the absence of B and T lymphocytes and cellular hypersensitivity to ionizing radiation. Hypomorphic Artemis alleles have also been identified in patients and are associated with combined immunodeficiencies of varying severity. We examine the molecular mechanisms underlying a syndrome of partial immunodeficiency caused by a hypomorphic Artemis allele using the mouse as a model system. This mutation, P70, leads to premature translation termination that deletes a large portion of a nonconserved C terminus. We find that homozygous Artemis-P70 mice exhibit reduced numbers of B and T lymphocytes, thereby recapitulating the patient phenotypes. The hypomorphic mutation results in impaired end processing during the lymphoid-specific DNA rearrangement known as V(D)J recombination, defective double-strand break repair, and increased chromosomal instability. Biochemical analyses reveal that the Artemis-P70 mutant protein interacts with the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit and retains significant, albeit reduced, exo- and endonuclease activities but does not undergo phosphorylation. Together, our findings indicate that the Artemis C terminus has critical in vivo functions in ensuring efficient V(D)J rearrangements and maintaining genome integrity.

PMID:
19349461
PMCID:
PMC2715118
DOI:
10.1084/jem.20082396
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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