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Publication Detail

Title: R-loops promote trinucleotide repeat deletion through DNA base excision repair enzymatic activities.

Authors: Laverde, Eduardo E; Lai, Yanhao; Leng, Fenfei; Balakrishnan, Lata; Freudenreich, Catherine H; Liu, Yuan

Published In J Biol Chem, (2020 10 02)

Abstract: Trinucleotide repeat (TNR) expansion and deletion are responsible for over 40 neurodegenerative diseases and associated with cancer. TNRs can undergo somatic instability that is mediated by DNA damage and repair and gene transcription. Recent studies have pointed toward a role for R-loops in causing TNR expansion and deletion, and it has been shown that base excision repair (BER) can result in CAG repeat deletion from R-loops in yeast. However, it remains unknown how BER in R-loops can mediate TNR instability. In this study, using biochemical approaches, we examined BER enzymatic activities and their influence on TNR R-loops. We found that AP endonuclease 1 incised an abasic site on the nontemplate strand of a TNR R-loop, creating a double-flap intermediate containing an RNA:DNA hybrid that subsequently inhibited polymerase β (pol β) synthesis of TNRs. This stimulated flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) cleavage of TNRs engaged in an R-loop. Moreover, we showed that FEN1 also efficiently cleaved the RNA strand, facilitating pol β loop/hairpin bypass synthesis and the resolution of TNR R-loops through BER. Consequently, this resulted in fewer TNRs synthesized by pol β than those removed by FEN1, thereby leading to repeat deletion. Our results indicate that TNR R-loops preferentially lead to repeat deletion during BER by disrupting the balance between the addition and removal of TNRs. Our discoveries open a new avenue for the treatment and prevention of repeat expansion diseases and cancer.

PubMed ID: 32763971 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: DNA Polymerase beta/chemistry*; DNA Repair*; DNA-(Apurinic or Apyrimidinic Site) Lyase/chemistry*; Flap Endonucleases/chemistry*; Humans; R-Loop Structures*; Trinucleotide Repeats*

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