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Franchini D.-M.,Ifom Fondazione Instituto Firc Of Oncologia Molecolare | Franchini D.-M.,London Research Institute | Incorvaia E.,Ifom Fondazione Instituto Firc Of Oncologia Molecolare | Rangam G.,Ifom Fondazione Instituto Firc Of Oncologia Molecolare | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

During immunoglobulin (Ig) diversification, activation-induced deaminase (AID) initiates somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination by catalysing the conversion of cytosine to uracil. The synergy between AID and DNA repair pathways is fundamental for the introduction of mutations, however the molecular and biochemical mechanisms underlying this process are not fully elucidated. We describe a novel method to efficiently decipher the composition and activity of DNA repair pathways that are activated by AID-induced lesions. The in vitro resolution (IVR) assay combines AID based deamination and DNA repair activities from a cellular milieu in a single assay, thus avoiding synthetically created DNAlesions or genetic-based readouts. Recombinant GAL4-AID fusion protein is targeted to a plasmid containing GAL4 binding sites, allowing for controlled cytosine deamination within a substrate plasmid. Subsequently, the Xenopus laevis egg extract provides a source of DNA repair proteins and functional repair pathways. Our results demonstrated that DNA repair pathways which are in vitro activated by AID-induced lesions are reminiscent of those found during AID-induced in vivo Ig diversification. The comparative ease of manipulation of this in vitro systems provides a new approach to dissect the complex DNA repair pathways acting on defined physiologically lesions, can be adapted to use with other DNA damaging proteins (e.g. APOBECs), and provide a means to develop and characterise pharmacological agents to inhibit these potentially oncogenic processes. © 2013 Franchini et al. Source

Ehrensberger A.H.,Francis Crick Institute | Franchini D.-M.,London Research Institute | Franchini D.-M.,Ifom Fondazione Instituto Firc Of Oncologia Molecolare | East P.,Francis Crick Institute | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

A protocol is presented for the isolation of native mammalian chromatin as fibers of 25-250 nucleosomes under conditions that preserve the natural epigenetic signature. The material is composed almost exclusively of histones and DNA and conforms to the structure expected by electron microscopy. All sequences probed for were retained, indicating that the material is representative of the majority of the genome. DNA methylation marks and histone marks resembled the patterns observed in vivo. Importantly, nucleosome positions also remained largely unchanged, except on CpG islands, where nucleosomes were found to be unstable. The technical challenges of reconstituting biochemical reactions with native mammalian chromatin are discussed. Copyright: © 2015 Ehrensberger et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

Willmann K.L.,London Research Institute | Willmann K.L.,Ifom Fondazione Instituto Firc Of Oncologia Molecolare | Milosevic S.,University of Strasbourg | Pauklin S.,London Research Institute | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Medicine | Year: 2012

Antibody diversification requires the DNA deaminase AID to induce DNA instability at immunoglobulin (Ig) loci upon B cell stimulation. For efficient cytosine deamination, AID requires single-stranded DNA and needs to gain access to Ig loci, with RNA pol II transcription possibly providing both aspects. To understand these mechanisms, we isolated and characterized endogenous AID-containing protein complexes from the chromatin of diversifying B cells. The majority of proteins associated with AID belonged to RNA polymerase II elongation and chromatin modification complexes. Besides the two core polymerase subunits, members of the PAF complex, SUPT5H, SUPT6H, and FACT complex associated with AID. We show that AID associates with RNA polymerase-associated factor 1 (PAF1) through its N-terminal domain, that depletion of PAF complex members inhibits AID-induced immune diversification, and that the PAF complex can serve as a binding platform for AID on chromatin. A model is emerging of how RNA polymerase II elongation and pausing induce and resolve AID lesions. © 2012 Willmann et al. Source

Franchini D.-M.,Ifom Fondazione Instituto Firc Of Oncologia Molecolare | Franchini D.-M.,London Research Institute | Chan C.-F.,Babraham Institute | Morgan H.,Babraham Institute | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Base modifications of cytosine are an important aspect of chromatin biology, as they can directly regulate gene expression, while DNA repair ensures that those modifications retain genome integrity. Here we characterize how cytosine DNA deaminase AID can initiate DNA demethylation. In vitro, AID initiated targeted DNA demethylation of methyl CpGs when in combination with DNA repair competent extracts. Mechanistically, this is achieved by inducing base alterations at or near methyl-cytosine, with the lesion being resolved either via single base substitution or a more efficient processive polymerase dependent repair. The biochemical findings are recapitulated in an in vivo transgenic targeting assay, and provide the genetic support of the molecular insight into DNA demethylation. This targeting approach supports the hypothesis that mCpG DNA demethylation can proceed via various pathways and mCpGs do not have to be targeted to be demethylated. © 2014 Franchini et al. Source

Franchini D.-M.,Ifom Fondazione Instituto Firc Of Oncologia Molecolare | Petersen-Mahrt S.K.,Ifom Fondazione Instituto Firc Of Oncologia Molecolare
Epigenomics | Year: 2014

DNA mutations and genomic recombinations are the origin of oncogenesis, yet parts of developmental programs as well as immunity are intimately linked to, or even depend on, such DNA damages. Therefore, the balance between deleterious DNA damages and organismal survival utilizing DNA editing (modification and repair) is in continuous flux. The cytosine deaminases AID/APOBEC are a DNA editing family and actively participate in various biological processes. In conjunction with altered DNA repair, the mutagenic potential of the family allows for APOBEC3 proteins to restrict viral infection and transposons propagation, while AID can induce somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination in antibody genes. On the other hand, the synergy between effective DNA repair and the nonmutagenic potential of the DNA deaminases can induce local DNA demethylation to support epigenetic cellular identity. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on the mechanisms of action of the AID/APOBEC family in immunity and epigenetics. © 2014 Future Medicine Ltd. Source

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