Ablating putative Ku70 phosphorylation sites results in defective DNA damage repair and spontaneous induction of hepatocellular carcinoma

Janapriya Saha, Jinsung Bae, Shih Ya Wang, Huiming Lu, Lori J. Chappell, Purva Gopal, Anthony J. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Multiple pathways mediate the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), with numerous mechanisms responsible for driving choice between the pathways. Previously, we reported that mutating five putative phosphorylation sites on the non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) factor, Ku70, results in sustained retention of human Ku70/80 at DSB ends and attenuation of DSB repair via homologous recombination (HR). In this study, we generated a knock-in mouse, in which the three conserved putative phosphorylation sites of Ku70 were mutated to alanine to ablate potential phosphorylation (Ku703A/3A), in order to examine if disrupting DSB repair pathway choice by modulating Ku70/80 dynamics at DSB ends results in enhanced genomic instability and tumorigenesis. The Ku703A/3A mice developed spontaneous and have accelerated chemical-induced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) compared to wild-type (Ku70+/+) littermates. The HCC tumors from the Ku703A/3A mice have increased γH2AX and 8-oxo-G staining, suggesting decreased DNA repair. Spontaneous transformed cell lines from Ku703A/3A mice are more radiosensitive, have a significant decrease in DNA end resection, and are more sensitive to the DNA cross-linking agent mitomycin C compared to cells from Ku70+/+ littermates. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that mutating the putative Ku70 phosphorylation sites results in defective DNA damage repair and disruption of this process drives genomic instability and accelerated development of HCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9836-9850
Number of pages15
JournalNucleic acids research
Volume49
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 27 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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