The DNA ligase IV syndrome R278H mutation impairs B lymphopoiesis via error-prone nonhomologous end-joining

Academic Article


  • Hypomorphic mutations in the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) DNA repair protein DNA ligase IV (LIG4) lead to immunodeficiency with varying severity. In this study, using a murine knock-in model, we investigated the mechanisms underlying abnormalities in class switch recombination (CSR) associated with the human homozygous Lig4R278H mutation. Previously, we found that despite the near absence of Lig4 end-ligation activity and severely reduced mature B cell numbers, Lig4R278H/R278H (Lig4R/R) mice exhibit only a partial CSR block, producing near normal IgG1 and IgE but substantially reduced IgG3, IgG2b, and IgA serum levels. In this study, to address the cause of these abnormalities we assayed CSR in Lig4R/R B cells generated via preassembled IgH and IgK V region exons (HL). This revealed that Lig4R278H protein levels while intact exhibited a higher turnover rate during activation of switching to IgG3 and IgG2b, as well as delays in CSR kinetics associated with defective proliferation during activation of switching to IgG1 and IgE. Activated Lig4R/RHL B cells consistently accumulated high frequencies of activation-induced cytidine deaminase-dependent IgH locus chromosomal breaks and translocations and were more prone to apoptosis, effects that appeared to be p53-independent, as p53 deficiency did not markedly influence these events. Importantly, NHEJ instead of alternative end-joining (A-EJ) was revealed as the predominant mechanism catalyzing robust CSR. Defective CSR was linked to failed NHEJ and residual A-EJ access to unrepaired double-strand breaks. These data firmly demonstrate that Lig4R278H activity renders NHEJ to be more error-prone, and they predict increased error-prone NHEJ activity and A-EJ suppression as the cause of the defective B lymphopoiesis in Lig4 patients.
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    Author List

  • Park J; Welner RS; Chan MY; Troppito L; Staber PB; Tenen DG; Yan CT
  • Start Page

  • 244
  • End Page

  • 255
  • Volume

  • 196
  • Issue

  • 1