Redundant and nonredundant functions of ATM and H2AX in αβ T-lineage lymphocytes

Academic Article


  • The ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase and H2AX histone tumor suppressor proteins are each critical for maintenance of cellular genomic stability and suppression of lymphomas harboring clonal translocations. ATM is the predominant kinase that phosphorylates H2AX in chromatin around DNAdouble-strand breaks, including along lymphocyte Ag receptor loci cleaved during V(D)J recombination. However, combined germline inactivation of Atm and H2ax in mice causes early embryonic lethality associated with substantial cellular genomic instability, indicating that ATM and H2AX exhibit nonredundant functions in embryonic cells. To evaluate potential nonredundant roles of ATM and H2AX in somatic cells, we generated and analyzed Atm-deficient mice with conditional deletion of H2ax in αβ T-lineage lymphocytes. Combined Atm/H2ax inactivation starting in early-stage CD4 -/CD8 - thymocytes resulted in lower numbers of later-stage CD4 +/CD8 + thymocytes, but led to no discernible V(D)J recombination defect in G1 phase cells beyond that observed in Atm-deficient cells. H2ax deletion in Atm-deficient thymocytes also did not affect the incidence or mortality of mice from thymic lymphomas with clonal chromosome 14 (TCRα/δ) translocations. Yet, in vitro-stimulated Atm/H2ax-deficient splenic αβ T cells exhibited a higher frequency of genomic instability, including radial chromosome translocations and TCRβ translocations, compared with cells lacking Atm or H2ax. Collectively, our data demonstrate that both redundant and nonredundant functions of ATM and H2AX are required for normal recombination of TCR loci, proliferative expansion of developing thymocytes, and maintenance of genomic stability in cycling αβ T-lineage cells. Copyright ©2012 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
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    Author List

  • Yin B; Lee BS; Yang-Iott KS; Sleckman BP; Bassing CH
  • Start Page

  • 1372
  • End Page

  • 1379
  • Volume

  • 189
  • Issue

  • 3