The Fanconi anemia complementation group (FANC) currently includes FANCA, FANCB, FANCC, FANCD1 (also called BRCA2), FANCD2, FANCE, FANCF, FANCG, FANCI, FANCJ (also called BRIP1), FANCL, FANCM and FANCN (also called PALB2). The previously defined group FANCH is the same as FANCA. Fanconi anemia is a genetically heterogeneous recessive disorder characterized by cytogenetic instability, hypersensitivity to DNA crosslinking agents, increased chromosomal breakage, and defective DNA repair. The members of the Fanconi anemia complementation group do not share sequence similarity; they are related by their assembly into a common nuclear protein complex. This gene encodes the protein for complementation group E. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Two different disulfide (SS)-containing poly(amidoamine) (PAA) polymers were constructed using guanidino (Gua)-containing monomers (ie, arginine [Arg] and agmatine [Agm]) and N,N'-cystamine bisacrylamide (CBA) by Michael-addition polymerization. In order to characterize these two Gua-SS-PAA polymers and investigate their potentials as short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-delivery carriers, pSilencer 4.1-CMV FANCF shRNA was chosen as a model plasmid DNA to form complexes with these two polymers. The Gua-SS-PAAs and plasmid DNA complexes were determined with particle sizes less than 90 nm and positive ζ-potentials under 20 mV at nucleic acid:polymer weight ratios lower than 1:24. Bioresponsive release of plasmid DNA was observed from both newly constructed complexes. Significantly lower cytotoxicity was observed for both polymer complexes compared with polyethylenimine and Lipofectamine 2000, two widely used transfection reagents as reference carriers. Arg-CBA showed higher transfection efficiency and gene-silencing efficiency in MCF7 cells than Agm-CBA and the reference carriers. In addition, the cellular uptake of Arg-CBA in MCF7 cells was found to be higher and faster than Agm-CBA and the reference carriers. Similarly, plasmid DNA transport into the nucleus mediated by Arg-CBA was more than that by Agm-CBA and the reference carriers. The study suggested that guanidine and carboxyl introduced into Gua-SS-PAAs polymers resulted in a better nuclear localization effect, which played a key role in the observed enhancement of transfection efficiency and low cytotoxicity. Overall, two newly synthesized Gua-SS-PAAs polymers demonstrated great potential to be used as shRNA carriers for gene-therapy applications.
In most cases of primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), the cause of the depletion of ovarian follicles is unknown. Fanconi anemia (FA) proteins are known to play important roles in follicular development. Using random insertional mutagenesis with a lentiviral transgene, we identified a family with reduced fertility in the homozygous transgenic mice. We identified the integration site and found that the lentivirus had integrated into intron 8 of the Fanconi E gene (Fance). By RT-PCR and in situ hybridization, we found that Fance transcript levels were significantly reduced. The Fance homozygous mutant mice were assayed for changes in ovarian development, follicle numbers and estrous cycle. Ovarian dysplasias and a severe lack of follicles were seen in the mutant mice. In addition, the estrous cycle was disrupted in adult females. Our results suggest that POI has been induced by the Fance mutation in this new mouse model.
Bouffard F, Plourde K, Bélanger S, et al. Analysis of a FANCE Splice Isoform in Regard to DNA Repair. J Mol Biol. 2015; 427(19):3056-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
The FANC-BRCA DNA repair pathway is activated in response to interstrand crosslinks formed in DNA. A homozygous mutation in 1 of the 17 Fanconi anemia (FA) genes results in malfunctions of this pathway and development of FA syndrome. The integrity of this protein network is essential for good maintenance of DNA repair process and genome stability. Following the identification of an alternatively splice isoform of FANCE (Fanconi anemia complementation group E) significantly expressed in breast cancer individuals from high-risk non-BRCA1/2 families, we studied the impact of this FANCE splice isoform (FANCEΔ4) on DNA repair processes. We have demonstrated that FANCEΔ4 mRNA was efficiently translated into a functional protein and expressed in normal and breast cancer cell lines. Following treatment with the crosslinking agent mitomycin C, EUFA130 (FANCE-deficient) cells infected with FANCEΔ4 were blocked into G2/M phase, while cell survival was significantly reduced compared with FANCE-infected EUFA130 cells. In addition, FANCEΔ4 did not allow FANCD2 and FANCI monoubiquitination, which represents a crucial step of the FANC-BRCA functional pathway. As observed for FANCE wild-type protein, localization of FANCEΔ4 protein was confined to the nucleus following mitomycin C treatment. Although FANCEΔ4 protein showed interaction with FANCE, FANCEΔ4 did not support normal function of FANCE protein in this pathway and could have deleterious effects on FANCE protein activity. We have demonstrated that FANCEΔ4 seems to act as a regulator of FANCD2 protein expression level by promoting its degradation. This study highlights the importance of an efficient regulation of alternative splicing expression of FA genes for proper DNA repair.
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genome instability syndrome characterized by bone marrow failure and cellular hypersensitivity to DNA cross-linking agents. In response to DNA damage, the FA pathway is activated through the cooperation of 16 FA proteins. A central player in the pathway is a multisubunit E3 ubiquitin ligase complex or the FA core complex, which monoubiquitinates its substrates FANCD2 and FANCI. FANCE, a subunit of the FA core complex, plays an essential role by promoting the integrity of the complex and by directly recognizing FANCD2. To delineate its role in substrate ubiquitination from the core complex assembly, we analyzed a series of mutations within FANCE. We report that a phenylalanine located at the highly conserved extreme C terminus, referred to as Phe-522, is a critical residue for mediating the monoubiquitination of the FANCD2-FANCI complex. Using the FANCE mutant that specifically disrupts the FANCE-FANCD2 interaction as a tool, we found that the interaction-deficient mutant conferred cellular sensitivity in reconstituted FANCE-deficient cells to a similar degree as FANCE null cells, suggesting the significance of the FANCE-FANCD2 interaction in promoting cisplatin resistance. Intriguingly, ectopic expression of the FANCE C terminus fragment alone in FA normal cells disrupts DNA repair, consolidating the importance of the FANCE-FANCD2 interaction in the DNA cross-link repair.
Seuter S, Pehkonen P, Heikkinen S, Carlberg C Dynamics of 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-dependent chromatin accessibility of early vitamin D receptor target genes. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013; 1829(12):1266-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
The signaling cascade of the transcription factor vitamin D receptor (VDR) is triggered by its specific ligand 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1α,25(OH)2D3). In this study we demonstrate that in THP-1 human monocytic leukemia cells 87.4% of the 1034 most prominent genome-wide VDR binding sites co-localize with loci of open chromatin. At 165 of them 1α,25(OH)2D3 strongly increases chromatin accessibility and has at further 217 sites weaker effects. Interestingly, VDR binding sites in 1α,25(OH)2D3-responsive chromatin regions are far more often composed of direct repeats with 3 intervening nucleotides (DR3s) than those in ligand insensitive regions. DR3-containing VDR sites are enriched in the neighborhood of genes that are involved in controling cellular growth, while non-DR3 VDR binding is often found close to genes related to immunity. At the example of six early VDR target genes we show that the slope of their 1α,25(OH)2D3-induced transcription correlates with the basal chromatin accessibility of their major VDR binding regions. However, the chromatin loci controlling these genes are indistinguishable in their VDR association kinetics. Taken together, ligand responsive chromatin loci represent dynamically regulated contact points of VDR with the genome, from where it controls early 1α,25(OH)2D3 target genes.
The Fanconi anemia (FA) gene family is a recent addition to the complex network of proteins that respond to and repair certain types of DNA damage in the human genome. Since little is known about the regulation of this novel group of genes at the DNA level, we characterized the promoters of the eight genes (FANCA, B, C, E, F, G, L and M) that compose the FA core complex. The promoters of these genes show the characteristic attributes of housekeeping genes, such as a high GC content and CpG islands, a lack of TATA boxes and a low conservation. The promoters functioned in a monodirectional way and were, in their most active regions, comparable in strength to the SV40 promoter in our reporter plasmids. They were also marked by a distinctive transcriptional start site (TSS). In the 5' region of each promoter, we identified a region that was able to negatively regulate the promoter activity in HeLa and HEK 293 cells in isolation. The central and 3' regions of the promoter sequences harbor binding sites for several common and rare transcription factors, including STAT, SMAD, E2F, AP1 and YY1, which indicates that there may be cross-connections to several established regulatory pathways. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and siRNA experiments confirmed the shared regulatory responses between the prominent members of the TGF-β and JAK/STAT pathways and members of the FA core complex. Although the promoters are not well conserved, they share region and sequence specific regulatory motifs and transcription factor binding sites (TBFs), and we identified a bi-partite nature to these promoters. These results support a hypothesis based on the co-evolution of the FA core complex genes that was expanded to include their promoters.
Akbari MR, Malekzadeh R, Lepage P, et al. Mutations in Fanconi anemia genes and the risk of esophageal cancer. Hum Genet. 2011; 129(5):573-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
The incidence of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is very high in northeastern Iran. Previously, we reported a strong familial component of ESCC among Turkmens, who constitute approximately one-half of the population of this region. We hypothesized that the genes which cause Fanconi anemia might be candidate genes for ESCC. We sequenced the entire coding regions of 12 Fanconi anemia genes in the germline DNA of 190 Turkmen cases of ESCC. We identified three heterozygous insertion/deletion mutations: one in FANCD2 (p.Val1233del), one in FANCE (p.Val311SerfsX2), and one in FANCL (p.Thr367AsnfsX13). All three patients had a strong family history of ESCC. In addition, four patients (out of 746 tested) were homozygous for the FANCA p.Ser858Arg mutation, compared to none of 1,373 matched controls (OR = 16.7, 95% CI = 6.2-44.2, P = 0.01). The p. Lys3326X mutation in BRCA2 (also known as Fanconi anemia gene FANCD1) was present in 27 of 746 ESCC cases and in 16 of 1,373 controls (OR = 3.38, 95% CI = 1.97-6.91, P = 0.0002). In summary, both heterozygous and homozygous mutations in several Fanconi anemia-predisposing genes are associated with an increased risk of ESCC in Iran.
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare autosomal recessive or X-linked disorder characterized by aplastic anemia, cancer susceptibility and cellular sensitivity to DNA crosslinking agents. Eight FA proteins (FANCA, FANCB, FANCC, FANCE, FANCF, FANCG, FANCL and FANCM) and three non-FA proteins (FAAP100, FAAP24 and HES1) form an FA nuclear core complex, which is required for monoubiquitination of the FANCD2-FANCI dimer upon DNA damage. FANCL possesses a PHD/RING-finger domain and is a putative E3 ubiquitin ligase subunit of the core complex. In this study, we report an FA patient with an unusual presentation belonging to the FA-L complementation group. The patient lacks an obvious FA phenotype except for the presence of a café-au-lait spot, mild hypocellularity and a family history of leukemia. The molecular diagnosis and identification of the FA subgroup was achieved by FA complementation assay. We identified bi-allelic novel mutations in the FANCL gene and functionally characterized them. To the best of our knowledge, this is the second reported case belonging to the FA-L complementation group.
Song L A possible approach for stem cell gene therapy of Fanconi anemia. Curr Gene Ther. 2009; 9(1):26-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fanconi anemia (FA) is an inherited chromosomal recessive syndrome characterized by cellular hypersensitivity to DNA crosslinking agents and bone marrow failure, which cause aplastic anemia, and an increased incidence of malignancy. 13 complementation groups are currently discovered, and 13 distinct genes have been cloned (FANCA, FANCB, FANCC, FANCD1, FANCD2, FANCE, FANCF, FANCG, FNACI, FANCJ, FANCL, FANCM, FANCN). Stem cells can theoretically divide to other cells without limit as long as a person is still alive. The stem cells that form blood and immune cells are known as hematopoietic stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells can be acquired from a Fanconi anemia patient, whereas genomic DNA can be obtained easily from blood cells of a normal person. Normal genes also can be synthesised by PCR method. Normal genomic DNA will be delivered into a patient's stem cells via microinjection or transfection after enzyme digestion; the defective genes might be repaired by homologous genetic recombination. The gene-corrected stem cells can be transplanted into the same patient finally. It is possible that human genomic DNA to be considered as materials for homologous genetic recombination to repair defective genes in vivo. This might be an efficient method for gene therapy, which has no or less immunological rejection for Fanconi anemia and some genetic diseases. Several related observations and experiments are discussed to support this possible means of stem cell gene therapy of Fanconi anemia.
Collis SJ, Ciccia A, Deans AJ, et al. FANCM and FAAP24 function in ATR-mediated checkpoint signaling independently of the Fanconi anemia core complex. Mol Cell. 2008; 32(3):313-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Fanconi anemia (FA) pathway is implicated in DNA repair and cancer predisposition. Central to this pathway is the FA core complex, which is targeted to chromatin by FANCM and FAAP24 following replication stress. Here we show that FANCM and FAAP24 interact with the checkpoint protein HCLK2 independently of the FA core complex. In addition to defects in FA pathway activation, downregulation of FANCM or FAAP24 also compromises ATR/Chk1-mediated checkpoint signaling, leading to defective Chk1, p53, and FANCE phosphorylation; 53BP1 focus formation; and Cdc25A degradation. As a result, FANCM and FAAP24 deficiency results in increased endogenous DNA damage and a failure to efficiently invoke cell-cycle checkpoint responses. Moreover, we find that the DNA translocase activity of FANCM, which is dispensable for FA pathway activation, is required for its role in ATR/Chk1 signaling. Our data suggest that DNA damage recognition and remodeling activities of FANCM and FAAP24 cooperate with ATR/Chk1 to promote efficient activation of DNA damage checkpoints.
Ameziane N, Errami A, Léveillé F, et al. Genetic subtyping of Fanconi anemia by comprehensive mutation screening. Hum Mutat. 2008; 29(1):159-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a recessively inherited syndrome with predisposition to bone marrow failure and malignancies. Hypersensitivity to cross-linking agents is a cellular feature used to confirm the diagnosis. The mode of inheritance is autosomal recessive (12 subtypes) as well as X-linked (one subtype). Most genetic subtypes have initially been defined as "complementation groups" by cell fusion studies. Here we report a comprehensive genetic subtyping approach for FA that is primarily based on mutation screening, supplemented by protein expression analysis and by functional assays to test for pathogenicity of unclassified variants. Of 80 FA cases analyzed, 73 (91%) were successfully subtyped. In total, 92 distinct mutations were detected, of which 56 were novel (40 in FANCA, eight in FANCC, two in FANCD1, three in FANCE, one in FANCF, and three in FANCG). All known complementation groups were represented, except D2, J, L, and M. Three patients could not be classified because proliferating cell cultures from the probands were lacking. In cell lines from the remaining four patients, immunoblotting was used to determine their capacity to monoubiquitinate FANCD2. In one case FANCD2 monoubiquitination was normal, indicating a defect downstream. In the remaining three cases monoubiquitination was not detectable, indicating a defect upstream. In the latter four patients, pathogenic mutations in a known FA gene may have been missed, or these patients might represent novel genetic subtypes. We conclude that direct mutation screening allows a molecular diagnosis of FA in the vast majority of patients, even in cases where growing cells from affected individuals are unavailable. Proliferating cell lines are required in a minority (<15%) of the patients, to allow testing for FANCD2 ubiquitination status and sequencing of FANCD2 using cDNA, to avoid interference from pseudogenes.
Wreesmann VB, Estilo C, Eisele DW, et al. Downregulation of Fanconi anemia genes in sporadic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 2007; 69(4):218-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Much of our understanding of human cancer has come from studies of the hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes. Fanconi anemia (FA) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by cellular hypersensitivity to DNA crosslinking agents, progressive bone marrow failure, and cancer predisposition to solid malignancies, especially head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Since FA pathway-deficient cells are hypersensitive to DNA crosslinking chemotherapy agents, the presence of somatic FA gene inactivation in sporadic cancers may be of clinical interest. This study sought to determine the frequency of FA gene downregulation in sporadic HNSCC. METHODS: The expression of the FA genes FANCA, FANCB, FANCC, FANCD2, FANCE, FANCF, FANCG, FANCJ, FANCL and FANCM in 11 HNSCC cell lines and 49 tongue carcinoma samples was studied with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: Downregulation of at least one FA gene was observed in 3 of 11 HNSCC cell lines and 66% of tongue carcinoma samples. FANCB, FANCF, FANCJ and FANCM were most commonly affected by downregulation, whereas downregulation of FANCA, FANCE and FANCD2 was rare. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that downregulation of FA genes is common in sporadic HNSCC. The clinical implications of this finding merit further study. .
Fanconi Anaemia (FA) is a cancer predisposition disorder characterized by spontaneous chromosome breakage and high cellular sensitivity to genotoxic agents. In response to DNA damage, a multi-subunit assembly of FA proteins, the FA core complex, monoubiquitinates the downstream FANCD2 protein. The FANCE protein plays an essential role in the FA process of DNA repair as the FANCD2-binding component of the FA core complex. Here we report a crystallographic and biological study of human FANCE. The first structure of a FA protein reveals the presence of a repeated helical motif that provides a template for the structural rationalization of other proteins defective in Fanconi Anaemia. The portion of FANCE defined by our crystallographic analysis is sufficient for interaction with FANCD2, yielding structural information into the mode of FANCD2 recruitment to the FA core complex. Disease-associated mutations disrupt the FANCE-FANCD2 interaction, providing structural insight into the molecular mechanisms of FA pathogenesis.
The eleven Fanconi anemia (FA) proteins cooperate in a novel pathway required for the repair of DNA cross-links. Eight of the FA proteins (A, B, C, E, F, G, L, and M) form a core enzyme complex, required for the monoubiquitination of FANCD2 and the assembly of FANCD2 nuclear foci. Here, we show that, in response to DNA damage, Chk1 directly phosphorylates the FANCE subunit of the FA core complex on two conserved sites (threonine 346 and serine 374). Phosphorylated FANCE assembles in nuclear foci and colocalizes with FANCD2. A nonphosphorylated mutant form of FANCE (FANCE-T346A/S374A), when expressed in a FANCE-deficient cell line, allows FANCD2 monoubiquitination, FANCD2 foci assembly, and normal S-phase progression. However, the mutant FANCE protein fails to complement the mitomycin C hypersensitivity of the transfected cells. Taken together, these results elucidate a novel role of Chk1 in the regulation of the FA/BRCA pathway and in DNA cross-link repair. Chk1-mediated phosphorylation of FANCE is required for a function independent of FANCD2 monoubiquitination.
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genomic instability disorder, clinically characterized by congenital abnormalities, progressive bone marrow failure, and predisposition to malignancy. Cells derived from patients with FA display a marked sensitivity to DNA cross-linking agents, such as mitomycin C (MMC). This observation has led to the hypothesis that the proteins defective in FA are involved in the sensing or repair of interstrand cross-link lesions of the DNA. A nuclear complex consisting of a majority of the FA proteins plays a crucial role in this process and is required for the monoubiquitination of a downstream target, FANCD2. Two new FA genes, FANCB and FANCL, have recently been identified, and their discovery has allowed a more detailed study into the molecular architecture of the FA pathway. We demonstrate a direct interaction between FANCB and FANCL and that a complex of these proteins binds FANCA. The interaction between FANCA and FANCL is dependent on FANCB, FANCG, and FANCM, but independent of FANCC, FANCE, and FANCF. These findings provide a framework for the protein interactions that occur "upstream" in the FA pathway and suggest that besides the FA core complex different subcomplexes exist that may have specific functions other than the monoubiquitination of FANCD2.