Gene Summary

Gene:MRE11; MRE11 homolog, double strand break repair nuclease
Aliases: ATLD, HNGS1, MRE11A, MRE11B
Summary:This gene encodes a nuclear protein involved in homologous recombination, telomere length maintenance, and DNA double-strand break repair. By itself, the protein has 3' to 5' exonuclease activity and endonuclease activity. The protein forms a complex with the RAD50 homolog; this complex is required for nonhomologous joining of DNA ends and possesses increased single-stranded DNA endonuclease and 3' to 5' exonuclease activities. In conjunction with a DNA ligase, this protein promotes the joining of noncomplementary ends in vitro using short homologies near the ends of the DNA fragments. This gene has a pseudogene on chromosome 3. Alternative splicing of this gene results in two transcript variants encoding different isoforms. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:double-strand break repair protein MRE11; double-strand break repair protein MRE11A
Source:NCBIAccessed: 09 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (41)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (2)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 10 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Chromosome 11
  • Genetic Recombination
  • Telomere
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Treatment Failure
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Taiwan
  • DNA Damage
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Rabbits
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • BRCA1 Protein
  • Phosphorylation
  • Mutation
  • DNA Repair
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Double-Stranded DNA Breaks
  • DNA Repair Enzymes
  • Rad51 Recombinase
  • Young Adult
  • Cell Survival
  • Genomic Instability
  • RecQ Helicases
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Genotype
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Transfection
  • p53 Protein
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
Tag cloud generated 09 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: MRE11A (cancer-related)

Chang L, Huang J, Wang K, et al.
Targeting Rad50 sensitizes human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells to radiotherapy.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:190 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex is well known for its crucial role in initiating DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) repair pathways to resistant irradiation (IR) injury and thus facilitating radioresistance which severely reduces radiocurability of nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC). Targeting native cellular MRN function would sensitize NPC cells to IR.
METHODS: A recombinant adenovirus containing a mutant Rad50 gene (Ad-RAD50) expressing Rad50 zinc hook domain but lacking the ATPase domain and the Mre11 interaction domain was constructed to disrupt native cellular MRN functions. The effects of Ad-RAD50 on the MRN functions were assessed in NPC cells lines using western blot, co-immunoprecipitation and confocal microscopy analyses. The increased radiosensitivity of transient Ad-RAD50 to IR was examined in NPC cells, including MTT assay, colony formation. The molecular mechanisms of radiosensitization were confirmed by neutral comet assay and western bolts. Nude mice subcutaneous injection, tumor growth curve and TUNEL assay were used to evaluate tumor regression and apoptosis in vivo.
RESULTS: Rad50 is remarkably upregulated in NPC cells after IR, implying the critical role of Rad50 in MRN functions. The transient expression of this mutant Rad50 decreased the levels of native cellular Rad50, Mre11 and Nbs1, weakened the interactions among these proteins, abrogated the G2/M arrest induced by DSBs and reduced the DNA repair ability in NPC cells. A combination of IR and mutant RAD50 therapy produced significant tumor cytotoxicity in vitro, with a corresponding increase in DNA damage, prevented proliferation and cell viability. Furthermore, Ad-RAD50 sensitized NPC cells to IR by causing dramatic tumor regression and inducing apoptosis in vivo.
CONCLUSION: Our findings define a novel therapeutic approach to NPC radiosensitization via targeted native cellular Rad50 disruption.

Bernards SS, Norquist BM, Harrell MI, et al.
Genetic characterization of early onset ovarian carcinoma.
Gynecol Oncol. 2016; 140(2):221-5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Ovarian carcinoma (OC) is rare in young women and the fraction of early onset OC attributable to inherited mutations in known OC genes is uncertain. We sought to characterize the fraction of OC that is heritable in women diagnosed with ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal carcinoma at forty years of age or younger.
METHODS: We sequenced germline DNA from forty-seven women diagnosed with OC at age 40 or younger ascertained through a gynecologic oncology tissue bank or referred from outside providers using BROCA, a targeted capture and massively parallel sequencing platform that can detect all mutation classes. We evaluated 11 genes associated with ovarian carcinoma (BARD1, BRCA1, BRCA2, BRIP1, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PALB2, PMS2, RAD51D, and RAD51C) and additional candidate genes in DNA repair (ATM, BAP1, CHEK2, MRE11A, NBN, PTEN, TP53). We counted only clearly damaging mutations.
RESULTS: Damaging mutations in OC genes were identified in 13 of 47 (28%) subjects, of which 10 (77%) occurred in BRCA1 and one each occurred in BRCA2, MSH2, and RAD51D. Women with a strong family history were no more likely to have an OC gene mutation (8/17, 47%) than those without a strong family history (9/30, 30%, P=0.35). Additionally, damaging mutations in non-OC genes were identified, one in NBN and one in CHEK2.
CONCLUSIONS: A high proportion of young women with invasive OC have mutations in BRCA1, and a smaller fraction have mutations in other known OC genes. Family history was not associated with mutation status in these early onset cases.

Ihara K, Yamaguchi S, Ueno N, et al.
Expression of DNA double-strand break repair proteins predicts the response and prognosis of colorectal cancer patients undergoing oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(3):1349-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA intrastrand cross-linking agents such as oxaliplatin induce DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) during DNA repair and replication. In the present study, we hypothesized that DNA intrastrand cross-linking agents may significantly benefit colorectal cancer patients with deficiencies in DSB repair. Seventy-eight patients with metastatic or recurrent colorectal cancer who had measurable target lesions and who underwent resection for primary colorectal cancer in our institution between April 2007 and March 2013 were included in the present study. The median age was 64.5 years, and the cohort consisted of 49 males and 29 females. The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 10.9 months. The expression of DSB repair proteins such as RAD51 and MRE11 was investigated by immunohistochemistry, and associations between RAD51 and MRE11 expression and clinicopathological factors or chemotherapeutic effect were assessed. MRE11-negative cases and RAD51-negative cases achieved significantly better tumor reduction compared with cases with positive expression. Cases with negative expression of both proteins or negative expression of either protein had significantly longer PFS than cases with positive expression for both proteins. In conclusion, DSB repair protein expression-negative colorectal cancer cases may be more highly sensitive to chemotherapy, and thus DSB repair protein expression may be a useful prognostic indicator for colorectal cancer patients.

Beumer JH, Fu KY, Anyang BN, et al.
Functional analyses of ATM, ATR and Fanconi anemia proteins in lung carcinoma : ATM, ATR and FA in lung carcinoma.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:649 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: ATM and ATR are kinases implicated in a myriad of DNA-damage responses. ATM kinase inhibition radiosensitizes cells and selectively kills cells with Fanconi anemia (FA) gene mutations. ATR kinase inhibition sensitizes cells to agents that induce replication stress and selectively kills cells with ATM and TP53 mutations. ATM mutations and FANCF promoter-methylation are reported in lung carcinomas.
METHODS: We undertook functional analyses of ATM, ATR, Chk1 and FA proteins in lung cancer cell lines. We included Calu6 that is reported to be FANCL-deficient. In addition, the cancer genome atlas (TCGA) database was interrogated for alterations in: 1) ATM, MRE11A, RAD50 and NBN; 2) ATR, ATRIP and TOPBP1; and 3) 15 FA genes.
RESULTS: No defects in ATM, ATR or Chk1 kinase activation, or FANCD2 monoubiquitination were identified in the lung cancer cell lines examined, including Calu6, and major alterations in these pathways were not identified in the TCGA database. Cell lines were radiosensitized by ATM kinase inhibitor KU60019, but no cell killing by ATM kinase inhibitor alone was observed. While no synergy between gemcitabine or carboplatin and ATR kinase inhibitor ETP-46464 was observed, synergy between gemcitabine and Chk1 kinase inhibitor UCN-01 was observed in 54 T, 201 T and H460, and synergy between carboplatin and Chk1 kinase inhibitor was identified in 201 T and 239 T. No interactions between ATM, ATR and FA activation were observed by either ATM or ATR kinase inhibition in the lung cancer cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS: Analyses of ATM serine 1981 and Chk1 serine 345 phosphorylation, and FANCD2 monoubiquitination revealed that ATM and ATR kinase activation and FA pathway signaling are intact in the lung cancer cell lines examined. As such, these posttranslational modifications may have utility as biomarkers for the integrity of DNA damage signaling pathways in lung cancer. Different sensitization profiles between gemcitabine and carboplatin and ATR kinase inhibitor ETP-46464 and Chk1 kinase inhibitor UCN-01 were observed and this should be considered in the rationale for Phase I clinical trial design with ATR kinase inhibitors.

Lee JM, Gordon N, Trepel JB, et al.
Development of a multiparameter flow cytometric assay as a potential biomarker for homologous recombination deficiency in women with high-grade serous ovarian cancer.
J Transl Med. 2015; 13:239 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: PARP inhibitors (PARPi) are a novel class of drugs with activity in patients with acquired or germline homologous recombination (HR) deficiency-associated high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). We hypothesized that measuring γH2AX as an indicator of DNA double-strand breaks (DSB), and MRE11 or RAD51 as an indicator of DSB repair, would reflect HR status and predict response to PARPi-based therapy. Our aim was to develop and use high-throughput multiparametric flow cytometry to quantify γH2AX with MRE11 or RAD51 in PBMCs as a readily available surrogate.
METHODS: Healthy donor PBMCs were used for assay development and optimization. We validated induction of γH2AX, MRE11 and RAD51 by staining with fluorophore-conjugated antibodies. The multiparameter flow cytometric method was applied to PBMC samples from recurrent HGSOC patients who were treated with PARPi, olaparib and carboplatin.
RESULTS: Stimulation was necessary for quantification of a DNA damage response to olaparib/carboplatin in healthy donor PBMCs. The flow cytometric protocol could not distinguish between cytoplasmic and nuclear RAD51, erroneously indicating activation in response to injury. Thus, MRE11 was selected as the marker of DSB repair. PBMCs from 15 recurrent HGSOC patients were then examined. Patients who did not respond to PARPi therapy had a significantly higher pre-treatment level of γH2AX (p = 0.01), and a higher ratio of γH2AX/MRE11 (11.0 [3.5-13.2] v. 3.3 [2.8-9.9], p < 0.03) compared with responders.
CONCLUSIONS: We successfully developed and applied a multiparameter flow cytometry assay to measure γH2AX and MRE11 in PBMCs. Prospective studies will be required to validate this surrogate biomarker assay as a potential predictive biomarker of PARPi-based therapy.

Pishas KI, Adwal A, Neuhaus SJ, et al.
XI-006 induces potent p53-independent apoptosis in Ewing sarcoma.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:11465 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
There is an imperious need for the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of Ewing sarcoma, the second most prevalent solid bone tumour observed in children and young adolescents. Recently, a 4-nitrobenzofuroxan derivative, XI-006 (NSC207895) was shown to diminish MDM4 promoter activity in breast cancer cell lines. As amplification of MDM4 is frequently observed in sarcomas, this study examined the therapeutic potential of XI-006 for the treatment of Ewing and osteosarcoma. XI-006 treatment of Ewing and osteosarcoma cell lines (n = 11) resulted in rapid and potent apoptosis at low micro-molar concentrations specifically in Ewing sarcoma cell lines (48 hr IC50 0.099-1.61 μM). Unexpectedly, apoptotic response was not dependent on MDM4 mRNA/protein levels or TP53 status. Alkaline/neutral comet and γH2AX immunofluorescence assays revealed that the cytotoxic effects of XI-006 could not be attributed to the induction of DNA damage. RNA expression analysis revealed that the mechanism of action of XI-006 could be accredited to the inhibition of cell division and cycle regulators such as KIF20A and GPSM2. Finally, potent synergy between XI-006 and olaparib (PARP inhibitor) were observed due to the down-regulation of Mre11. Our findings suggest that XI-006 represents a novel therapeutic intervention for the treatment of Ewing sarcoma.

Aloraifi F, McDevitt T, Martiniano R, et al.
Detection of novel germline mutations for breast cancer in non-BRCA1/2 families.
FEBS J. 2015; 282(17):3424-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
The identification of the breast cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 enhanced clinicians' ability to select high-risk individuals for aggressive surveillance and prevention, and led to the development of targeted therapies. However, BRCA1/2 mutations account for only 25% of familial breast cancer cases. To systematically identify rare, probably pathogenic variants in familial cases of breast cancer without BRCA1/2 mutations, we developed a list of 312 genes, and performed targeted DNA enrichment coupled to multiplex next-generation sequencing on 104 'BRCAx' patients and 101 geographically matched controls in Ireland. As expected, this strategy allowed us to identify mutations in several well-known high-susceptibility and moderate-susceptibility genes, including ATM (~ 5%), RAD50 (~ 3%), CHEK2 (~ 2%), TP53 (~ 1%), PALB2 (~ 1%), and MRE11A (~ 1%). However, we also identified novel pathogenic variants in 30 other genes, which, when taken together, potentially explain the etiology of the missing heritability in up to 35% of BRCAx patients. These included novel potential pathogenic mutations in MAP3K1, CASP8, RAD51B, ZNF217, CDKN2B-AS1, and ERBB2, including a splice site mutation, which we predict would generate a constitutively active HER2 protein. Taken together, this work extends our understanding of the genetics of familial breast cancer, and supports the need to implement hereditary multigene panel testing to more appropriately orientate clinical management.

Huang YL, Chou WC, Hsiung CN, et al.
FGFR2 regulates Mre11 expression and double-strand break repair via the MEK-ERK-POU1F1 pathway in breast tumorigenesis.
Hum Mol Genet. 2015; 24(12):3506-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
The association between breast cancer risk and genetic variants of fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) has been identified and repeatedly confirmed; however, the mechanism underlying FGFR2 in breast tumorigenesis remains obscure. Given that breast tumorigenesis is particularly related to DNA double-strand-break-repair (DSBR), we examined the hypothesis that FGFR2 is involved in DSBR. Our results show that expression of Mre11, a vital exonuclease in DSBR, is downregulated by FGFR2, which is further linked to decreased DSBR. Analysis of the Mre11 promoter revealed that POU1F1 mediates FGFR2-induced Mre11 downregulation. Furthermore, ERK, downstream of FGFR2, directly interacts with and phosphorylates POU1F1, increasing POU1F1 binding capacity to the Mre11 promoter and repressing Mre11 expression, which consequently affects DSBR and sensitizes breast cancer cells to chemotherapeutic treatments. The importance of the FGFR2-Mre11-DSBR link in cancer progression is suggested by the finding that genotypes of FGFR2 and Mre11 are associated with survival of breast cancer patients and that FGFR2 expression correlates with cancer prognosis specifically in patients receiving chemotherapy. This study yields important insight into the role of FGFR2 in breast tumorigenesis and may facilitate development of a useful therapeutic approach for breast cancer.

Sokolenko AP, Preobrazhenskaya EV, Aleksakhina SN, et al.
Candidate gene analysis of BRCA1/2 mutation-negative high-risk Russian breast cancer patients.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 359(2):259-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
Twenty one DNA repair genes were analyzed in a group of 95 BC patients, who displayed clinical features of hereditary disease predisposition but turned out to be negative for mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 entire coding region as well as for founder disease-predisposing alleles in CHEK2, NBN/NBS1 and ATM genes. Full-length sequencing of CHEK2 and NBN/NBS1 failed to identify non-founder mutations. The analysis of TP53 revealed a woman carrying the R282W allele; further testing of additional 108 BC patients characterized by a very young age at onset (35 years or earlier) detected one more carrier of the TP53 germ-line defect. In addition, this study confirmed non-random occurrence of PALB2 truncating mutations in Russian hereditary BC patients. None of the studied cases carried germ-line defects in recently discovered hereditary BC genes, BRIP1, FANCC, MRE11A and RAD51C. The analysis of genes with yet unproven BC-predisposing significance (BARD1, BRD7, CHEK1, DDB2, ERCC1, EXO1, FANCG, PARP1, PARP2, RAD51, RNF8, WRN) identified single women carrying a protein-truncating allele, WRN R1406X. DNA sequencing of another set of 95 hereditary BC cases failed to reveal additional WRN heterozygous genotypes. Since WRN is functionally similar to the known BC-predisposing gene, BLM, it deserves to be analyzed in future hereditary BC studies. Furthermore, this investigation revealed a number of rare missense germ-line variants, which are classified as probably protein-damaging by online in silico tools and therefore may require further consideration.

Wu Z, Wang P, Song C, et al.
Evaluation of miRNA-binding-site SNPs of MRE11A, NBS1, RAD51 and RAD52 involved in HRR pathway genes and risk of breast cancer in China.
Mol Genet Genomics. 2015; 290(3):1141-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
MiRNA-binding-site single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in homologous recombination repair (HRR) pathway genes may change DNA repair capacity and affect susceptibility to cancer though complex gene-gene and gene-reproductive factors interactions. However, these SNPs associated with breast cancer (BC) are still unclear in Chinese women. Therefore, we conducted a case-control study to evaluate the genetic susceptibility of the five miRNA-binding-site SNPs in HRR pathway genes (MRE11A rs2155209, NBS1 rs2735383, RAD51 rs963917 and rs963918 and RAD52 rs7963551) in the development of BC. MRE11A rs2155209 and RAD52 rs7963551 were found to be associated with BC risk (ORadjusted: 1.87; 95 % CI: 1.23-2.86 and ORadjusted: 0.36; 95 % CI: 0.24-0.58). NBS1 rs2735383, RAD51 rs963917 and rs963918 were associated with BC risk after stratification according to reproductive factors. Haplotypes of Crs963917Ars963918 decreased the risk of BC (ORadjusted: 0.53; 95 % CI: 0.4-0.68), while the Trs963917Ars963918 and Trs963917Grs963918 haplotypes could increase the risk of BC (ORadjusted: 1.28; 95 % CI: 1.05-1.57 and ORadjusted: 1.31; 95 % CI: 1.09-1.62). Combined effect of risk alleles showed that the five SNPs were associated with increased BC risk in a dose-dependent manner (P trend = 0.003). The GC genotype of rs2735383, AG + GG genotype of rs963918 and AC + CC genotype of rs7963551 were associated with PR positivity of BC patients. These findings suggest that the miRNA-binding-site SNPs involved in HRR pathway genes may affect susceptibility of BC in Chinese women; moreover, the interactions of gene-gene and gene-reproductive factors play vital roles in the progression of BC. Further functional studies with larger sample are needed to support and validate these findings.

Berlin A, Lalonde E, Sykes J, et al.
NBN gain is predictive for adverse outcome following image-guided radiotherapy for localized prostate cancer.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(22):11081-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Despite the use of clinical prognostic factors (PSA, T-category and Gleason score), 20-60% of localized prostate cancers (PCa) fail primary local treatment. Herein, we determined the prognostic importance of main sensors of the DNA damage response (DDR): MRE11A, RAD50, NBN, ATM, ATR and PRKDC. We studied copy number alterations in DDR genes in localized PCa treated with image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT; n=139) versus radical prostatectomy (RadP; n=154). In both cohorts, NBN gains were the most frequent genomic alteration (14.4 and 11% of cases, respectively), and were associated with overall tumour genomic instability (p<0.0001). NBN gains were the only significant predictor of 5yrs biochemical relapse-free rate (bRFR) following IGRT (46% versus 77%; p=0.00067). On multivariate analysis, NBN gain remained a significant independent predictor of bRFR after adjusting for known clinical prognostic variables (HR=3.28, 95% CI 1.56-6.89, Wald p-value=0.0017). No DDR-sensing gene was prognostic in the RadP cohort. In vitro studies correlated NBN gene overexpression with PCa cells radioresistance. In conclusion, NBN gain predicts for decreased bRFR in IGRT, but not in RadP patients. If validated independently, Nibrin gains may be the first PCa predictive biomarker to facilitate local treatment decisions using precision medicine approaches with surgery or radiotherapy.

Pavelitz T, Renfro L, Foster NR, et al.
MRE11-deficiency associated with improved long-term disease free survival and overall survival in a subset of stage III colon cancer patients in randomized CALGB 89803 trial.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(10):e108483 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Colon cancers deficient in mismatch repair (MMR) may exhibit diminished expression of the DNA repair gene, MRE11, as a consequence of contraction of a T11 mononucleotide tract. This study investigated MRE11 status and its association with prognosis, survival and drug response in patients with stage III colon cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Cancer and Leukemia Group B 89803 (Alliance) randomly assigned 1,264 patients with stage III colon cancer to postoperative weekly adjuvant bolus 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (FU/LV) or irinotecan+FU/LV (IFL), with 8 year follow-up. Tumors from these patients were analyzed to determine stability of a T11 tract in the MRE11 gene. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS), and a secondary endpoint was disease-free survival (DFS). Non-proportional hazards were addressed using time-dependent covariates in Cox analyses.
RESULTS: Of 625 tumor cases examined, 70 (11.2%) exhibited contraction at the T11 tract in one or both MRE11 alleles and were thus predicted to be deficient in MRE11 (dMRE11). In pooled treatment analyses, dMRE11 patients showed initially reduced DFS and OS but improved long-term DFS and OS compared with patients with an intact MRE11 T11 tract. In the subgroup of dMRE11 patients treated with IFL, an unexplained early increase in mortality but better long-term DFS than IFL-treated pMRE11 patients was observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Analysis of this relatively small number of patients and events showed that the dMRE11 marker predicts better prognosis independent of treatment in the long-term. In subgroup analyses, dMRE11 patients treated with irinotecan exhibited unexplained short-term mortality. MRE11 status is readily assayed and may therefore prove to be a useful prognostic marker, provided that the results reported here for a relatively small number of patients can be generalized in independent analyses of larger numbers of samples.

Taylor AM, Lam Z, Last JI, Byrd PJ
Ataxia telangiectasia: more variation at clinical and cellular levels.
Clin Genet. 2015; 87(3):199-208 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) is a rare recessively inherited disorder resulting in a progressive neurological decline. It is caused by biallelic mutation of the ATM gene that encodes a 370 kDa serine/threonine protein kinase responsible for phosphorylating many target proteins. ATM is activated by auto(trans)phosphorylation in response to DNA double strand breaks and leads to the activation of cell cycle checkpoints and either DNA repair or apoptosis as part of the cellular response to DNA damage. The allelic heterogeneity in A-T is striking. While the majority of mutations are truncating, leading to instability and loss of the ATM protein from the allele, a significant proportion of patients carry one of a small number of mutations that are either missense or leaky splice site mutations resulting in retention of some ATM with activity. The allelic heterogeneity in ATM, therefore, results in an equally striking clinical heterogeneity. There is also locus heterogeneity because mutation of the MRE11 gene can cause an obvious A-T like disorder both clinically and also at the cellular level and mutation of the RNF168 gene results in a much milder clinical phenotype, neurologically, with the major clinical feature being an immunological defect.

Rendleman J, Antipin Y, Reva B, et al.
Genetic variation in DNA repair pathways and risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(7):e101685 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Molecular and genetic evidence suggests that DNA repair pathways may contribute to lymphoma susceptibility. Several studies have examined the association of DNA repair genes with lymphoma risk, but the findings from these reports have been inconsistent. Here we provide the results of a focused analysis of genetic variation in DNA repair genes and their association with the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). With a population of 1,297 NHL cases and 1,946 controls, we have performed a two-stage case/control association analysis of 446 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) tagging the genetic variation in 81 DNA repair genes. We found the most significant association with NHL risk in the ATM locus for rs227060 (OR = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.13-1.43, p = 6.77×10(-5)), which remained significant after adjustment for multiple testing. In a subtype-specific analysis, associations were also observed for the ATM locus among both diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) and small lymphocytic lymphomas (SLL), however there was no association observed among follicular lymphomas (FL). In addition, our study provides suggestive evidence of an interaction between SNPs in MRE11A and NBS1 associated with NHL risk (OR = 0.51, 95% CI: 0.34-0.77, p = 0.0002). Finally, an imputation analysis using the 1,000 Genomes Project data combined with a functional prediction analysis revealed the presence of biologically relevant variants that correlate with the observed association signals. While the findings generated here warrant independent validation, the results of our large study suggest that ATM may be a novel locus associated with the risk of multiple subtypes of NHL.

Koppensteiner R, Samartzis EP, Noske A, et al.
Effect of MRE11 loss on PARP-inhibitor sensitivity in endometrial cancer in vitro.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(6):e100041 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM OF THE STUDY: To evaluate the frequency of MRE11/RAD50/NBS1 (MRN)-complex loss of protein expression in endometrial cancers (EC) and to determine whether loss of MRE11 renders the cancer cells sensitive to Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-inhibitory treatment.
METHODS: MRN expression was examined in 521 samples of endometrial carcinomas and in 10 cancer cell lines. A putative mutation hotspot in the form of an intronic poly(T) allele in MRE11 was sequenced in selected cases (n = 26). Sensitivity to the PARP-inhibitor, BMN673 was tested in colony formation assays before and after MRE11 silencing using siRNA. Homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair was evaluated by RAD51-foci formation assay upon irradiation and drug treatment.
RESULTS: Loss of MRE11 protein was found in 30.7% of EC tumours and significantly associated with loss of RAD50, NBS1 and mismatch repair protein expression. One endometrial cell line showed a markedly reduced MRE11 expression due to a homozygous poly(T) mutation of MRE11, thereby exhibiting an increased sensitivity to BMN673. MRE11 depletion sensitizes MRE11 expressing EC cell lines to the treatment with BMN673. The increased sensitivity to PARP-inhibition correlates with reduced RAD51 foci formation upon ionizing radiation in MRE11-depleted cells.
CONCLUSION: Loss of the MRE11 protein predicts sensitivity to PARP-inhibitor sensitivity in vitro, defining it as an additional synthetic lethal gene with PARP. The high incidence of MRE11 loss in ECs can be potentially exploited for PARP-inhibitor therapy. Furthermore, MRE11 protein expression using immunohistochemistry could be investigated as a predictive biomarker for PARP-inhibitor treatment.

Damiola F, Pertesi M, Oliver J, et al.
Rare key functional domain missense substitutions in MRE11A, RAD50, and NBN contribute to breast cancer susceptibility: results from a Breast Cancer Family Registry case-control mutation-screening study.
Breast Cancer Res. 2014; 16(3):R58 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The MRE11A-RAD50-Nibrin (MRN) complex plays several critical roles related to repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Inherited mutations in the three components predispose to genetic instability disorders and the MRN genes have been implicated in breast cancer susceptibility, but the underlying data are not entirely convincing. Here, we address two related questions: (1) are some rare MRN variants intermediate-risk breast cancer susceptibility alleles, and if so (2) do the MRN genes follow a BRCA1/BRCA2 pattern wherein most susceptibility alleles are protein-truncating variants, or do they follow an ATM/CHEK2 pattern wherein half or more of the susceptibility alleles are missense substitutions?
METHODS: Using high-resolution melt curve analysis followed by Sanger sequencing, we mutation screened the coding exons and proximal splice junction regions of the MRN genes in 1,313 early-onset breast cancer cases and 1,123 population controls. Rare variants in the three genes were pooled using bioinformatics methods similar to those previously applied to ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, and CHEK2, and then assessed by logistic regression.
RESULTS: Re-analysis of our ATM, BRCA1, and BRCA2 mutation screening data revealed that these genes do not harbor pathogenic alleles (other than modest-risk SNPs) with minor allele frequencies>0.1% in Caucasian Americans, African Americans, or East Asians. Limiting our MRN analyses to variants with allele frequencies of <0.1% and combining protein-truncating variants, likely spliceogenic variants, and key functional domain rare missense substitutions, we found significant evidence that the MRN genes are indeed intermediate-risk breast cancer susceptibility genes (odds ratio (OR)=2.88, P=0.0090). Key domain missense substitutions were more frequent than the truncating variants (24 versus 12 observations) and conferred a slightly higher OR (3.07 versus 2.61) with a lower P value (0.029 versus 0.14).
CONCLUSIONS: These data establish that MRE11A, RAD50, and NBN are intermediate-risk breast cancer susceptibility genes. Like ATM and CHEK2, their spectrum of pathogenic variants includes a relatively high proportion of missense substitutions. However, the data neither establish whether variants in each of the three genes are best evaluated under the same analysis model nor achieve clinically actionable classification of individual variants observed in this study.

Gao R, Singh R, Kaul Z, et al.
Targeting of DNA Damage Signaling Pathway Induced Senescence and Reduced Migration of Cancer cells.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2015; 70(6):701-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
The heat shock 70 family protein, mortalin, has pancytoplasmic distribution pattern in normal and perinuclear in cancer human cells. Cancer cells when induced to senesce by either chemicals or stress showed shift in mortalin staining pattern from perinuclear to pancytoplasmic type. Using such shift in mortalin staining as a reporter, we screened human shRNA library and identified nine senescence-inducing siRNA candidates. An independent Comparative Genomic Hybridization analysis of 35 breast cancer cell lines revealed that five (NBS1, BRCA1, TIN2, MRE11A, and KPNA2) of the nine genes located on chromosome regions identified as the gain of locus in more than 80% cell lines. By gene-specific PCR, these five genes were found to be frequently amplified in cancer cell lines. Bioinformatics revealed that the identified targets were connected to MRN (MRE11-RAD50-NBS1) complex, the DNA damage-sensing complex. We demonstrate that the identified shRNAs triggered DNA damage response and induced the expression of tumor suppressor protein p16(INK4A) causing growth arrest of cancer cells. Furthermore, cells showed decreased migration, mediated by decrease in matrix metalloproteases. Taken together, we demonstrate that the MRN complex is a potential target of cancer cell proliferation and migration, and staining pattern of mortalin could serve as an assay to identify senescence-inducing/anticancer reagents.

Hoxha M, Fabris S, Agnelli L, et al.
Relevance of telomere/telomerase system impairment in early stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(7):612-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
Several studies have proposed telomere length and telomerase activity as prognostic factors in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), whereas information addressing the role of telomere-associated genes is limited. We measured relative telomere length (RTL) and TERT expression levels in purified peripheral CD19(+) B-cells from seven healthy donors and 77 untreated CLLs in early stage disease (Binet A). Data were correlated with the major biological and cytogenetic markers, global DNA methylation (Alu and LINE-1), and clinical outcome. The expression profiles of telomere-associated genes were also investigated. RTL was decreased in CLLs as compared with controls (P < 0.001); within CLL, a progressive and significant RTL shortening was observed in patients from 13q- through +12, 11q-, and 17p- alterations; short telomeres were significantly associated with unmutated IGHV configuration and global DNA hypomethylation. Decreased RTL was associated with a shorter time to first treatment. A significant upregulation of POT1, TRF1, RAP1, MRE11A, RAD50, and RPA1 transcript levels was observed in CLLs compared with controls. Our study suggests that impairment of telomere/telomerase system represents an early event in CLL pathogenesis. Moreover, the correlation between telomere shortening and global DNA hypomethylation supports the involvement of DNA hypomethylation to increase chromosome instability. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Martin RM, Kerr M, Teo MT, et al.
Post-transcriptional regulation of MRE11 expression in muscle-invasive bladder tumours.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(4):993-1003 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Predictive assays are needed to help optimise treatment in muscle-invasive bladder cancer, where patients can be treated by either cystectomy or radical radiotherapy. Our finding that low tumour MRE11 expression is predictive of poor response to radiotherapy but not cystectomy was recently independently validated. Here we investigated further the mechanism underlying low MRE11 expression seen in poorly-responding patients. MRE11 RNA and protein levels were measured in 88 bladder tumour patient samples, by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry respectively, and a panel of eight bladder cancer cell lines was screened for MRE11, RAD50 and NBS1 mRNA and protein expression. There was no correlation between bladder tumour MRE11 protein and RNA scores (Spearman's rho 0.064, p=0.65), suggesting MRE11 is controlled post-transcriptionally, a pattern confirmed in eight bladder cancer cell lines. In contrast, NBS1 and RAD50 mRNA and protein levels were correlated (p=0.01 and p=0.03, respectively), suggesting primary regulation at the level of transcription. MRE11 protein levels were correlated with NBS1 and RAD50 mRNA and protein levels, implicating MRN complex formation as an important determinant of MRE11 expression, driven by RAD50 and NBS1 expression. Our findings of the post-transcriptional nature of the control of MRE11 imply that any predictive assays used in patients need to be performed at the protein level rather than the mRNA level.

Teo MT, Dyrskjøt L, Nsengimana J, et al.
Next-generation sequencing identifies germline MRE11A variants as markers of radiotherapy outcomes in muscle-invasive bladder cancer.
Ann Oncol. 2014; 25(4):877-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) can be cured by radical radiotherapy (RT). We previously found tumour MRE11 expression to be predictive of survival following RT in MIBC, and this was independently validated in a separate institute. Here, we investigated germline MRE11A variants as possible predictors of RT outcomes in MIBC, using next-generation sequencing (NGS).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: The MRE11A gene was amplified in germline DNA from 186 prospectively recruited MIBC patients treated with RT and sequenced using bar-coded multiplexed NGS. Germline variants were analysed for associations with cancer-specific survival (CSS). For validation as a prognostic or predictive marker, rs1805363 was then genotyped in a cystectomy-treated MIBC cohort of 256 individuals. MRE11A mRNA isoform expression was measured in bladder cancer cell lines and primary tumour samples.
RESULTS: Carriage of at least one of six (five novel) rare variants was associated with the worse RT outcome (hazard ratio [HR] 4.04, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.42-11.51, P = 0.009). The single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs1805363 (minor allele frequency 11%), was also associated with worse CSS (per-allele HR 2.10, 95% CI 1.34-3.28, Ptrend = 0.001) following RT in MIBC, with a gene-dosage effect observed, but no effect seen on CSS in the cystectomy cohort (Ptrend = 0.89). Furthermore, rs1805363 influenced relative MRE11A isoform expression, with increased isoform 2 expression with carriage of the rs1805363 minor A allele.
CONCLUSIONS: Germline MRE11A SNP rs1805363 was predictive of RT, but not of cystectomy outcome in MIBC. If successfully validated in an independent RT-treated cohort, this SNP could be a useful clinical tool for selecting patients for bladder-conserving treatment.

Castéra L, Krieger S, Rousselin A, et al.
Next-generation sequencing for the diagnosis of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer using genomic capture targeting multiple candidate genes.
Eur J Hum Genet. 2014; 22(11):1305-13 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To optimize the molecular diagnosis of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC), we developed a next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based screening based on the capture of a panel of genes involved, or suspected to be involved in HBOC, on pooling of indexed DNA and on paired-end sequencing in an Illumina GAIIx platform, followed by confirmation by Sanger sequencing or MLPA/QMPSF. The bioinformatic pipeline included CASAVA, NextGENe, CNVseq and Alamut-HT. We validated this procedure by the analysis of 59 patients' DNAs harbouring SNVs, indels or large genomic rearrangements of BRCA1 or BRCA2. We also conducted a blind study in 168 patients comparing NGS versus Sanger sequencing or MLPA analyses of BRCA1 and BRCA2. All mutations detected by conventional procedures were detected by NGS. We then screened, using three different versions of the capture set, a large series of 708 consecutive patients. We detected in these patients 69 germline deleterious alterations within BRCA1 and BRCA2, and 4 TP53 mutations in 468 patients also tested for this gene. We also found 36 variations inducing either a premature codon stop or a splicing defect among other genes: 5/708 in CHEK2, 3/708 in RAD51C, 1/708 in RAD50, 7/708 in PALB2, 3/708 in MRE11A, 5/708 in ATM, 3/708 in NBS1, 1/708 in CDH1, 3/468 in MSH2, 2/468 in PMS2, 1/708 in BARD1, 1/468 in PMS1 and 1/468 in MLH3. These results demonstrate the efficiency of NGS in performing molecular diagnosis of HBOC. Detection of mutations within other genes than BRCA1 and BRCA2 highlights the genetic heterogeneity of HBOC.

Rouhani M, Goliaei B, Khodagholi F, Nikoofar A
Antimanic drug sensitizes breast cancer cell line to ionizing radiation.
Gen Physiol Biophys. 2014; 33(2):235-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancer among women. Lithium chloride (LiCl) is an FDA-approved drug for bipolar disorder. Breast cancer is reported to occur with higher rate in women with bipolar disorder. The effect of LiCl on the response of breast cancer cells to ionizing radiation has not been studied. We studied the effect of LiCl on the radiosensitivity of radioresistant T47D breast cancer cell line. Treatment of T47D cells with 20 mM LiCl for 24 hours decreased the radioresistance of these cells indicated by clonogenic survival assay. Comet assay demonstrated decreased DNA repair in LiCl-treated cells. LiCl treatment also decreased the meiotic recombination 11 (Mre11) mRNA level. Mre11 is an essential protein for DNA repair whose transcription is regulated by β-catenin protein. Western blot analysis indicated that the β-catenin protein level was decreased in LiCl-treated cells. LiCl increased glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) protein that is involved in β-catenin degradation. The results demonstrated that LiCl could radiosensitize T47D cells by decreasing DNA repair, partially through Mre11 repression. GSK-3β/β-catenin/Mre11 pathway might be the connection between LiCl treatment and the decreased DNA repair in T47D cells.

El-Saghire H, Vandevoorde C, Ost P, et al.
Intensity modulated radiotherapy induces pro-inflammatory and pro-survival responses in prostate cancer patients.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(4):1073-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is one of the modern conformal radiotherapies that is widely used within the context of cancer patient treatment. It uses multiple radiation beams targeted to the tumor, however, large volumes of the body receive low doses of irradiation. Using γ-H2AX and global genome expression analysis, we studied the biological responses induced by low doses of ionizing radiation in prostate cancer patients following IMRT. By means of different bioinformatics analyses, we report that IMRT induced an inflammatory response via the induction of viral, adaptive, and innate immune signaling. In response to growth factors and immune-stimulatory signaling, positive regulation in the progression of cell cycle and DNA replication were induced. This denotes pro-inflammatory and pro-survival responses. Furthermore, double strand DNA breaks were induced in every patient 30 min after the treatment and remaining DNA repair and damage signaling continued after 18-24 h. Nine genes belonging to inflammatory responses (TLR3, SH2D1A and IL18), cell cycle progression (ORC4, SMC2 and CCDC99) and DNA damage and repair (RAD17, SMC6 and MRE11A) were confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. This study emphasizes that the risk assessment of health effects from the out-of-field low doses during IMRT should be of concern, as these may increase the risk of secondary cancers and/or systemic inflammation.

Wang Y, Hong Y, Li M, et al.
Mutation inactivation of Nijmegen breakage syndrome gene (NBS1) in hepatocellular carcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e82426 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) with NBS1 germ-line mutation is a human autosomal recessive disease characterized by genomic instability and enhanced cancer predisposition. The NBS1 gene codes for a protein, Nbs1(p95/Nibrin), involved in the processing/repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a complex and heterogeneous tumor with several genomic alterations. Recent studies have shown that heterozygous NBS1 mice exhibited a higher incidence of HCC than did wild-type mice. The objective of the present study is to assess whether NBS1 mutations play a role in the pathogenesis of human primary liver cancer, including HBV-associated HCC and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC). Eight missense NBS1 mutations were identified in six of 64 (9.4%) HCCs and two of 18 (11.1%) ICCs, whereas only one synonymous mutation was found in 89 control cases of cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis B. Analysis of the functional consequences of the identified NBS1 mutations in Mre11-binding domain showed loss of nuclear localization of Nbs1 partner Mre11, one of the hallmarks for Nbs1 deficiency, in one HCC and two ICCs with NBS1 mutations. Moreover, seven of the eight tumors with NBS1 mutations had at least one genetic alteration in the TP53 pathway, including TP53 mutation, MDM2 amplification, p14ARF homozygous deletion and promoter methylation, implying a synergistic effect of Nbs1 disruption and p53 inactivation. Our findings provide novel insight on the molecular pathogenesis of primary liver cancer characterized by mutation inactivation of NBS1, a DNA repair associated gene.

Pennington KP, Walsh T, Harrell MI, et al.
Germline and somatic mutations in homologous recombination genes predict platinum response and survival in ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal carcinomas.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(3):764-75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Hallmarks of germline BRCA1/2-associated ovarian carcinomas include chemosensitivity and improved survival. The therapeutic impact of somatic BRCA1/2 mutations and mutations in other homologous recombination DNA repair genes is uncertain.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Using targeted capture and massively parallel genomic sequencing, we assessed 390 ovarian carcinomas for germline and somatic loss-of-function mutations in 30 genes, including BRCA1, BRCA2, and 11 other genes in the homologous recombination pathway.
RESULTS: Thirty-one percent of ovarian carcinomas had a deleterious germline (24%) and/or somatic (9%) mutation in one or more of the 13 homologous recombination genes: BRCA1, BRCA2, ATM, BARD1, BRIP1, CHEK1, CHEK2, FAM175A, MRE11A, NBN, PALB2, RAD51C, and RAD51D. Nonserous ovarian carcinomas had similar rates of homologous recombination mutations to serous carcinomas (28% vs. 31%, P = 0.6), including clear cell, endometrioid, and carcinosarcoma. The presence of germline and somatic homologous recombination mutations was highly predictive of primary platinum sensitivity (P = 0.0002) and improved overall survival (P = 0.0006), with a median overall survival of 66 months in germline homologous recombination mutation carriers, 59 months in cases with a somatic homologous recombination mutation, and 41 months for cases without a homologous recombination mutation.
CONCLUSIONS: Germline or somatic mutations in homologous recombination genes are present in almost one third of ovarian carcinomas, including both serous and nonserous histologies. Somatic BRCA1/2 mutations and mutations in other homologous recombination genes have a similar positive impact on overall survival and platinum responsiveness as germline BRCA1/2 mutations. The similar rate of homologous recombination mutations in nonserous carcinomas supports their inclusion in PARP inhibitor clinical trials.

McPherson LA, Shen Y, Ford JM
Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor LT-626: Sensitivity correlates with MRE11 mutations and synergizes with platinums and irinotecan in colorectal cancer cells.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 343(2):217-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Some colorectal cancers (CRC) display microsatellite instability (MSI) leading to mutations in genes such as MRE11. The aim of this study was to determine whether MSI or MRE11 mutational status correlates with sensitivity to the PARP inhibitor LT-626 and whether LT-626 synergizes with DNA-damaging chemotherapeutic agents. CRC cells harboring biallelic MRE11 mutations were more sensitive to LT-626 and stable overexpression or knock-down of MRE11 in cell lines correlated with sensitivity. Synergism was evident between LT-626 and cisplatin, oxaliplatin and SN-38 suggesting that PARP inhibitors in combination with DNA damaging agents may be a successful strategy for treatment of CRC.

Gupta GP, Vanness K, Barlas A, et al.
The Mre11 complex suppresses oncogene-driven breast tumorigenesis and metastasis.
Mol Cell. 2013; 52(3):353-65 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The DNA damage response (DDR) is activated by oncogenic stress, but the mechanisms by which this occurs, and the particular DDR functions that constitute barriers to tumorigenesis, remain unclear. We established a mouse model of sporadic oncogene-driven breast tumorigenesis in a series of mutant mouse strains with specific DDR deficiencies to reveal a role for the Mre11 complex in the response to oncogene activation. We demonstrate that an Mre11-mediated DDR restrains mammary hyperplasia by effecting an oncogene-induced G2 arrest. Impairment of Mre11 complex functions promotes the progression of mammary hyperplasias into invasive and metastatic breast cancers, which are often associated with secondary inactivation of the Ink4a-Arf (CDKN2a) locus. These findings provide insight into the mechanism of DDR engagement by activated oncogenes and highlight genetic interactions between the DDR and Ink4a-Arf pathways in suppression of oncogene-driven tumorigenesis and metastasis.

Mosor M, Ziółkowska-Suchanek I, Nowicka K, et al.
Germline variants in MRE11/RAD50/NBN complex genes in childhood leukemia.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:457 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The MRE11, RAD50, and NBN genes encode proteins of the MRE11-RAD50-NBN (MRN) complex involved in cellular response to DNA damage and the maintenance of genome stability. In our previous study we showed that the germline p.I171V mutation in NBN may be considered as a risk factor in the development of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and some specific haplotypes of that gene may be associated with childhood leukemia. These findings raise important questions about the role of mutations in others genes of the MRN complex in childhood leukemia. The aim of this study was to answer the question whether MRE11 and RAD50 alterations may be associated with childhood ALL or AML.
METHODS: We estimated the frequency of constitutional mutations and polymorphisms in selected regions of MRE11, RAD50, and NBN in the group of 220 children diagnosed with childhood leukemias and controls (n=504/2200). The analysis was performed by specific amplification of region of interest by PCR and followed by multi-temperature single-strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-MSSCP) technique. We performed two molecular tests to examine any potential function of the detected the c.551+19G>A SNP in RAD50 gene. To our knowledge, this is the first analysis of the MRE11, RAD50 and NBN genes in childhood leukemia.
RESULTS: The frequency of either the AA genotype or A allele of RAD50_rs17166050 were significantly different in controls compared to leukemia group (ALL+AML) (p<0.0019 and p<0.0019, respectively). The cDNA analysis of AA or GA genotypes carriers has not revealed evidence of splicing abnormality of RAD50 pre-mRNA. We measured the allelic-specific expression of G and A alleles at c.551+19G>A and the statistically significant overexpression of the G allele has been observed. Additionally we confirmed the higher incidence of the p.I171V mutation in the leukemia group (7/220) than among controls (12/2400) (p<0.0001).
CONCLUSION: The formerly reported sequence variants in the RAD50 and MRE11 gene may not constitute a risk factor of childhood ALL in Polish population. The RAD50_rs17166050 variant allele is linked to decreased ALL risk (p<0.0009, OR=0.6358 (95%CI: 0.4854-0.8327)). Despite the fact that there is no splicing abnormality in carriers of the variant allele but an excess of the G over the A allele was consistently observed. This data demonstrate that some specific alternations of the RAD50 gene may be associated with childhood ALL.

Ziółkowska-Suchanek I, Mosor M, Wierzbicka M, et al.
The MRN protein complex genes: MRE11 and RAD50 and susceptibility to head and neck cancers.
Mol Cancer. 2013; 12(1):113 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The members of MRE11/RAD50/NBN (MRN) protein complex participates in DNA double-strand break repair and DNA-damage checkpoint activation. We have previously shown that the p.I171V NBN gene mutation may contribute to the development of laryngeal cancer. This study tested the hypothesis that variants of the MRE11 and RAD50 genes, previously described as cancer risk factors, predispose to increased susceptibility to head and neck cancer.
FINDINGS: In this study we analyzed the RAD50 and MRE11 genes in 358 patients: 175 with a single laryngeal cancer (LC), 115 with multiple primary tumors but one malignancy (primary or second) localized in the larynx (MPT-LC), 68 patients with multiple primary tumors localized in the head or neck (MPT) and 506 controls. No carriers of previously reported mutation in the MRE11 or RAD50 gene (particularly the pathogenic c.687delT) were detected in the present study. We identified the p.V127I variant (2/175 LC, 2/506 controls; OR=2.91; 95% CI 0.41-20.85) and p.V315L variant (2/115 MPT-LC, 1/506 controls; OR=8.96; 95% CI 0.81-99.68) of the RAD50 gene.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicated that previously described common genetic variations in the MRE11 and RAD50 genes do not contribute to an increased risk of laryngeal cancer and second primary tumors localized in the head and neck. Prospective studies with larger groups of patients may reveal the possible impact of these genes in tumor occurrence.

Štorcelová M, Vicián M, Reis R, et al.
Expression of cell cycle regulatory factors hus1, gadd45a, rb1, cdkn2a and mre11a correlates with expression of clock gene per2 in human colorectal carcinoma tissue.
Mol Biol Rep. 2013; 40(11):6351-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
Deregulated expression of clock gene per2 has previously been associated with progression of cancer. The aim of the present study was to identify genes related to per2 expression and involved in cell cycle control. Patients surgically treated for colorectal carcinoma with up-regulated and down-regulated per2 expression in cancer versus adjacent tissue were studied. Total RNA from cancer tissue of these patients was used to specify genes associated with altered per2 expression using the Human Cell Cycle RT(2) profiler PCR array system. We identified seven genes positively correlated (hus1, gadd45α, rb1, cdkn2a, cdk5rp1, mre11a, sumo1) and two genes negatively correlated (cdc20, birc5) with per2 expression. Expression of these seven genes was subsequently measured by real time PCR in all patients of the cohort. Patients were divided into three groups according to TNM classification. We observed an increase in gene expression in cancer tissue compared to adjacent tissue in the first group of patients in all genes measured. Expression of genes positively associated with per2 gene expression was dependent on tumor staging and changes were observed preferentially in cancer tissue. For genes negatively associated with per2 expression we also detected changes in expression dependent on tumor staging. Expression of cdc20 and birc5 was increasing in the proximal tissue and decreasing in the cancer tissue. These results implicate functional involvement of per2 in the process of carcinogenesis via newly uncovered genes. The relevancy of gene expression for determination of diagnosis and prognosis should be considered in relation to tumor staging.

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