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Friedreich's ataxia-associated GAA repeats induce replication-fork reversal and unusual molecular junctions


Follonier, Cindy; Oehler, Judith; Herrador, Raquel; Lopes, Massimo (2013). Friedreich's ataxia-associated GAA repeats induce replication-fork reversal and unusual molecular junctions. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 20(4):486-494.

Abstract

Expansion of GAA/TTC repeats is the causative event in Friedreich's ataxia. GAA repeats have been shown to hinder replication in model systems, but the mechanisms of replication interference and expansion in human cells remained elusive. To study in vivo replication structures at GAA repeats, we designed a new plasmid-based system that permits the analysis of human replication intermediates by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and EM. We found that replication forks transiently pause and reverse at long GAA/TTC tracts in both orientations. Furthermore, we identified replication-associated intramolecular junctions, located between GAA/TTC repeats and other homopurine-homopyrimidine tracts, that were associated with breakage of the plasmid fork not traversing the repeats. Finally, we detected postreplicative, sister-chromatid hemicatenanes on control plasmids, which were replaced by persistent homology-driven junctions at GAA/TTC repeats. These data prove that GAA/TTC tracts interfere with replication in humans and implicate postreplicative mechanisms in trinucleotide repeat expansion.

Abstract

Expansion of GAA/TTC repeats is the causative event in Friedreich's ataxia. GAA repeats have been shown to hinder replication in model systems, but the mechanisms of replication interference and expansion in human cells remained elusive. To study in vivo replication structures at GAA repeats, we designed a new plasmid-based system that permits the analysis of human replication intermediates by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and EM. We found that replication forks transiently pause and reverse at long GAA/TTC tracts in both orientations. Furthermore, we identified replication-associated intramolecular junctions, located between GAA/TTC repeats and other homopurine-homopyrimidine tracts, that were associated with breakage of the plasmid fork not traversing the repeats. Finally, we detected postreplicative, sister-chromatid hemicatenanes on control plasmids, which were replaced by persistent homology-driven junctions at GAA/TTC repeats. These data prove that GAA/TTC tracts interfere with replication in humans and implicate postreplicative mechanisms in trinucleotide repeat expansion.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Molecular Cancer Research
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Cancer Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:04 Apr 2013 06:39
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:42
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1545-9985
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/nsmb.2520
PubMed ID:23454978

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