Journal Article A novel DNA damage response mediated by DNA mismatch repair in Caenorhabditis elegans: Induction of programmed autophagic cell death in non-dividing cells

Moriwaki, Takahito  ,  Kato, Yuichi  ,  Nakamura, Chihiro  ,  Ishikawa, Satoru  ,  Zhang-Akiyama, Qiu Mei

6 ( 7-8 )  , pp.341 - 355 , 2015-06-29 , Impact Journals LLC
DNA mismatch repair (MMR) contributes to genome integrity by correcting errors of DNA polymerase and inducing cell death in response to DNA damage. Dysfunction of MMR results in increased mutation frequency and cancer risk. Clinical researches revealed that MMR abnormalities induce cancers of non-dividing tissues, such as kidney and liver. However, how MMR suppresses cancer in non-dividing tissues is not understood. To address that mechanism, we analyzed the roles of MMR in non-dividing cells using Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), in which all somatic cells are non-dividing in the adult stage. In this study, we used stable MMR-mutant lines with a balancer chromosome. First, we confirmed that deficiency of MMR leads to resistance to various mutagens in C. elegans dividing cells. Next, we performed drug resistance assays, and found that MMR-deficient adult worms were resistant to SN1-type alkylating and oxidizing agents. In addition, dead cell staining and reporter assays of an autophagy-related gene demonstrated that the cell death was autophagic cell death. Interestingly, this autophagic cell death was not suppressed by caffeine, implying that MMR induces death of non-dividing cells in an atl-1-independent manner. Hence, we propose the hypothesis that MMR prevents cancers in non-dividing tissues by directly inducing cell death.

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