Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Heritable pattern of oxidized DNA base repair coincides with pre-targeting of repair complexes to open chromatin.

  • Bacolla, Albino1
  • Sengupta, Shiladitya2, 3
  • Ye, Zu1
  • Yang, Chunying2
  • Mitra, Joy4
  • De-Paula, Ruth B1
  • Hegde, Muralidhar L2, 3, 4
  • Ahmed, Zamal1
  • Mort, Matthew5
  • Cooper, David N5
  • Mitra, Sankar2, 3, 6
  • Tainer, John A1
  • 1 Departments of Cancer Biology and of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
  • 2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
  • 3 Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University, New York, NY 10065, USA.
  • 4 Department of Neurosurgery, Center for Neuroregeneration, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
  • 5 Institute of Medical Genetics, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK.
  • 6 Houston Methodist Cancer Center, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Published Article
Nucleic Acids Research
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Jan 11, 2021
DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkaa1120
PMID: 33300026


Human genome stability requires efficient repair of oxidized bases, which is initiated via damage recognition and excision by NEIL1 and other base excision repair (BER) pathway DNA glycosylases (DGs). However, the biological mechanisms underlying detection of damaged bases among the million-fold excess of undamaged bases remain enigmatic. Indeed, mutation rates vary greatly within individual genomes, and lesion recognition by purified DGs in the chromatin context is inefficient. Employing super-resolution microscopy and co-immunoprecipitation assays, we find that acetylated NEIL1 (AcNEIL1), but not its non-acetylated form, is predominantly localized in the nucleus in association with epigenetic marks of uncondensed chromatin. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) revealed non-random AcNEIL1 binding near transcription start sites of weakly transcribed genes and along highly transcribed chromatin domains. Bioinformatic analyses revealed a striking correspondence between AcNEIL1 occupancy along the genome and mutation rates, with AcNEIL1-occupied sites exhibiting fewer mutations compared to AcNEIL1-free domains, both in cancer genomes and in population variation. Intriguingly, from the evolutionarily conserved unstructured domain that targets NEIL1 to open chromatin, its damage surveillance of highly oxidation-susceptible sites to preserve essential gene function and to limit instability and cancer likely originated ∼500 million years ago during the buildup of free atmospheric oxygen. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times