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Inadequate DNA repair leads to Increase, Mutations
Key Event Relationship Overview
AOPs Referencing Relationship
|AOP Name||Adjacency||Weight of Evidence||Quantitative Understanding||Point of Contact||Author Status||OECD Status|
|Alkylation of DNA in male pre-meiotic germ cells leading to heritable mutations||adjacent||High||Moderate||Evgeniia Kazymova (send email)||Open for citation & comment||WPHA/WNT Endorsed|
|Alkylation of DNA leading to cancer 2||adjacent||High||Moderate||Agnes Aggy (send email)||Not under active development|
|Alkylation of DNA leading to cancer 1||non-adjacent||High||Moderate||Arthur Author (send email)||Open for adoption|
|Oxidative DNA damage leading to chromosomal aberrations and mutations||adjacent||High||Low||Brendan Ferreri-Hanberry (send email)||Open for comment. Do not cite||EAGMST Approved|
|Deposition of energy leading to lung cancer||adjacent||Moderate||Moderate||Brendan Ferreri-Hanberry (send email)||Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite||EAGMST Approved|
|Bulky DNA adducts leading to mutations||adjacent||Evgeniia Kazymova (send email)||Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite||Under Development|
|DNA damage and mutations leading to Metastatic Breast Cancer||adjacent||High||High||Agnes Aggy (send email)||Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite|
Life Stage Applicability
|All life stages||High|
Key Event Relationship Description
Insufficient repair results in the retention of damaged DNA that is then used as a template during DNA replication. During replication of damaged DNA, incorrect nucleotides may be inserted, and upon replication these become ‘fixed’ in the cell. Further replication propagates the mutation to additional cells.
For example, it is well established that replication of alkylated DNA can cause insertion of an incorrect base in the DNA duplex (i.e., mutation). Replication of non-repaired O4 thymine alkylation leads primarily to A:T→G:C transitions. Retained O6 guanine alkylation causes primarily G:C→A:T transitions.
For repairing DNA double strand breaks (DSBs), non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) is one of the repair mechanisms used in human somatic cells (Petrini et al., 1997; Mao et al., 2008). However, this mechanism is error-prone and may create mutations during the process of DNA repair (Little, 2000). NHEJ is considered error-prone because it does not use a homologous template to repair the DSB. The NHEJ mechanism involves many proteins that work together to bridge the DSB gap by overlapping single-strand termini that are usually less than 10 nucleotides long (Anderson, 1993; Getts & Stamato, 1994; Rathmell & Chu, 1994). Inherent in this process is the introduction of errors that may result in mutations such as insertions, deletions, inversions, or translocations.
Evidence Collection Strategy
Evidence Supporting this KER
If DNA repair is able to correctly and efficiently repair DNA lesions introduced by a genotoxic stressor, then no increase in mutation frequency will occur.
For example, for alkylated DNA, efficient removal by AGT will result in no increases in mutation frequency. However, above a certain dose AGT becomes saturated and is no longer able to efficiently remove the alkyl adducts. Replication of O-alkyl adducts leads to mutation. The evidence demonstrating that replication of unrepaired O-alkylated DNA causes mutations is extensive in somatic cells and has been reviewed (Basu and Essigmann 1990; Shrivastav et al. 2010); specific examples are given below.
It is important to note that not all DNA lesions will cause mutations. It is well documented that many are bypassed error-free. For example, N-alkyl adducts can quite readily be bypassed error-free with no increase in mutations (Philippin et al., 2014).
Inadequate repair of DSB
Collective data from tumors and tumor cell lines has emerged that suggests that DNA repair mechanisms may be error-prone (reviewed in Sishc et al., 2017) (Sishc & Davis, 2017). NHEJ, the most common pathway used to repair DSBs, has been described as error-prone. The error-prone nature of NHEJ, however, is thought to be dependent on the structure of the DSB ends being repaired, and not necessarily dependent on the NHEJ mechanism itself (Bétermier et al., 2014). Usually when perfectly cohesive ends are formed as a result of a DSB event, ligase 4 (LIG4) will have limited end processing to perform, thereby keeping ligation errors to a minimum (Waters et al., 2014). When the ends are difficult to ligate, however, the resulting repair may not be completed properly; this often leads to point mutations and other chromosomal rearrangements. It has been shown that approximately 25 - 50% of DSBs are misrejoined after exposure to ionizing radiation (Löbrich et al., 1998; Kuhne et al., 2000; Lobrich et al., 2000). Defective repair mechanisms can increase sensitivity to agents that induce DSBs and lead eventually to genomic instability (reviewed in Sishc et al., (2017)).
Activation of mutagenic DNA repair pathways to withstand cellular or replication stress either from endogenous or exogenous sources can promote cellular viability, albeit at a cost of increased genome instability and mutagenesis (Fitzgerald et al., 2017). These salvage DNA repair pathways including, Break-induced Replication (BIR) and Microhomology-mediated Break-induced Replication (MMBIR). BIR repairs one-ended DSBs and has been extensively studied in yeast as well as in mammalian systems. BIR and MMBIR are linked with heightened levels of mutagenesis, chromosomal rearrangements and ensuing genome instability (Deem et al., 2011; Sakofsky et al., 2015; Saini et al., 2017; Kramara et al., 2018). In mammalian genomes BIR-like synthesis has been proposed to be involved in late stage Mitotic DNA Synthesis (MiDAS) that predominantly occurs at so-called Common Fragile Sites (CFSs) and maintains telomere length under s conditions of replication stress that serve to promote cell viability (Minocherhomji et al., 2015; Bhowmick et al., 2016; Dilley et al., 2016).
Uncertainties and Inconsistencies
Repair of alkylated DNA
There were no inconsistencies in the empirical data reviewed or in the literature relating to biological plausibility. Much of the support for this KER comes predominantly from data in somatic cells and in prokaryotic organisms. We note that all of the data in germ cells used in this KER are produced exclusively from ENU exposure. Data on other chemicals are required. We consider the overall weight of evidence of this KER to be strong because of the obvious biological plausibility of the KER, and documented temporal association and incidence concordance based on studies over-expressing and repressing DNA repair in somatic cells.
Repair of oxidative lesions
- Thresholded concentration-response curve of mutation frequency was observed in AHH-1 human lymphoblastoid cells after treatment with pro-oxidants (H2O2 and KBrO2) known to cause oxidative DNA damage (Seager et al., 2012), suggesting that cells are able to tolerate low levels of DNA damage using basal repair. However, increase in 8-oxo-dG lesions and up-regulation of DNA repair proteins were not observed under the same experimental condition.
- Mutagenicity of oxidative DNA lesions other than 8-oxo-dG, such as FaPydG and thymidine glycol, has not been as extensively studied and there are mixed results regarding the mutagenic outcome of these lesions.
- Mutation induction is stochastic, spontaneous, and dependent on the cell type as well as the individual’s capability to repair efficiently (NRC, 1990; Pouget & Mather, 2001).
Known modulating factors
Inadequate Repair of DSB
There is evidence of a response-response relationship between inadequate DNA repair and increased frequency of mutations. When exposed to a radiation stressor, there was a positive relationship between the radiation dose and the DSB misrepair rate, and between the mutation rate and the radiation dose (Mcmahon et al., 2016). Similarly, there was a negative correlation found between NER and the mutation densities at specific genomic regions in cancer patients. Specifically, inadequate NER resulted in more mutations in the promoter DHS and the TSS, but normal NER at DHS flanking regions resulted in fewer mutations (Perera et al., 2016).
Inadequate Repair of DSB
Two studies were used to provide data regarding the time scale of DNA repair and the appearance of mutations. In a study using plants, DNA damage was evident immediately following radiation with 30 Gy of radiation; 50% of repairs were complete by 51.7 minutes, 80% by 4 hours, and repair was completed by 24 hours post-irradiation. Although no mutational analysis was performed during the period of repair, irradiated plants were found to have increased mutations when they were examined 2 - 3 weeks later (Ptácek et al., 2001). Both DNA repair and mutation frequency were examined at the same time in a study comparing simple and complex ligation of linearized plasmids. In this study, repaired plasmids were first detected between 6 - 12 hours for simple ligation events and between 12 - 24 hours for more complex ligation events; this first period was when the most error-free rejoining occurred in both cases. After this initial period of repair until its completion at 48 hr, repair became increasingly more erroneous such that mutations were found in more than half of the repaired plasmids at 48 hr regardless of the type of required ligation (Smith et al., 2001).
Known Feedforward/Feedback loops influencing this KER
Domain of Applicability
The domain of applicability is multicellular eukaryotes (Lieber, 2008; Hartlerode & Scully, 2009), plants (Gorbunova, 1997; Puchta, 2005), certain strains of bacteria such as Mycobacteria, Pseudomonas, Bacillus and Agrobacterium (Shuman & Glickman, 2007), and yeast (Wilson & Lieber, 1999).
All organisms, from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, have DNA repair systems. Indeed, much of the empirical evidence on the fundamental principles described in this KER are derived from prokaryotic models. DNA adducts can occur in any cell type, and may or may not be repaired, leading to mutation. While there are differences among DNA repair systems across eukaryotic taxa, all species develop mutations following excessive burdens of DNA lesions like DNA adducts. Theoretically, any sexually reproducing organism (i.e., producing gametes) can also acquire DNA lesions that may or may not be repaired, leading to mutations in gametes.
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