Expression of human BRCA1 Delta 17-19 alternative splicing variant with a truncated BRCT domain in MCF-7 cells results in impaired assembly of DNA repair complexes and aberrant DNA damage response
Alternative pre-mRNA splicing is a fundamental post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism. Cancer-specific misregulation of the splicing process may lead to formation of irregular alternative splicing variants (ASVs) with a potentially negative impact on cellular homeostasis. Alternative splicing of BRCA1 pre-mRNA can give rise to BRCA1 protein isoforms that possess dramatically altered biological activities compared with full-length wild-type BRCAl. During the screening of high-risk breast cancer (BC) families we ascertained numerous BRCA1 ASVs, however, their clinical significance for BC development is largely unknown. In this study, we examined the influence of the BRCA1 Delta 17-19 ASV, which lacks a portion of the BRCT domain, on DNA repair capacity using human MCF-7 BC cell clones with stably modified BRCA1 expression. Our results show that overexpression of BRCA1 Delta 17-19 impairs homologous recombination repair (sensitizes cells to mitomycin C), delays repair of ionizing radiation-induced DNA damage and dynamics of the ionizing radiation-induced foci (IRIF) formation, and undermines also the non-homologous end joining repair (NHEJ) activity. Mechanistically, BRCA1 Delta 17-19 cannot interact with the partner proteins Abraxas and CtIP, thus preventing interactions known to be critical for processing of DNA lesions. We propose that the observed inability of BRCA1 Delta 17-19 to functionally replace wtBRCA1 in repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DDSB) reflects impaired capacity to form the BRCA1-A and -C repair complexes. Our findings indicate that expression of BRCA1 Delta 17-19 may negatively influence genome stability by reducing the DDSB repair velocity, thereby contributing to enhanced probability of cancer development in the affected families. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.