Constitutive DNA damage is linked to DNA replication abnormalities in Bloom's syndrome cells

F V Rassool, P S North, G J Mufti, I D Hickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Bloom's syndrome (BS) is an autosomal recessive disorder associated with an elevated incidence of cancers. The gene mutated in BS, BLM, encodes a RecQ helicase family member. BS cells exhibit genomic instability, including excessive homologous recombination and chromosomal aberrations. W e reported previously that BS cells also demonstrate increased error-prone nonhomologous end-joining, which could contribute to genomic instability in these cells. Here, we show that BS cells display an abnormality in the timing of replication of both early-replicating genes and late-replicating loci such as chromosomal fragile sites. This delayed replication is associated with a constitutively increased frequency of sites of DNA damage and repair, as determined by the presence of DNA repair factors such as RAD51 and Ku86. In addition, another RecQ family helicase, WRN, also localizes to these repair sites. The presence of these repair sites correlates with the temporal appearance of cyclin B1 expression, indicative of the cells having progressed beyond mid-S phase in the cell division cycle. Critically, these defects in BS cells are the direct result of loss of BLM function, because BS cells phenotypically 'reverted' following transfection with the BLM cDNA no longer show such defects. Thus, our data indicate that constitutive DNA damage is coupled to delayed DNA replication in BS cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8749 - 8757
Number of pages9
Issue number54
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2003


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