The Fanconi anemia complementation group (FANC) currently includes FANCA, FANCB, FANCC, FANCD1 (also called BRCA2), FANCD2, FANCE, FANCF, FANCG, FANCI, FANCJ (also called BRIP1), FANCL, FANCM and FANCN (also called PALB2). The previously defined group FANCH is the same as FANCA. Fanconi anemia is a genetically heterogeneous recessive disorder characterized by cytogenetic instability, hypersensitivity to DNA crosslinking agents, increased chromosomal breakage, and defective DNA repair. The members of the Fanconi anemia complementation group do not share sequence similarity; they are related by their assembly into a common nuclear protein complex. This gene encodes the protein for complementation group E. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Ramanagoudr-Bhojappa R, Carrington B, Ramaswami M, et al. Multiplexed CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockout of 19 Fanconi anemia pathway genes in zebrafish revealed their roles in growth, sexual development and fertility. PLoS Genet. 2018; 14(12):e1007821 [PubMed] Free Access to Full ArticleRelated Publications
Fanconi Anemia (FA) is a genomic instability syndrome resulting in aplastic anemia, developmental abnormalities, and predisposition to hematological and other solid organ malignancies. Mutations in genes that encode proteins of the FA pathway fail to orchestrate the repair of DNA damage caused by DNA interstrand crosslinks. Zebrafish harbor homologs for nearly all known FA genes. We used multiplexed CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis to generate loss-of-function mutants for 17 FA genes: fanca, fancb, fancc, fancd1/brca2, fancd2, fance, fancf, fancg, fanci, fancj/brip1, fancl, fancm, fancn/palb2, fanco/rad51c, fancp/slx4, fancq/ercc4, fanct/ube2t, and two genes encoding FA-associated proteins: faap100 and faap24. We selected two indel mutations predicted to cause premature truncations for all but two of the genes, and a total of 36 mutant lines were generated for 19 genes. Generating two independent mutant lines for each gene was important to validate their phenotypic consequences. RT-PCR from homozygous mutant fish confirmed the presence of transcripts with indels in all genes. Interestingly, 4 of the indel mutations led to aberrant splicing, which may produce a different protein than predicted from the genomic sequence. Analysis of RNA is thus critical in proper evaluation of the consequences of the mutations introduced in zebrafish genome. We used fluorescent reporter assay, and western blots to confirm loss-of-function for several mutants. Additionally, we developed a DEB treatment assay by evaluating morphological changes in embryos and confirmed that homozygous mutants from all the FA genes that could be tested (11/17), displayed hypersensitivity and thus were indeed null alleles. Our multiplexing strategy helped us to evaluate 11 multiple gene knockout combinations without additional breeding. Homozygous zebrafish for all 19 single and 11 multi-gene knockouts were adult viable, indicating FA genes in zebrafish are generally not essential for early development. None of the mutant fish displayed gross developmental abnormalities except for fancp-/- fish, which were significantly smaller in length than their wildtype clutch mates. Complete female-to-male sex reversal was observed in knockouts for 12/17 FA genes, while partial sex reversal was seen for the other five gene knockouts. All adult females were fertile, and among the adult males, all were fertile except for the fancd1 mutants and one of the fancj mutants. We report here generation and characterization of zebrafish knockout mutants for 17 FA disease-causing genes, providing an integral resource for understanding the pathophysiology associated with the disrupted FA pathway.
Chandrasekharappa SC, Chinn SB, Donovan FX, et al. Assessing the spectrum of germline variation in Fanconi anemia genes among patients with head and neck carcinoma before age 50. Cancer. 2017; 123(20):3943-3954 [PubMed] Free Access to Full ArticleRelated Publications
Sekinaka Y, Mitsuiki N, Imai K, et al. Common Variable Immunodeficiency Caused by FANC Mutations. J Clin Immunol. 2017; 37(5):434-444 [PubMed] Related Publications
Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is the most common adult-onset primary antibody deficiency disease due to various causative genes. Several genes, which are known to be the cause of different diseases, have recently been reported as the cause of CVID in patients by performing whole exome sequencing (WES) analysis. Here, we found FANC gene mutations as a cause of adult-onset CVID in two patients. B cells were absent and CD4
Two different disulfide (SS)-containing poly(amidoamine) (PAA) polymers were constructed using guanidino (Gua)-containing monomers (ie, arginine [Arg] and agmatine [Agm]) and
van Twest S, Murphy VJ, Hodson C, et al. Mechanism of Ubiquitination and Deubiquitination in the Fanconi Anemia Pathway. Mol Cell. 2017; 65(2):247-259 [PubMed] Related Publications
Monoubiquitination and deubiquitination of FANCD2:FANCI heterodimer is central to DNA repair in a pathway that is defective in the cancer predisposition syndrome Fanconi anemia (FA). The "FA core complex" contains the RING-E3 ligase FANCL and seven other essential proteins that are mutated in various FA subtypes. Here, we purified recombinant FA core complex to reveal the function of these other proteins. The complex contains two spatially separate FANCL molecules that are dimerized by FANCB and FAAP100. FANCC and FANCE act as substrate receptors and restrict monoubiquitination to the FANCD2:FANCI heterodimer in only a DNA-bound form. FANCA and FANCG are dispensable for maximal in vitro ubiquitination. Finally, we show that the reversal of this reaction by the USP1:UAF1 deubiquitinase only occurs when DNA is disengaged. Our work reveals the mechanistic basis for temporal and spatial control of FANCD2:FANCI monoubiquitination that is critical for chemotherapy responses and prevention of Fanconi anemia.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common neoplasms in the world. Fanconi anemia (FA) is a very rare genetic disease causing bone marrow failure, congenital growth abnormalities and cancer predisposition. The comprehensive FA DNA damage repair pathway requires the collaboration of 53 proteins and it is necessary to restore genome integrity by efficiently repairing damaged DNA. A link between FA genes in breast and ovarian cancer germline predisposition has been previously suggested. We selected 74 CRC patients from 40 unrelated Spanish families with strong CRC aggregation compatible with an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance and without mutations in known hereditary CRC genes and performed germline DNA whole-exome sequencing with the aim of finding new candidate germline predisposition variants. After sequencing and data analysis, variant prioritization selected only those very rare alterations, producing a putative loss of function and located in genes with a role compatible with cancer. We detected an enrichment for variants in FA DNA damage repair pathway genes in our familial CRC cohort as 6 families carried heterozygous, rare, potentially pathogenic variants located in BRCA2/FANCD1, BRIP1/FANCJ, FANCC, FANCE and REV3L/POLZ. In conclusion, the FA DNA damage repair pathway may play an important role in the inherited predisposition to CRC.
In most cases of primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), the cause of the depletion of ovarian follicles is unknown. Fanconi anemia (FA) proteins are known to play important roles in follicular development. Using random insertional mutagenesis with a lentiviral transgene, we identified a family with reduced fertility in the homozygous transgenic mice. We identified the integration site and found that the lentivirus had integrated into intron 8 of the Fanconi E gene (Fance). By RT-PCR and in situ hybridization, we found that Fance transcript levels were significantly reduced. The Fance homozygous mutant mice were assayed for changes in ovarian development, follicle numbers and estrous cycle. Ovarian dysplasias and a severe lack of follicles were seen in the mutant mice. In addition, the estrous cycle was disrupted in adult females. Our results suggest that POI has been induced by the Fance mutation in this new mouse model.
Bouffard F, Plourde K, Bélanger S, et al. Analysis of a FANCE Splice Isoform in Regard to DNA Repair. J Mol Biol. 2015; 427(19):3056-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
The FANC-BRCA DNA repair pathway is activated in response to interstrand crosslinks formed in DNA. A homozygous mutation in 1 of the 17 Fanconi anemia (FA) genes results in malfunctions of this pathway and development of FA syndrome. The integrity of this protein network is essential for good maintenance of DNA repair process and genome stability. Following the identification of an alternatively splice isoform of FANCE (Fanconi anemia complementation group E) significantly expressed in breast cancer individuals from high-risk non-BRCA1/2 families, we studied the impact of this FANCE splice isoform (FANCEΔ4) on DNA repair processes. We have demonstrated that FANCEΔ4 mRNA was efficiently translated into a functional protein and expressed in normal and breast cancer cell lines. Following treatment with the crosslinking agent mitomycin C, EUFA130 (FANCE-deficient) cells infected with FANCEΔ4 were blocked into G2/M phase, while cell survival was significantly reduced compared with FANCE-infected EUFA130 cells. In addition, FANCEΔ4 did not allow FANCD2 and FANCI monoubiquitination, which represents a crucial step of the FANC-BRCA functional pathway. As observed for FANCE wild-type protein, localization of FANCEΔ4 protein was confined to the nucleus following mitomycin C treatment. Although FANCEΔ4 protein showed interaction with FANCE, FANCEΔ4 did not support normal function of FANCE protein in this pathway and could have deleterious effects on FANCE protein activity. We have demonstrated that FANCEΔ4 seems to act as a regulator of FANCD2 protein expression level by promoting its degradation. This study highlights the importance of an efficient regulation of alternative splicing expression of FA genes for proper DNA repair.
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genome instability syndrome characterized by bone marrow failure and cellular hypersensitivity to DNA cross-linking agents. In response to DNA damage, the FA pathway is activated through the cooperation of 16 FA proteins. A central player in the pathway is a multisubunit E3 ubiquitin ligase complex or the FA core complex, which monoubiquitinates its substrates FANCD2 and FANCI. FANCE, a subunit of the FA core complex, plays an essential role by promoting the integrity of the complex and by directly recognizing FANCD2. To delineate its role in substrate ubiquitination from the core complex assembly, we analyzed a series of mutations within FANCE. We report that a phenylalanine located at the highly conserved extreme C terminus, referred to as Phe-522, is a critical residue for mediating the monoubiquitination of the FANCD2-FANCI complex. Using the FANCE mutant that specifically disrupts the FANCE-FANCD2 interaction as a tool, we found that the interaction-deficient mutant conferred cellular sensitivity in reconstituted FANCE-deficient cells to a similar degree as FANCE null cells, suggesting the significance of the FANCE-FANCD2 interaction in promoting cisplatin resistance. Intriguingly, ectopic expression of the FANCE C terminus fragment alone in FA normal cells disrupts DNA repair, consolidating the importance of the FANCE-FANCD2 interaction in the DNA cross-link repair.
Seuter S, Pehkonen P, Heikkinen S, Carlberg C Dynamics of 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-dependent chromatin accessibility of early vitamin D receptor target genes. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013; 1829(12):1266-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
The signaling cascade of the transcription factor vitamin D receptor (VDR) is triggered by its specific ligand 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1α,25(OH)2D3). In this study we demonstrate that in THP-1 human monocytic leukemia cells 87.4% of the 1034 most prominent genome-wide VDR binding sites co-localize with loci of open chromatin. At 165 of them 1α,25(OH)2D3 strongly increases chromatin accessibility and has at further 217 sites weaker effects. Interestingly, VDR binding sites in 1α,25(OH)2D3-responsive chromatin regions are far more often composed of direct repeats with 3 intervening nucleotides (DR3s) than those in ligand insensitive regions. DR3-containing VDR sites are enriched in the neighborhood of genes that are involved in controling cellular growth, while non-DR3 VDR binding is often found close to genes related to immunity. At the example of six early VDR target genes we show that the slope of their 1α,25(OH)2D3-induced transcription correlates with the basal chromatin accessibility of their major VDR binding regions. However, the chromatin loci controlling these genes are indistinguishable in their VDR association kinetics. Taken together, ligand responsive chromatin loci represent dynamically regulated contact points of VDR with the genome, from where it controls early 1α,25(OH)2D3 target genes.
The Fanconi anemia (FA) gene family is a recent addition to the complex network of proteins that respond to and repair certain types of DNA damage in the human genome. Since little is known about the regulation of this novel group of genes at the DNA level, we characterized the promoters of the eight genes (FANCA, B, C, E, F, G, L and M) that compose the FA core complex. The promoters of these genes show the characteristic attributes of housekeeping genes, such as a high GC content and CpG islands, a lack of TATA boxes and a low conservation. The promoters functioned in a monodirectional way and were, in their most active regions, comparable in strength to the SV40 promoter in our reporter plasmids. They were also marked by a distinctive transcriptional start site (TSS). In the 5' region of each promoter, we identified a region that was able to negatively regulate the promoter activity in HeLa and HEK 293 cells in isolation. The central and 3' regions of the promoter sequences harbor binding sites for several common and rare transcription factors, including STAT, SMAD, E2F, AP1 and YY1, which indicates that there may be cross-connections to several established regulatory pathways. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and siRNA experiments confirmed the shared regulatory responses between the prominent members of the TGF-β and JAK/STAT pathways and members of the FA core complex. Although the promoters are not well conserved, they share region and sequence specific regulatory motifs and transcription factor binding sites (TBFs), and we identified a bi-partite nature to these promoters. These results support a hypothesis based on the co-evolution of the FA core complex genes that was expanded to include their promoters.
Akbari MR, Malekzadeh R, Lepage P, et al. Mutations in Fanconi anemia genes and the risk of esophageal cancer. Hum Genet. 2011; 129(5):573-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
The incidence of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is very high in northeastern Iran. Previously, we reported a strong familial component of ESCC among Turkmens, who constitute approximately one-half of the population of this region. We hypothesized that the genes which cause Fanconi anemia might be candidate genes for ESCC. We sequenced the entire coding regions of 12 Fanconi anemia genes in the germline DNA of 190 Turkmen cases of ESCC. We identified three heterozygous insertion/deletion mutations: one in FANCD2 (p.Val1233del), one in FANCE (p.Val311SerfsX2), and one in FANCL (p.Thr367AsnfsX13). All three patients had a strong family history of ESCC. In addition, four patients (out of 746 tested) were homozygous for the FANCA p.Ser858Arg mutation, compared to none of 1,373 matched controls (OR = 16.7, 95% CI = 6.2-44.2, P = 0.01). The p. Lys3326X mutation in BRCA2 (also known as Fanconi anemia gene FANCD1) was present in 27 of 746 ESCC cases and in 16 of 1,373 controls (OR = 3.38, 95% CI = 1.97-6.91, P = 0.0002). In summary, both heterozygous and homozygous mutations in several Fanconi anemia-predisposing genes are associated with an increased risk of ESCC in Iran.
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare autosomal recessive or X-linked disorder characterized by aplastic anemia, cancer susceptibility and cellular sensitivity to DNA crosslinking agents. Eight FA proteins (FANCA, FANCB, FANCC, FANCE, FANCF, FANCG, FANCL and FANCM) and three non-FA proteins (FAAP100, FAAP24 and HES1) form an FA nuclear core complex, which is required for monoubiquitination of the FANCD2-FANCI dimer upon DNA damage. FANCL possesses a PHD/RING-finger domain and is a putative E3 ubiquitin ligase subunit of the core complex. In this study, we report an FA patient with an unusual presentation belonging to the FA-L complementation group. The patient lacks an obvious FA phenotype except for the presence of a café-au-lait spot, mild hypocellularity and a family history of leukemia. The molecular diagnosis and identification of the FA subgroup was achieved by FA complementation assay. We identified bi-allelic novel mutations in the FANCL gene and functionally characterized them. To the best of our knowledge, this is the second reported case belonging to the FA-L complementation group.
Song L A possible approach for stem cell gene therapy of Fanconi anemia. Curr Gene Ther. 2009; 9(1):26-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fanconi anemia (FA) is an inherited chromosomal recessive syndrome characterized by cellular hypersensitivity to DNA crosslinking agents and bone marrow failure, which cause aplastic anemia, and an increased incidence of malignancy. 13 complementation groups are currently discovered, and 13 distinct genes have been cloned (FANCA, FANCB, FANCC, FANCD1, FANCD2, FANCE, FANCF, FANCG, FNACI, FANCJ, FANCL, FANCM, FANCN). Stem cells can theoretically divide to other cells without limit as long as a person is still alive. The stem cells that form blood and immune cells are known as hematopoietic stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells can be acquired from a Fanconi anemia patient, whereas genomic DNA can be obtained easily from blood cells of a normal person. Normal genes also can be synthesised by PCR method. Normal genomic DNA will be delivered into a patient's stem cells via microinjection or transfection after enzyme digestion; the defective genes might be repaired by homologous genetic recombination. The gene-corrected stem cells can be transplanted into the same patient finally. It is possible that human genomic DNA to be considered as materials for homologous genetic recombination to repair defective genes in vivo. This might be an efficient method for gene therapy, which has no or less immunological rejection for Fanconi anemia and some genetic diseases. Several related observations and experiments are discussed to support this possible means of stem cell gene therapy of Fanconi anemia.
Collis SJ, Ciccia A, Deans AJ, et al. FANCM and FAAP24 function in ATR-mediated checkpoint signaling independently of the Fanconi anemia core complex. Mol Cell. 2008; 32(3):313-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Fanconi anemia (FA) pathway is implicated in DNA repair and cancer predisposition. Central to this pathway is the FA core complex, which is targeted to chromatin by FANCM and FAAP24 following replication stress. Here we show that FANCM and FAAP24 interact with the checkpoint protein HCLK2 independently of the FA core complex. In addition to defects in FA pathway activation, downregulation of FANCM or FAAP24 also compromises ATR/Chk1-mediated checkpoint signaling, leading to defective Chk1, p53, and FANCE phosphorylation; 53BP1 focus formation; and Cdc25A degradation. As a result, FANCM and FAAP24 deficiency results in increased endogenous DNA damage and a failure to efficiently invoke cell-cycle checkpoint responses. Moreover, we find that the DNA translocase activity of FANCM, which is dispensable for FA pathway activation, is required for its role in ATR/Chk1 signaling. Our data suggest that DNA damage recognition and remodeling activities of FANCM and FAAP24 cooperate with ATR/Chk1 to promote efficient activation of DNA damage checkpoints.