Restriction of AID activity and somatic hypermutation by PARP-1

Nucleic Acids Research, 2019, 1, doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz466
Nucleic Acids Research, online article

Affinity maturation of the humoral immune response depends on somatic hypermutation (SHM) of immunoglobulin (Ig) genes, which is initiated by targeted lesion introduction by activation-induced deaminase (AID), followed by error-prone DNA repair. Stringent regulation of this process is essential to prevent genetic instability, but no negative feedback control has been identified to date. Here we show that poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is a key factor restricting AID activity during somatic hypermutation. Poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) chains formed at DNA breaks trigger AID-PAR association, thus preventing excessive DNA damage induction at sites of AID action. Accordingly, AID activity and somatic hypermutation at the Ig variable region is decreased by PARP-1 activity. In addition, PARP-1 regulates DNA lesion processing by affecting strand biased A:T mutagenesis. Our study establishes a novel function of the ancestral genome maintenance factor PARP-1 as a critical local feedback regulator of both AID activity and DNA repair during Ig gene diversification.

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