RNaseH2A Downregulation Drives Chromosomal DNA Fragmentation and Accumulation of RNA-DNA Hybrids in Senescent Cells
66 Pages Posted: 18 May 2020 Sneak Peek Status: Under ReviewMore...
Cellular senescence caused by oncogenic stimuli is related to the development of various age-related diseases via senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Recent studies have revealed that the SASP is induced via the cGAS-STING (cyclic GMP-AMP synthase linked to stimulator of interferon genes) pathway. However, the molecular mechanism of nucleotide ligand production for these cytoplasmic sensors remains unclear. Here, we discover that the expression of RNaseH2A is regulated by E2F transcription factor and decreases during cellular senescence, thus abnormally incorporated ribonucleoside monophosphates (rNMPs) cause genomic DNA fragmentation, while excess R-loop structures lead to RNA-DNA hybrid accumulation in the nucleoli and cytoplasm of senescent cells. Consequently, both chromosomal DNA fragments and RNA-DNA hybrids induce aberrant activation of the cGAS-STING pathway and SASP-factor gene expression. Furthermore, RNaseH2A reduction was associated with pathological features and poor prognoses in individuals with Werner syndrome and cervical, ovarian and colorectal cancers. Our findings provide new insights into how nucleotide ligand production relates to SASP induction.
Keywords: RNaseH2A, rNMPs, RNA-DNA hybrid, genomic DNA fragments, SASP, Werner syndrome, cancer
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