Direct and indirect roles of RECQL4 in modulating base excision repair capacity

Shepherd H. Schurman, Mohammad Hedayati, Zheng Ming Wang, Dharmendra K. Singh, Elzbieta Speina, Yongqing Zhang, Kevin Becker, Margaret Macris, Patrick Sung, David M. Wilson, Deborah L. Croteau, Vilhelm A. Bohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


RECQL4 is a human RecQ helicase which is mutated in approximately two-thirds of individuals with Rothmund-Thomson syndrome (RTS), a disease characterized at the cellular level by chromosomal instability. BLM and WRN are also human RecQ helicases, which are mutated in Bloom and Werner's syndrome, respectively, and associated with chromosomal instability as well as premature aging. Here we show that primary RTS and RECQL4 siRNA knockdown human fibroblasts accumulate more H2O2-induced DNA strand breaks than control cells, suggesting that RECQL4 may stimulate repair of H2O2 -induced DNA damage. RTS primary fibroblasts also accumulate more XRCC1 foci than control cells in response to endogenous or induced oxidative stress and have a high basal level of endogenous formamidopyrimidines. In cells treated with H2O2, RECQL4 co-localizes with APE1, and FEN1, key participants in base excision repair. Biochemical experiments indicate that RECQL4 specifically stimulates the apurinic endonuclease activity of APE1, the DNA strand displacement activity of DNA polymerase β, and incision of a 1- or 10-nucleotide flap DNA substrate by Flap Endonuclease I. Additionally, RTS cells display an upregulation of BER pathway genes and fail to respond like normal cells to oxidative stress. The data herein support a model in which RECQL4 regulates both directly and indirectly base excision repair capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3470-3483
Number of pages14
JournalHuman molecular genetics
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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