Increased levels of RECQ5 shift DNA repair from canonical to alternative pathways.

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Nucleic acids research


RECQ5 (RECQL5) is one of several human helicases that dissociates RAD51-DNA filaments. The gene that encodes RECQ5 is frequently amplified in human tumors, but it is not known whether amplification correlates with increased gene expression, or how increased RECQ5 levels affect DNA repair at nicks and double-strand breaks. Here, we address these questions. We show that RECQ5 gene amplification correlates with increased gene expression in human tumors, by in silico analysis of over 9000 individual tumors representing 32 tumor types in the TCGA dataset. We demonstrate that, at double-strand breaks, increased RECQ5 levels inhibited canonical homology-directed repair (HDR) by double-stranded DNA donors, phenocopying the effect of BRCA deficiency. Conversely, at nicks, increased RECQ5 levels stimulated 'alternative' HDR by single-stranded DNA donors, which is normally suppressed by RAD51; this was accompanied by stimulation of mutagenic end-joining. Even modest changes (2-fold) in RECQ5 levels caused significant dysregulation of repair, especially HDR. These results suggest that in some tumors, RECQ5 gene amplification may have profound consequences for genomic instability.


Institute for Systems Biology