February 20, 2024  |  Cancer research

Microsatellite break-induced replication generates highly mutagenized extrachromosomal circular DNAs

Authors: Rujuta Yashodhan Gadgil, S. Dean Rider Jr, Resha Shrestha, Venicia Alhawach, David C. Hitch, Michael Leffak

Extrachromosomal circular DNAs (eccDNAs) are produced from all regions of the eucaryotic genome. In tumors, highly transcribed eccDNAs have been implicated in oncogenesis, neoantigen production and resistance to chemotherapy. Here we show that unstable microsatellites capable of forming hairpin, triplex, quadruplex and AT-rich structures generate eccDNAs when integrated at a common ectopic site in human cells. These non-B DNA prone microsatellites form eccDNAs by replication-dependent mechanisms. The microsatellite-based eccDNAs are highly mutagenized and display template switches to sister chromatids and to nonallelic chromosomal sites. High frequency mutagenesis occurs within the eccDNA microsatellites and extends bidirectionally for several kilobases into flanking DNA and nonallelic DNA. Mutations include mismatches, short duplications, longer nontemplated insertions and large deletions. Template switching leads to recurrent deletions and recombination domains within the eccDNAs. Template switching events are microhomology-mediated, but do not occur at all potential sites of complementarity. Each microsatellite exhibits a distinct pattern of recombination, microhomology choice and base substitution signature. Depletion of Rad51, the COPS2 signalosome subunit or POLη alter the eccDNA mutagenic profiles. We propose an asynchronous capture model based on break-induced replication from microsatellite-induced DNA breaks for the generation and circularization of mutagenized eccDNAs and genomic homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) scars.

Journal: Biorxiv
DOI: 10.1101/2024.01.12.575055
Year: 2024

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