Effect of BRCA1 missense variants on gene reversion in DNA double-strand break repair mutants and cell cycle-arrested cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.Mutagenesis. 2020 03 27; 35(2):189-195.M
Evaluation of the functional impact of germline BRCA1 variants that are likely to be associated to breast and ovarian cancer could help to investigate the mechanism of BRCA1 tumorigenesis. Expression of pathogenic BRCA1 missense variants increased homologous recombination (HR) and gene reversion (GR) in yeast. We thought to exploit yeast genetics to shed light on BRCA1-induced genome instability and tumorigenesis. We determined the effect on GR of several neutral and pathogenic BRCA1 variants in the yeast strain RSY6wt and its isogenic DSB repair mutants, such as mre11∆, rad50∆ and rad51∆. In the RSY6wt, four out of five pathogenic and two out of six neutral variants significantly increased GR; rad51∆ strain, the pathogenic variants C61G and A1708E induced a weak but significant increase in GR. On the other hand, in rad50∆ mutant expressing the pathogenic variants localised at the BRCT domain, a further GR increase was seen. The neutral variant N132K and the VUS A1789T induced a weak GR increase in mre11∆ mutant. Thus, BRCA1 missense variants require specific genetic functions and presumably induced GR by different mechanisms. As DNA repair is regulated by cell cycle, we determined the effect on GR of BRCA1 variants in cell cycle-arrested RSYwt cells. GR is highly BRCA1-inducible in S-phase-arrested cells as compared to G1 or G2. Sequence analysis of genomic DNA from ILV1 revertant clones showed that BRCA1-induced ilv1-92 reversion by base substitution when GR is at least 6-fold over the control. Our study demonstrated that BRCA1 may interfere with yeast DNA repair functions that are active in S-phase causing high level of GR. In addition, we confirmed here that yeast could be a reliable model to investigate the mechanism and genetic requirements of BRCA1-induced genome instability. Finally, developing yeast-based assays to characterise BRCA1 missense variants could be useful to design more precise therapies.