Uracil-DNA glycosylase UNG1 isoform variant supports class switch recombination and repairs nuclear genomic uracil
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNucleic Acids Research. 2019, 47 (9), 4569-4585. 10.1093/nar/gkz145
UNG is the major uracil-DNA glycosylase in mammalian cells and is involved in both error-free base excision repair of genomic uracil and mutagenic uracil-processing at the antibody genes. However, the regulation of UNG in these different processes is currently not well understood. The UNG gene encodes two isoforms, UNG1 and UNG2, each possessing unique N-termini that mediate translocation to the mitochondria and the nucleus, respectively. A strict subcellular localization of each isoform has been widely accepted despite a lack of models to study them individually. To determine the roles of each isoform, we generated and characterized several UNG isoform-specific mouse and human cell lines. We identified a distinct UNG1 isoform variant that is targeted to the cell nucleus where it supports antibody class switching and repairs genomic uracil. We propose that the nuclear UNG1 variant, which in contrast to UNG2 lacks a PCNA-binding motif, may be specialized to act on ssDNA through its ability to bind RPA. RPA-coated ssDNA regions include both transcribed antibody genes that are targets for deamination by AID and regions in front of the moving replication forks. Our findings provide new insights into the function of UNG isoforms in adaptive immunity and DNA repair.