Identification of early replicating fragile sites that contribute to genome instability

Jacqueline Barlow, Robert B. Faryabi, Elsa Callén, Nancy Wong, Amy Malhowski, Hua Tang Chen, Gustavo Gutierrez-Cruz, Hong Wei Sun, Peter McKinnon, George Wright, Rafael Casellas, Davide F. Robbiani, Louis Staudt, Oscar Fernandez-Capetillo, André Nussenzweig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

272 Scopus citations


DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in B lymphocytes arise stochastically during replication or as a result of targeted DNA damage by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID). Here we identify recurrent, early replicating, and AID-independent DNA lesions, termed early replication fragile sites (ERFSs), by genome-wide localization of DNA repair proteins in B cells subjected to replication stress. ERFSs colocalize with highly expressed gene clusters and are enriched for repetitive elements and CpG dinucleotides. Although distinct from late-replicating common fragile sites (CFS), the stability of ERFSs and CFSs is similarly dependent on the replication-stress response kinase ATR. ERFSs break spontaneously during replication, but their fragility is increased by hydroxyurea, ATR inhibition, or deregulated c-Myc expression. Moreover, greater than 50% of recurrent amplifications/deletions in human diffuse large B cell lymphoma map to ERFSs. In summary, we have identified a source of spontaneous DNA lesions that drives instability at preferred genomic sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-632
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 31 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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