RNase H2, mutated in Aicardi-Goutières syndrome, promotes LINE-1 retrotransposition
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Aicardi-Goutières SyndromeLINE-1 retrotranspositionRNA:DNA hybrids
Benitez‐Guijarro, M., Lopez‐Ruiz, C., Tarnauskaitė, Ž., Murina, O., Mohammad, M. M., Williams, T. C., ... & Cano, D. (2018). RNase H2, mutated in Aicardi‐Goutières syndrome, promotes LINE‐1 retrotransposition. The EMBO journal, 37(15).
SponsorshipM.B.-G. is funded by a “Formacion Profesorado Universitario” (FPU) PhD fellowship from the Government of Spain (MINECO, Ref FPU15/03294), and this paper is part of her thesis project (“Epigenetic control of the mobility of a human retrotransposon”). R.V.-A. is funded by a PFIS Fellowship from the Government of Spain (ISCiii, FI16/00413). O.M. is funded by an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship (ALTF 7-2015), the European Commission FP7 (Marie Curie Actions, LTFCOFUND2013, GA-2013-609409) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (P2ZHP3_158709). S.R.H. is funded by the Government of Spain (MINECO, RYC-2016-21395 and SAF2015-71589-P). A.P.J’s laboratory is supported by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC University Unit grant U127527202). J.L.G.P’s laboratory is supported by CICEFEDER- P12-CTS-2256, Plan Nacional de I+D+I 2008-2011 and 2013-2016 (FISFEDER- PI14/02152), PCIN-2014-115-ERA-NET NEURON II, the European Research Council (ERC-Consolidator ERC-STG-2012-233764), by an International Early Career Scientist grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (IECS-55007420), by The Wellcome Trust-University of Edinburgh Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISFF2) and by a private donation from Ms Francisca Serrano (Trading y Bolsa para Torpes, Granada, Spain).
Long INterspersed Element class 1 (LINE-1) elements are a type of abundant retrotransposons active in mammalian genomes. An average human genome contains ~100 retrotransposition-competent LINE-1s, whose activity is influenced by the combined action of cellular repressors and activators. TREX1, SAMHD1 and ADAR1 are known LINE-1 repressors and when mutated cause the autoinflammatory disorder Aicardi-Goutières syndrome (AGS). Mutations in RNase H2 are the most common cause of AGS, and its activity was proposed to similarly control LINE-1 retrotransposition. It has therefore been suggested that increased LINE-1 activity may be the cause of aberrant innate immune activation in AGS. Here, we establish that, contrary to expectations, RNase H2 is required for efficient LINE-1 retrotransposition. As RNase H1 overexpression partially rescues the defect in RNase H2 null cells, we propose a model in which RNase H2 degrades the LINE-1 RNA after reverse transcription, allowing retrotransposition to be completed. This also explains how LINE-1 elements can retrotranspose efficiently without their own RNase H activity. Our findings appear to be at odds with LINE-1-derived nucleic acids driving autoinflammation in AGS.