Functional analysis of BLAP75, a BLM-associated protein

Chang Xu, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Bloom syndrome (BS) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by dwarfism, immunodeficiency, impaired fertility, and most importantly, early development of a broad range of cancers. The hallmark of BS cells is hyper-recombination, characterized by a drastically elevated frequency of sister chromatid exchange (SCE). BLM, the gene mutated in BS, encodes a DNA helicase of the RecQ protein family. BLM is thought to participate in several DNA transactions and to interact with many proteins involved in DNA replication, recombination, and repair. However, the precise function of BLM and the BLM-dependent anti-tumor mechanism remain obscure. A novel protein, BLAP75 (BLM-associated polypeptide, 75KD), was identified to form an evolutionarily conserved complex with BLM and DNA topoisomerase IIIα (Topo IIIα). Our work demonstrates that loss of BLAP75 destabilized BLM and Topo IIIα proteins. BLAP75 colocalized with BLM in subnuclear foci in response to DNA damage and the recruitment of BLM to these foci was BLAP75-dependent. Moreover, depletion of BLAP75 by siRNA resulted in an elevated SCE rate similar to cells depleted of BLM by siRNA. In addition, RNAi-mediated silencing of BLAP75 greatly diminished cell viability. This cellular deficiency was rescued by expression of wild type BLAP75 but not BLAP75 with mutated conserved domain III, which abrogated the interaction between BLAP75, BLM and Topo IIIα, suggesting that the integrity of BLM-Topo IIIα-BLAP75 complex might be critical for cell survival. Finally, I found that BLAP75 was phosphorylated during mitosis and upon various DNA-damaging agents, implying that BLAP75 might also function in mitosis and DNA damage response. Taken together, this study has defined BLAP75 as an integral component of the BLM complex to maintain genome stability. Our findings provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of the BLM helicase pathway and tumorigenesis process associated with these mechanisms.

Subject Area

Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Xu, Chang, "Functional analysis of BLAP75, a BLM-associated protein" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3302761.