The protein encoded by this gene belongs to the PI3/PI4-kinase family. This protein is an important cell cycle checkpoint kinase that phosphorylates; thus, it functions as a regulator of a wide variety of downstream proteins, including tumor suppressor proteins p53 and BRCA1, checkpoint kinase CHK2, checkpoint proteins RAD17 and RAD9, and DNA repair protein NBS1. This protein and the closely related kinase ATR are thought to be master controllers of cell cycle checkpoint signaling pathways that are required for cell response to DNA damage and for genome stability. Mutations in this gene are associated with ataxia telangiectasia, an autosomal recessive disorder. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2010]
ATM is implicated in: - 1-phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase activity
- ATP binding
- brain development
- cell cycle arrest
- cell cycle checkpoint
- cellular response to gamma radiation
- chromosome, telomeric region
- cytoplasmic membrane-bounded vesicle
- DNA binding
- DNA damage checkpoint
- DNA damage induced protein phosphorylation
- DNA damage response, signal transduction by p53 class mediator resulting in cell cycle arrest
- DNA repair
- DNA-dependent protein kinase activity
- double-strand break repair
- double-strand break repair via homologous recombination
- female gamete generation
- G2/M transition DNA damage checkpoint
- heart development
- histone mRNA catabolic process
- histone serine kinase activity
- intrinsic apoptotic signaling pathway in response to DNA damage response
- lipoprotein catabolic process
- mitotic cell cycle spindle assembly checkpoint
- negative regulation of apoptotic process
- negative regulation of B cell proliferation
- neuron apoptotic process
- peptidyl-serine phosphorylation
- phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate biosynthetic process
- positive regulation of apoptotic process
- positive regulation of DNA damage response, signal transduction by p53 class mediator
- positive regulation of neuron apoptotic process
- pre-B cell allelic exclusion
- protein autophosphorylation
- protein binding
- protein complex binding
- protein dimerization activity
- protein N-terminus binding
- protein serine/threonine kinase activity
- reciprocal meiotic recombination
- replicative senescence
- response to DNA damage stimulus
- response to hypoxia
- response to ionizing radiation
- signal transduction
Data from Gene Ontology via CGAP [Hide]
What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in? Show (13)
The DNA damage response (DDR) is an emerging target for cancer therapy. By modulating the DDR, including DNA repair and cell cycle arrest, the efficacy of anticancer drugs can be enhanced and side effects reduced. We previously screened a chemical library and identified novel DDR inhibitors including DNA damage response inhibitor-9 (DDRI-9; 1H-Purine-2,6-dione,7-[(4-fluorophenyl)methyl]-3,7-dihydro-3-methyl-8-nitro). In this study, we characterized DDRI-9 activity and found that it inhibited phosphorylated histone variant H2AX foci formation upon DNA damage, delayed DNA repair, and enhanced the cytotoxicity of etoposide and ionizing radiation. It also reduced the foci formation of DNA repair-related proteins, including the protein kinase ataxia-telangiectasia mutated, DNA-dependent protein kinase, breast cancer type 1 susceptibility protein, and p53-binding protein 1, but excluding mediator of DNA damage checkpoint protein 1. Cell cycle analysis revealed that DDRI-9 blocked mitotic progression. Like other mitotic inhibitors, DDRI-9 treatment resulted in the accumulation of mitotic protein and induced cell death. Thus, DDRI-9 may affect both DDR signal amplification and mitotic progression. This study suggests that DDRI-9 is a good lead molecule for the development of anticancer drugs.
Laitman Y, Boker-Keinan L, Berkenstadt M, et al. The risk for developing cancer in Israeli ATM, BLM, and FANCC heterozygous mutation carriers. Cancer Genet. 2016; 209(3):70-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer risks in heterozygous mutation carriers of the ATM, BLM, and FANCC genes are controversial. To shed light on this issue, cancer rates were evaluated by cross referencing asymptomatic Israeli heterozygous mutation carriers in the ATM, BLM, and FANCC genes with cancer diagnoses registered at the Israeli National Cancer Registry (INCR). Comparison of observed to expected Standardized Incidence Rates (SIR) was performed. Overall, 474 individuals participated in the study: 378 females; 25 Arab and 31 Jewish ATM carriers, 152 BLM carriers, and 170 FANCC carriers (all Ashkenazim). Age range at genotyping was 19-53 years (mean + SD 30.6 + 5 years). In addition, 96 males were included; 5, 34, and 57 ATM, BLM, and FANCC mutation carriers, respectively. Over 5-16 years from genotyping (4721 person/years), 15 new cancers were diagnosed in mutation carriers: 5 breast, 4 cervical, 3 melanomas, and one each bone sarcoma, pancreatic, and colorectal cancer. No single cancer diagnosis was more prevalent then expected in all groups combined or per gene analyzed. Specifically breast cancer SIR was 0.02-0.77. We conclude that Israeli ATM, BLM, and FANCC heterozygous mutation carriers are not at an increased risk for developing cancer.
ATM and ATR signaling pathways are well conserved throughout evolution and are central to the maintenance of genome integrity. Although the role of both ATM and ATR in DNA repair, cell cycle regulation and apoptosis have been well studied, both still remain in the focus of current research activities owing to their role in cancer. Recent advances in the field suggest that these proteins have an additional function in maintaining cellular homeostasis under both stressed and non-stressed conditions. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and the accompanying poster, we present an overview of recent advances in ATR and ATM research with emphasis on that into the modes of ATM and ATR activation, the different signaling pathways they participate in - including those that do not involve DNA damage - and highlight their relevance in cancer.
Hypoxia, as a pervasive feature in the microenvironment of solid tumors, plays a significant role in cancer progression, metastasis, and ultimately clinical outcome. One key cellular consequence of hypoxic stress is the regulation of DNA repair pathways, which contributes to the genomic instability and mutator phenotype observed in human cancers. Tumor hypoxia can vary in severity and duration, ranging from acute fluctuating hypoxia arising from temporary blockages in the immature microvasculature, to chronic moderate hypoxia due to sparse vasculature, to complete anoxia at distances more than 150 μM from the nearest blood vessel. Paralleling the intra-tumor heterogeneity of hypoxia, the effects of hypoxia on DNA repair occur through diverse mechanisms. Acutely, hypoxia activates DNA damage signaling pathways, primarily via post-translational modifications. On a longer timescale, hypoxia leads to transcriptional and/or translational downregulation of most DNA repair pathways including DNA double-strand break repair, mismatch repair, and nucleotide excision repair. Furthermore, extended hypoxia can lead to long-term persistent silencing of certain DNA repair genes, including BRCA1 and MLH1, revealing a mechanism by which tumor suppressor genes can be inactivated. The discoveries of the hypoxic modulation of DNA repair pathways have highlighted many potential ways to target susceptibilities of hypoxic cancer cells. In this review, we will discuss the multifaceted hypoxic control of DNA repair at the transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and epigenetic levels, and we will offer perspective on the future of its clinical implications.
Vermezovic J, Adamowicz M, Santarpia L, et al. Notch is a direct negative regulator of the DNA-damage response. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2015; 22(5):417-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
The DNA-damage response (DDR) ensures genome stability and proper inheritance of genetic information, both of which are essential to survival. It is presently unclear to what extent other signaling pathways modulate DDR function. Here we show that Notch receptor binds and inactivates ATM kinase and that this mechanism is evolutionarily conserved in Caenorhabditis elegans, Xenopus laevis and humans. In C. elegans, the Notch pathway impairs DDR signaling in gonad germ cells. In mammalian cells, activation of human Notch1 leads to reduced ATM signaling in a manner independent of Notch1 transcriptional activity. Notch1 binds directly to the regulatory FATC domain of ATM and inhibits ATM kinase activity. Notch1 and ATM activation are inversely correlated in human breast cancers, and inactivation of ATM by Notch1 contributes to the survival of Notch1-driven leukemia cells upon DNA damage.
Su M, Yin ZH, Wu W, et al. Meta-analysis of associations between ATM Asp1853Asn and TP53 Arg72Pro polymorphisms and adverse effects of cancer radiotherapy. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(24):10675-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) protein and p53 play key roles in sensing and repairing radiation-induced DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). Accumulating epidemiological evidence indicates that functional genetic variants in ATM and TP53 genes may have an impact on the risk of radiotherapy-induced side effects. Here we performed a meta-analysis to investigate the potential interaction between ATM Asp1853Asn and TP53 polymorphisms and risk of radiotherapy-induced adverse effects quantitatively. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Relevant articles were retrieved from PubMed, ISI Web of Science and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) databases. Eligible studies were selected according to specific inclusion and exclusion criteria. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were pooled to estimate the association between ATM Asp1853Asn and TP53 Arg72Pro polymorphisms and risk of radiotherapy adverse effects. All analyses were performed using the Stata software. RESULTS: A total of twenty articles were included in the present analysis. In the overall analysis, no significant associations between ATM Asp1853Asn and TP53 Arg72Pro polymorphisms and the risk of radiotherapy adverse effects were found. We conducted subgroup analysis stratified by type of cancer, region and time of appearance of side effects subsequently. No significant association between ATM Asp1853Asn and risk of radiotherapy adverse effects was found in any subgroup analysis. For TP53 Arg72Pro, variant C allele was associated with decreased radiotherapy adverse effects risk among Asian cancer patients in the stratified analysis by region (OR=0.71, 95%CI: 0.54-0.93, p=0.012). No significant results were found in the subgroup analysis of tumor type and time of appearance of side effects. CONCLUSIONS: The TP53 Arg72Pro C allele might be a protective factor of radiotherapy-induced adverse effects among cancer patients from Asia. Further studies that take into consideration treatment-related factors and patient lifestyle including environmental exposures are warranted.
Tumour cells associated with therapy resistance (radioresistance and drug resistance) are likely to give rise to local recurrence and distant metastatic relapse. Recent studies revealed microRNA (miRNA)-mediated regulation of metastasis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition; however, whether specific miRNAs regulate tumour radioresistance and can be exploited as radiosensitizing agents remains unclear. Here we find that miR-205 promotes radiosensitivity and is downregulated in radioresistant subpopulations of breast cancer cells, and that loss of miR-205 is highly associated with poor distant relapse-free survival in breast cancer patients. Notably, therapeutic delivery of miR-205 mimics via nanoliposomes can sensitize the tumour to radiation in a xenograft model. Mechanistically, radiation suppresses miR-205 expression through ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1). Moreover, miR-205 inhibits DNA damage repair by targeting ZEB1 and the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme Ubc13. These findings identify miR-205 as a radiosensitizing miRNA and reveal a new therapeutic strategy for radioresistant tumours.
Vecchio D, Frosina G Targeting the Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Protein in Cancer Therapy. Curr Drug Targets. 2016; 17(2):139-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genotoxic anticancer drugs explicate their effects damaging DNA, thus triggering a coordinated signal-transduction network called DNA Damage Response (DDR). Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) protein plays a central role in this response: activated by DNA damage, ATM phosphorylates itself and downstream effectors that arrest cell cycle allowing for DNA repair or, should DNA damage be too severe and not retrievable, inducing apoptosis. ATM is a worth-investigating target for tumor radio- and chemosensitization. During last years, pharmaceutical industries and research laboratories have developed a series of small molecules, capable to inhibit ATM with increasing specificity. Several preclinical studies have demonstrated that these inhibitors alone or in association with other treatments may improve therapeutic outcomes. In this review we discuss ATM inhibitors so far developed, focussing on recent acquisitions on their potential antineoplastic usefulness.
Genomic instability is a hallmark of cancer. The WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) is a tumor suppressor spanning the common chromosomal fragile site FRA16D. Here, we report a direct role of WWOX in DNA damage response (DDR) and DNA repair. We show that Wwox deficiency results in reduced activation of the ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) checkpoint kinase, inefficient induction and maintenance of γ-H2AX foci, and impaired DNA repair. Mechanistically, we show that, upon DNA damage, WWOX accumulates in the cell nucleus, where it interacts with ATM and enhances its activation. Nuclear accumulation of WWOX is regulated by its K63-linked ubiquitination at lysine residue 274, which is mediated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase ITCH. These findings identify a novel role for the tumor suppressor WWOX and show that loss of WWOX expression may drive genomic instability and provide an advantage for clonal expansion of neoplastic cells.
Shinbrot E, Henninger EE, Weinhold N, et al. Exonuclease mutations in DNA polymerase epsilon reveal replication strand specific mutation patterns and human origins of replication. Genome Res. 2014; 24(11):1740-50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full ArticleRelated Publications
Tumors with somatic mutations in the proofreading exonuclease domain of DNA polymerase epsilon (POLE-exo*) exhibit a novel mutator phenotype, with markedly elevated TCT→TAT and TCG→TTG mutations and overall mutation frequencies often exceeding 100 mutations/Mb. Here, we identify POLE-exo* tumors in numerous cancers and classify them into two groups, A and B, according to their mutational properties. Group A mutants are found only in POLE, whereas Group B mutants are found in POLE and POLD1 and appear to be nonfunctional. In Group A, cell-free polymerase assays confirm that mutations in the exonuclease domain result in high mutation frequencies with a preference for C→A mutation. We describe the patterns of amino acid substitutions caused by POLE-exo* and compare them to other tumor types. The nucleotide preference of POLE-exo* leads to increased frequencies of recurrent nonsense mutations in key tumor suppressors such as TP53, ATM, and PIK3R1. We further demonstrate that strand-specific mutation patterns arise from some of these POLE-exo* mutants during genome duplication. This is the first direct proof of leading strand-specific replication by human POLE, which has only been demonstrated in yeast so far. Taken together, the extremely high mutation frequency and strand specificity of mutations provide a unique identifier of eukaryotic origins of replication.
Andrs M, Korabecny J, Nepovimova E, et al. The development of ataxia telangiectasia mutated kinase inhibitors. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2014; 14(10):805-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Radiation and genotoxic drugs are two of the cornerstones of current cancer treatment strategy. However, this type of therapy often suffers from radio- or chemo-resistance caused by DNA repair mechanisms. With the aim of increasing the efficacy of these treatments, there has been great interest in studying DNA damage responses (DDR). Among the plethora of signal and effector proteins involved in DDR, three related kinases ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated), ATR (ATM and Rad3-related) and DNA-PK (DNA-dependent protein kinase) play the main roles in initiation and regulation of signaling pathways in response to DNA double and single strand breaks (DSB and SSB). ATM inhibitors, as well as those of ATR and DNA-PK, provide an opportunity to sensitize cancer cells to therapy. Moreover, they can lead to selective killing of cancer cells, exploiting a concept known as synthetic lethality. However, only a very few selective inhibitors have been identified to this date. This mini-review is focused both on the development of selective inhibitors of ATM and other inhibitors which have ATM as one of their targets.
UNLABELLED: Many cancers display both structural (s-CIN) and numerical (w-CIN) chromosomal instabilities. Defective chromosome segregation during mitosis has been shown to cause DNA damage that induces structural rearrangements of chromosomes (s-CIN). In contrast, whether DNA damage can disrupt mitotic processes to generate whole chromosomal instability (w-CIN) is unknown. Here, we show that activation of the DNA-damage response (DDR) during mitosis selectively stabilizes kinetochore-microtubule (k-MT) attachments to chromosomes through Aurora-A and PLK1 kinases, thereby increasing the frequency of lagging chromosomes during anaphase. Inhibition of DDR proteins, ATM or CHK2, abolishes the effect of DNA damage on k-MTs and chromosome segregation, whereas activation of the DDR in the absence of DNA damage is sufficient to induce chromosome segregation errors. Finally, inhibiting the DDR during mitosis in cancer cells with persistent DNA damage suppresses inherent chromosome segregation defects. Thus, the DDR during mitosis inappropriately stabilizes k-MTs, creating a link between s-CIN and w-CIN. SIGNIFICANCE: The genome-protective role of the DDR depends on its ability to delay cell division until damaged DNA can be fully repaired. Here, we show that when DNA damage is induced during mitosis, the DDR unexpectedly induces errors in the segregation of entire chromosomes, thus linking structural and numerical chromosomal instabilities.
UNLABELLED: Metastatic solid tumors are almost invariably fatal. Patients with disseminated small-cell cancers have a particularly unfavorable prognosis, with most succumbing to their disease within two years. Here, we report on the genetic and functional analysis of an outlier curative response of a patient with metastatic small-cell cancer to combined checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1) inhibition and DNA-damaging chemotherapy. Whole-genome sequencing revealed a clonal hemizygous mutation in the Mre11 complex gene RAD50 that attenuated ATM signaling which in the context of CHK1 inhibition contributed, via synthetic lethality, to extreme sensitivity to irinotecan. As Mre11 mutations occur in a diversity of human tumors, the results suggest a tumor-specific combination therapy strategy in which checkpoint inhibition in combination with DNA-damaging chemotherapy is synthetically lethal in tumor cells but not normal cells with somatic mutations that impair Mre11 complex function. SIGNIFICANCE: Strategies to effect deep and lasting responses to cancer therapy in patients with metastatic disease have remained difficult to attain, especially in early-phase clinical trials. Here, we present an in-depth genomic and functional genetic analysis identifying RAD50 hypomorphism as a contributing factor to a curative response to systemic combination therapy in a patient with recurrent, metastatic small-cell cancer.
Increasing evidence demonstrates that the expression levels of microRNAs (miRNAs) significantly change upon ionizing radiation (IR) and play a critical role in cellular response to IR. Although several radiation responsive miRNAs and their targets have been identified, little is known about how miRNAs expression and biogenesis is regulated by IR-caused DNA damage response (DDR). Hence, in this review, we summarize miRNA expression and biogenesis in cellular response to IR and mainly elucidate the regulatory mechanisms of miRNA expression and biogenesis from different aspects including ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase, p53/p63/p73 family and other potential factors. Furthermore, we focus on ΔNp73, which might be a potential regulator of miRNA expression and biogenesis in cellular response to IR. miRNAs could effectively activate the IR-induced DDR and modulate the radiation response and cellular radiosensitivity, which have an important potential clinical application. Therefore, thoroughly understanding the regulatory mechanisms of miRNAs expression and biogenesis in radiation response will provide new insights for clinical cancer radiotherapy.
Collaborator of ARF (CARF) has been shown to directly bind to and regulate p53, a central protein that controls tumor suppression via cellular senescence and apoptosis. However, the cellular functions of CARF and the mechanisms governing its effect on senescence, apoptosis, or proliferation are still unknown. Our previous studies have shown that (i) CARF is up-regulated during replicative and stress-induced senescence, and its exogenous overexpression caused senescence-like growth arrest of cells, and (ii) suppression of CARF induces aneuploidy, DNA damage, and mitotic catastrophe, resulting in apoptosis via the ATR/CHK1 pathway. In the present study, we dissected the cellular role of CARF by investigating the molecular pathways triggered by its overexpression in vitro and in vivo. We found that the dosage of CARF is a critical factor in determining the proliferation potential of cancer cells. Most surprisingly, although a moderate level of CARF overexpression induced senescence, a very high level of CARF resulted in increased cell proliferation. We demonstrate that the level of CARF is crucial for DNA damage and checkpoint response of cells through ATM/CHK1/CHK2, p53, and ERK pathways that in turn determine the proliferative fate of cancer cells toward growth arrest or proproliferative and malignant phenotypes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report that demonstrates the capability of a fundamental protein, CARF, in controlling cell proliferation in two opposite directions and hence may play a key role in tumor biology and cancer therapeutics.
The apoptotic actions of p53 require its phosphorylation by a family of phosphoinositide-3-kinase-related-kinases (PIKKs), which include DNA-PKcs and ATM. These kinases are stabilized by the TTT (Tel2, Tti1, Tti2) cochaperone family, whose actions are mediated by CK2 phosphorylation. The inositol pyrophosphates, such as 5-diphosphoinositol pentakisphosphate (IP7), are generated by a family of inositol hexakisphosphate kinases (IP6Ks), of which IP6K2 has been implicated in p53-associated cell death. In the present study we report an apoptotic signaling cascade linking CK2, TTT, the PIKKs, and p53. We demonstrate that IP7, formed by IP6K2, binds CK2 to enhance its phosphorylation of the TTT complex, thereby stabilizing DNA-PKcs and ATM. This process stimulates p53 phosphorylation at serine 15 to activate the cell death program in human cancer cells and in murine B cells.
With the existing knowledge of ATM's role in therapeutic resistance, the present study aimed at identifying the molecular mechanisms that influence ATM to oscillate between chemoresistance and chemosensitivity. We observed that the redox status of tumors functions as a major determinant of ATM-dependent 'resistance-to-apoptosis' molecular switch. At a low reactive oxygen species (ROS) condition during genotoxic insult, the ATM/sumoylated-IKKγ interaction induced NFκB activation that resisted JNK-mediated apoptosis, whereas increasing cellular ROS restored ATM/JNK apoptotic signaling. A search for the upstream missing link revealed that high ROS induces oxidation and ubiquitin-mediated degradation of PIASγ, thereby disrupting PIASγ-IKKγ cross talk, a pre-requisite for IKKγ sumoylation and subsequent NFκB activation. Interruption in the PIASγ-mediated resistance pathway channels ATM signaling toward ATM/JNK pro-death circuitry. These in vitro results also translated to sensitive and resistant tumor allograft mouse models in which low ROS-induced resistance was over-ruled in PIASγ knockout tumors, while its overexpression inhibited high ROS-dependent apoptotic cues. Cumulatively, our findings identified an unappreciated yet critical combinatorial function of cellular ROS and PIASγ in regulating ATM-mediated chemosensitization of resistant tumors. Thus, therapeutic strategies employing ROS upregulation to inhibit PIASγ during genotoxic therapy may, in future, help to eliminate the problems of NFκB-mediated tumor drug resistance.
Speckle-type POZ protein (SPOP) is an adaptor of the cullin 3-based ubiquitin ligase responsible for the degradation of oncoproteins frequently overexpressed in many tumor cells. Altered expression and somatic mutations of SPOP have been observed in various tumor types with chromosomal aberrations, indicating a role of SPOP in maintaining genome stability, although a detailed mechanism remains unclear. Here, we show that SPOP is a component of the DNA damage response (DDR). SPOP is recruited to DNA double-strand break sites and it forms nuclear foci after DNA damage. SPOP foci colocalize with γ-H2AX foci and are predominantly dependent on the activity of the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase. Furthermore, SPOP interacts with ATM in response to DNA damage. Finally, we demonstrate that knocking down of SPOP resulted in an impaired DDR and a hypersensitivity to ionizing irradiation. Together, we highlight a critical role of SPOP in the DDR.
Ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) is a major regulator of the DNA damage response. ATM promotes the activation of BRCA1, CHK2, and p53 leading to the induction of response genes such as CDKN1A (p21), GADD45A, and RRM2B that promote cell-cycle arrest and DNA repair. The upregulation of these response genes may contribute to resistance of cancer cells to genotoxic therapies. Here, we show that histone deacetylases (HDAC) play a major role in mitigating the response of the ATM pathway to DNA damage. HDAC inhibition decreased ATM activation and expression, and attenuated the activation of p53 in vitro and in vivo. Select depletion of HDAC1 and HDAC2 was sufficient to modulate ATM activation, reduce GADD45A and RRM2B induction, and increase sensitivity to DNA strand breaks. The regulation of ATM by HDAC enzymes therefore suggests a vital role for HDAC1 and HDAC2 in the DNA damage response, and the potential use of the ATM pathway as a pharmacodynamic marker for combination therapies involving HDAC inhibitors.
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) can lead to instability of the genome if not repaired correctly. The MRE11/RAD50/NBS1 (MRN) complex binds DSBs and initiates damage-induced signaling cascades via activation of the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and ataxia-telangiectasia- and rad3-related (ATR) kinases. Mutations throughout MRE11 cause ataxia-telangiectasia-like disorder (ATLD) featuring cerebellar degeneration, and cancer-predisposition in certain kindreds. Here, we have examined the impact on DNA damage signaling of several disease-associated MRE11A alleles to gain greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying the diverse disease sequelae of ATLD. To this end, we have designed a system whereby endogenous wild-type Mre11a is conditionally deleted and disease-associated MRE11 mutants are stably expressed at physiologic levels. We find that mutations in the highly conserved N-terminal domain impact ATM signaling by perturbing both MRE11 interaction with NBS1 and MRE11 homodimerization. In contrast, an inherited allele in the MRE11 C-terminus maintains MRN interactions and ATM/ATR kinase activation. These findings reveal that ATLD patients have reduced ATM activation resulting from at least two distinct mechanisms: (i) N-terminal mutations destabilize MRN interactions, and (ii) mutation of the extreme C-terminus maintains interactions but leads to low levels of the complex. The N-terminal mutations were found in ATLD patients with childhood cancer; thus, our studies suggest a clinically relevant dichotomy in MRE11A alleles. More broadly, these studies underscore the importance of understanding specific effects of hypomorphic disease-associated mutations to achieve accurate prognosis and appropriate long-term medical surveillance.
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is a radiotherapy modality that delivers highly conformal, ablative doses to a well-defined target. Here, using a semiquantitative multiplexed assay to analyze ATM and H2AX phosphorylation, we show that ATM kinase activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells is induced following SBRT. This observation of a systemic ATM kinase-dependent DNA damage response in the peripheral blood is unprecedented and promotes the use of ATM serine-1981 phosphorylation as a predictive biomarker for DNA damaging modalities and ATM inhibitors.
ATM, the protein kinase mutated in the rare human disease ataxia telangiectasia (A-T), has been the focus of intense scrutiny over the past two decades. Initially this was because of the unusual radiosensitive phenotype of cells from A-T patients, and latterly because investigating ATM signalling has yielded valuable insights into the DNA damage response, redox signalling and cancer. With the recent explosion in genomic data, ATM alterations have been revealed both in the germline as a predisposing factor for cancer and as somatic changes in tumours themselves. Here we review these findings, as well as advances in the understanding of ATM signalling mechanisms in cancer and ATM inhibition as a strategy for cancer treatment.
Telomeres distinguish chromosome ends from double-strand breaks (DSBs) and prevent chromosome fusion. However, telomeres can also interfere with DNA repair, as shown by a deficiency in nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) and an increase in large deletions at telomeric DSBs. The sensitivity of telomeric regions to DSBs is important in the cellular response to ionizing radiation and oncogene-induced replication stress, either by preventing cell division in normal cells, or by promoting chromosome instability in cancer cells. We have previously proposed that the telomeric protein TRF2 causes the sensitivity of telomeric regions to DSBs, either through its inhibition of ATM, or by promoting the processing of DSBs as though they are telomeres, which is independent of ATM. Our current study addresses the mechanism responsible for the deficiency in repair of DSBs near telomeres by combining assays for large deletions, NHEJ, small deletions, and gross chromosome rearrangements (GCRs) to compare the types of events resulting from DSBs at interstitial and telomeric DSBs. Our results confirm the sensitivity of telomeric regions to DSBs by demonstrating that the frequency of GCRs is greatly increased at DSBs near telomeres and that the role of ATM in DSB repair is very different at interstitial and telomeric DSBs. Unlike at interstitial DSBs, a deficiency in ATM decreases NHEJ and small deletions at telomeric DSBs, while it increases large deletions. These results strongly suggest that ATM is functional near telomeres and is involved in end protection at telomeric DSBs, but is not required for the extensive resection at telomeric DSBs. The results support our model in which the deficiency in DSB repair near telomeres is a result of ATM-independent processing of DSBs as though they are telomeres, leading to extensive resection, telomere loss, and GCRs involving alternative NHEJ.
Kilpivaara O, Aaltonen LA Diagnostic cancer genome sequencing and the contribution of germline variants. Science. 2013; 339(6127):1559-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is revolutionizing medical research and has the potential to serve as a powerful and cost-effective diagnostic tool in the management of cancer. We review the progress to date in the use of WGS to reveal how germline variants and mutations may be associated with cancer. We use colorectal cancer as an example of how the current level of knowledge can be translated into predictions of predisposition. We also address challenges in the clinical implementation of the variants in germline DNA identified through cancer genome sequencing. We call for the international development of standards to facilitate the clinical use of germline information arising from diagnostic cancer genome sequencing.
p53 plays a central role in tumor suppression. It does so by inducing anti-proliferative processes as a response to various tumor-promoting stresses. p53 is regulated by the ubiquitin ligase Mdm2. The optimal function of Mdm2 requires Daxx, which stabilizes Mdm2 through the deubiquitinase Hausp/USP7 and also directly promotes Mdm2's ubiquitin ligase activity towards p53. The Daxx-Mdm2 interaction is disrupted upon DNA damage. However, both the mechanisms and the consequence of the Daxx-Mdm2 dissociation are not understood. Here we show that upon DNA damage Daxx is phosphorylated in a manner that is dependent on ATM, a member of the PI 3-kinase family that orchestrates the DNA damage response. The main phosphorylation site of Daxx is identified to be Ser564, which is a direct target of ATM. Phosphorylation of endogenous Daxx at Ser564 occurs rapidly during the DNA damage response and precedes p53 activation. Blockage of this phosphorylation event prevents the separation of Daxx from Mdm2, stabilizes Mdm2, and inhibits DNA damage-induced p53 activation. These results suggest that phosphorylation of Daxx by ATM upon DNA damage disrupts the Daxx-Mdm2 interaction and facilitates p53 activation.
The DNA damage response (DDR) pathways play critical roles in protecting the genome from DNA damage. Abrogation of DDR often results in elevated genomic instability and cellular sensitivity to DNA damaging agents. Many proteins involved in DDR are subjected to precise regulation at multiple levels, such as transcriptional control and posttranslational modifications, in response to DNA damage. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. The expression levels of some miRNAs change in response to DNA damage. Some miRNAs, such as miR-24, 138, 96 and 182, have been implicated in DDR and/or DNA repair and affect cellular sensitivity to DNA damaging agents. In this review, we summarize recent findings related to the emerging roles of miRNAs in regulating DDR and DNA repair and discuss their potential in cancer therapy.
Huang H, Xiao T, He L, et al. Interferon-β-armed oncolytic adenovirus induces both apoptosis and necroptosis in cancer cells. Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2012; 44(9):737-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interferon-β (IFN-β) has been widely used in cancer therapy, but the clinical trial results are generally disappointing. Our previous studies have shown that an oncolytic adenovirus carrying IFN-β (ZD55-IFN-β) exhibits significant anti-tumor activities. However, the underlying mechanisms are not clear. Here we showed that ZD55-IFN-β infection-induced S-phase cell cycle arrest in a p53-dependent manner by activating the ataxia telangiectasia mutated-dependent DNA damage pathway. In addition, ZD55-IFN-β infection could initiate both caspase-dependent apoptosis and necroptosis in cancer cells. More importantly, ZD55-IFN-β showed a synergistic effect on cancer cells when combined with doxorubicin. These results suggest that the combination of ZD55-IFN-β with doxorubicin may represent a promising clinical strategy in cancer therapy.
Xu Y, Xu C, Price BD Mechanistic links between ATM and histone methylation codes during DNA repair. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2012; 110:263-88 [PubMed] Related Publications
The ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) protein kinase is the master regulator of the DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathway. The activation of ATM involves its recruitment to the DSB through interaction with the mre11-rad50-nbs1 complex, followed by the acetylation of ATM by the Tip60 acetyltransferase. This acetylation of ATM within its regulatory domain is essential for activating ATM's kinase activity. Further work has now revealed that Tip60 is activated through direct interaction between Tip60's chromodomain and histone H3 trimethylated on lysine 9 (H3K9me3). The loading of Tip60 onto the chromatin at DSBs therefore represents the primary mechanism for activation of Tip60's acetyltransferase activity in response to DNA damage. The ability of H3K9me3 at DSBs to regulate the activity of Tip60 and the subsequent activation of ATM emphasizes the crucial role played by chromatin architecture in regulating DSB repair. Further, histone methylation and chromatin structure are disrupted in human cancers, implying that altered chromatin structure in tumor cells may impact DSB repair, increasing genomic instability and contributing to the progression of cancer.
Basu B, Yap TA, Molife LR, de Bono JS Targeting the DNA damage response in oncology: past, present and future perspectives. Curr Opin Oncol. 2012; 24(3):316-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The success of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibition in BRCA1 or BRCA2 deficient tumors as an anticancer strategy provided proof-of-concept for a synthetic lethality approach in oncology. There is therefore now active interest in expanding this approach to include other agents targeting the DNA damage response (DDR). We review lessons learnt from the development of inhibitors against DNA damage response mechanisms and envision the future of DNA repair inhibition in oncology. RECENT FINDINGS: Preclinical synthetic lethality screens may potentially identify the best combinations of DNA-damaging drugs with inhibitors of DNA repair and the DDR or two agents acting within the DDR. Efforts are currently being made to establish robust and cost-effective assays that may be implemented within appropriate time-scales in parallel with future clinical studies. Detection of relevant mutations in a high-throughput manner, such as with next-generation sequencing for genes implicated in homologous recombination, including BRCA1, BRCA2, and ataxia telangiectasia mutated is anticipated. Novel approaches targeting the DDR are currently being evaluated and inhibitors of ATM, RAD51 and DNA-dependent protein kinase are now in early drug discovery and development. SUMMARY: There remains great enthusiasm in oncology practice for pursuing the strategy of synthetic lethality. The future development of antitumor agents targeting the DDR should include detailed correlative biomarker work within early phase clinical studies wherever possible, with clear attempts to identify doses at which robust target modulation is observed.