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Carlos A.R.,The CR UK MRC Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology
Nature communications | Year: 2013

ARF is a tumour suppressor activated by oncogenic stress, which stabilizes p53. Although p53 is a key component of the response to DNA damage, a similar function for ARF has not been ascribed. Here we show that primary mouse and human cells lacking the tumour suppressor BRCA2 accumulate DNA damage, which triggers checkpoint signalling and ARF activation. Furthermore, senescence induced by Brca2 deletion in primary mouse and human cells is reversed by the loss of ARF, a phenotype recapitulated in cells lacking RAD51. Surprisingly, ARF is not necessary for p53 accumulation per se but for altering the spectrum of genes activated by this transcription factor. Specifically, ARF enables p53 transcription of Dusp4 and Dusp7, which encode a pair of phosphatases known to inactivate the MAP kinases ERK1/2. Our results ascribe a previously unanticipated function to the ARF tumour suppressor in genome integrity, controlled by replicative stress and ATM/ATR-dependent checkpoint responses.

Tejera A.M.,Telomeres and Telomerase Group | Stagno d'Alcontres M.,Telomeres and Telomerase Group | Thanasoula M.,The CR UK MRC Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology | Marion R.M.,Telomeres and Telomerase Group | And 5 more authors.
Developmental Cell | Year: 2010

The TPP1/ACD protein (hereafter TPP1) is a component of the shelterin complex at mammalian telomeres. Here we find that Tpp1-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) show increased chromosomal instability including sister chromatid fusions and chromosomes with multitelomeric signals related to telomere fragility. Tpp1 deletion decreases both TERT (the telomerase catalytic subunit) binding to telomeres in MEFs and telomerase function at chromosome ends in vivo. Abrogation of Tpp1 abolished net telomere elongation in the context of nuclear reprogramming of MEFs into induced pluripotent stem cells, whereas Tpp1 deletion in stratified epithelia of Tpp1Δ/ΔK5-Cre mice resulted in perinatal death, severe skin hyperpigmentation, and impaired hair follicle morphogenesis. p53 deficiency rescues skin hyperpigmentation and hair growth in these mice, indicating that p53 restricts proliferation of Tpp1-deficient cells. These results suggest a telomere-capping model where TPP1 protects telomere integrity and regulates telomerase recruitment to telomeres, thereby preventing early occurrence of degenerative pathologies. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Thanasoula M.,The CR UK MRC Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology | Escandell J.M.,The CR UK MRC Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology | Martinez P.,Telomeres and Telomerase Group | Badie S.,The CR UK MRC Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology | And 3 more authors.
Current Biology | Year: 2010

Telomeres are protected by capping structures consisting of core protein complexes that bind with sequence specificity to telomeric DNA (reviewed in [1]). In their absence, telomeres trigger a DNA damage response, materialized in accumulation at the telomere of damage response proteins, e.g., phosphorylated histone H2AX (γH2AX), into telomere-dysfunction-induced foci [2, 3]. Telomere uncapping occurs transiently in every cell cycle in G2 [4], following DNA replication, but little is known about how protective structures are reassembled or whether this process is controlled by the cell-cycle surveillance machinery. Here, we report that telomere capping is monitored at the G2/M transition by the p53/p21 damage response pathway. Unlike their wild-type counterparts, human and mouse cells lacking p53 or p21 progress into mitosis prematurely with persisting uncapped telomeres. Furthermore, artificially uncapped telomeres delay mitotic entry in a p53- and p21-dependent manner. Uncapped telomeres that persist in mitotic p53-deficient cells are shorter than average and religate to generate end-to-end fusions. These results suggest that a p53-dependent pathway monitors telomere capping after DNA replication and delays G2/M progression in the presence of unprotected telomeres. This mechanism maintains a cell-cycle stage conducive for capping reactions and prevents progression into stages during which uncapped telomeres are prone to deleterious end fusions. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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