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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Deficiency in the catalytic subunit of DNA-dependent protein kinase causes down-regulation of ATM.

Previous reports have suggested a connection between reduced levels of the catalytic subunit of DNA-dependent protein kinases (DNA-PKcs), a component of the nonhomologous DNA double-strand breaks end-joining system, and a reduction in ATM. We studied this possible connection in other DNA-PKcs-deficient cell types, and following knockdown of DNA-PKcs with small interfering RNA, Chinese hamster ovary V3 cells, lacking DNA-PKcs, had reduced levels of ATM and hSMG-1, but both were restored after transfection with PRKDC. Atm levels were also reduced in murine scid cells. Reduction of ATM in a human glioma cell line lacking DNA-PKcs was accompanied by defective signaling through downstream substrates, post-irradiation. A large reduction of DNA-PKcs was achieved in normal human fibroblasts after transfection with two DNA-PKcs small interfering RNA sequences. This was accompanied by a reduction in ATM. These data were confirmed using immunocytochemical detection of the proteins. Within hours after transfection, a decline in PRKDC mRNA was seen, followed by a more gradual decline in DNA-PKcs protein beginning 1 day after transfection. No change in ATM mRNA was observed for 2 days post-transfection. Only after the DNA-PKcs reduction occurred was a reduction in ATM mRNA observed, beginning 2 days post-transfection. The amount of ATM began to decline, starting about 3 days post-treatment, then it declined to levels comparable to DNA-PKcs. Both proteins returned to normal levels at later times. These data illustrate a potentially important cross-regulation between the nonhomologous end-joining system for rejoining of DNA double-strand breaks and the ATM-dependent damage response network of pathways, both of which operate to maintain the integrity of the genome.[1]


  1. Deficiency in the catalytic subunit of DNA-dependent protein kinase causes down-regulation of ATM. Peng, Y., Woods, R.G., Beamish, H., Ye, R., Lees-Miller, S.P., Lavin, M.F., Bedford, J.S. Cancer Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
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