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

CHOP (GADD153) and its oncogenic variant, TLS-CHOP, have opposing effects on the induction of G1/S arrest.

The growth arrest and DNA damage-inducible gene CHOP (GADD153) encodes a small nuclear protein from the C/ EBP family, originally isolated from adipocytes in culture. Although inactive in cells under normal conditions, the CHOP gene is markedly induced by a variety of cellular stresses, including nutrient deprivation and metabolic perturbations. These lead to accumulation of CHOP protein in the nucleus. Because cellular stress normally leads to growth arrest, we examined the implication of CHOP in this process. Microinjection of CHOP expression plasmids into NIH-3T3 cells blocked the cells from progressing through the cell cycle, measured by an attenuation in the fraction of cells incorporating BrdU, an S-phase marker. The precise point in the cell cycle at which CHOP acts was mapped by microinjection of bacterially expressed CHOP protein into synchronized cells--this blocked the cells from progressing from G1 to S phase. This effect of CHOP was observed only when the protein was introduced early after serum stimulation suggesting that CHOP works at or around the so-called G1/S checkpoint. CHOP dimerizes with other C/ EBP proteins and the CHOP-C/ EBP dimers are directed away from "classical" C/ EBP sites recognizing instead unique "nonclassical" sites. Mutant forms of the CHOP protein that lack the leucine zipper dimerization domain or the unusually structured basic region, potentially involved in DNA binding, fail to induce growth arrest. A tumor-specific form of CHOP, TLS-CHOP, that has been found so far exclusively in the human adipose tissue tumor myxoid liposarcoma, fails to cause growth arrest and furthermore interferes with the ability of normal CHOP to induce growth arrest. CHOP has been shown recently to be markedly inducible by nutritional deprivation of cells. This suggests that CHOP may play a role in an inducible growth arrest pathway that is triggered by metabolic cues and is of particular importance in adipose tissue--an organ that undergoes marked changes in its metabolic activity. Blocking of this pathway by TLS-CHOP may play a mechanistic role in the establishment of myxoid liposarcoma.[1]


  1. CHOP (GADD153) and its oncogenic variant, TLS-CHOP, have opposing effects on the induction of G1/S arrest. Barone, M.V., Crozat, A., Tabaee, A., Philipson, L., Ron, D. Genes Dev. (1994) [Pubmed]
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