Author(s): Lee JH, Sancar A
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Abstract The circadian clock in mammalian organisms is generated by a transcription-translation feedback loop that controls many biochemical pathways at the cellular level and physiology and behavior at the organismal level. Cryptochrome (Cry) is a key protein in the negative arm of the transcription-translation feedback loop. It has been found that Cry mutation in cells with p53-null genotype increased their sensitivity to apoptosis by genotoxic agents. Here we show that this increased sensitivity is due to up-regulation of the p53 gene family member p73 in response to DNA damage. As a consequence, when tumors arising from oncogenic Ras-transformed p53(-/-) and p53(-/-)Cry1(-/-)Cry2(-/-) cells are treated with the anticancer drug oxaliplatin, p53(-/-) tumors continue to grow whereas p53(-/-)Cry1(-/-)Cry2(-/-) tumors exhibit extensive apoptosis and stop growing. This finding provides a mechanistic foundation for overcoming the resistance of p53-deficient tumor cells to apoptosis induced by DNA-damaging agents and suggests that disruption of cryptochrome function may increase the sensitivity of tumors with p53 mutation to chemotherapy.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology