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Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2009 May;16(5):492-8. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.1589. Epub 2009 Apr 19.

miR-24-mediated downregulation of H2AX suppresses DNA repair in terminally differentiated blood cells.

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  • 1Immune Disease Institute and Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Terminally differentiated cells have a reduced capacity to repair double-stranded breaks, but the molecular mechanism behind this downregulation is unclear. Here we find that miR-24 is upregulated during postmitotic differentiation of hematopoietic cell lines and regulates the histone variant H2AX, a protein that has a key role in the double-stranded break response. We show that the H2AX 3' untranslated region contains conserved miR-24 binding sites that are indeed regulated by miR-24. During terminal differentiation, both H2AX mRNA and protein levels are substantially reduced by miR-24 upregulation in in vitro differentiated cells; similar diminished levels are found in primary human blood cells. miR-24-mediated suppression of H2AX renders cells hypersensitive to gamma-irradiation and genotoxic drugs, a phenotype that is fully rescued by overexpression of miR-24-insensitive H2AX. Therefore, miR-24 upregulation in postreplicative cells reduces H2AX and makes them vulnerable to DNA damage.

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