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PLoS Genet. 2012;8(8):e1002831. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002831. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

S phase-coupled E2f1 destruction ensures homeostasis in proliferating tissues.

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  • 1Department of Biology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America.

Abstract

Precise control of cell cycle regulators is critical for normal development and tissue homeostasis. E2F transcription factors are activated during G1 to drive the G1-S transition and are then inhibited during S phase by a variety of mechanisms. Here, we genetically manipulate the single Drosophila activator E2F (E2f1) to explore the developmental requirement for S phase-coupled E2F down-regulation. Expression of an E2f1 mutant that is not destroyed during S phase drives cell cycle progression and causes apoptosis. Interestingly, this apoptosis is not exclusively the result of inappropriate cell cycle progression, because a stable E2f1 mutant that cannot function as a transcription factor or drive cell cycle progression also triggers apoptosis. This observation suggests that the inappropriate presence of E2f1 protein during S phase can trigger apoptosis by mechanisms that are independent of E2F acting directly at target genes. The ability of S phase-stabilized E2f1 to trigger apoptosis requires an interaction between E2f1 and the Drosophila pRb homolog, Rbf1, and involves induction of the pro-apoptotic gene, hid. Simultaneously blocking E2f1 destruction during S phase and inhibiting the induction of apoptosis results in tissue overgrowth and lethality. We propose that inappropriate accumulation of E2f1 protein during S phase triggers the elimination of potentially hyperplastic cells via apoptosis in order to ensure normal development of rapidly proliferating tissues.

PMID:
22916021
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3420931
Free PMC Article

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