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Mol Cell. 2004 Jun 4;14(5):585-98.

The mRNA surveillance protein hSMG-1 functions in genotoxic stress response pathways in mammalian cells.

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Program in Signal Transduction Research, The Burnham Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Members of the PI 3-kinase-related kinase (PIKK) family function in mitogenic and stress-induced signaling pathways in eukaryotic cells. Here, we characterize the newest PIKK family member, hSMG-1, as a genotoxic stress-activated protein kinase that displays some functional overlap with the related kinase, ATM, in human cells. Both ATM and hSMG-1 phosphorylate Ser/Thr-Gln-containing target sequences in the checkpoint protein p53 and the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) protein hUpf1. Expression of hSMG-1 is required for optimal p53 activation after cellular exposure to genotoxic stress, and depletion of hSMG-1 leads to spontaneous DNA damage and increased sensitivity to ionizing radiation (IR). Moreover, IR exposure triggers hUpf1 phosphorylation at Ser/Thr-Gln motifs, and both ATM and hSMG-1 contribute to these phosphorylation events. Finally, NMD is suppressed in hSMG-1- but not ATM-deficient cells. These results indicate that hSMG-1 plays important roles in the maintenance of both genome and transcriptome integrity in human cells.

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