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Oncogene. 2006 Mar 9;25(10):1584-92.

Parallel induction of ATM-dependent pro- and antiapoptotic signals in response to ionizing radiation in murine lymphoid tissue.

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The David and Inez Myers Laboratory for Genetic Research, Department of Human Genetics, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel.


The ATM protein kinase, functionally missing in patients with the human genetic disorder ataxia-telangiectasia, is a master regulator of the cellular network induced by DNA double-strand breaks. The ATM gene is also frequently mutated in sporadic cancers of lymphoid origin. Here, we applied a functional genomics approach that combined gene expression profiling and computational promoter analysis to obtain global dissection of the transcriptional response to ionizing radiation in murine lymphoid tissue. Cluster analysis revealed a prominent pattern characterizing dozens of genes whose response to irradiation was Atm-dependent. Computational analysis identified significant enrichment of the binding site signatures of NF-kappaB and p53 among promoters of these genes, pointing to the major role of these two transcription factors in mediating the Atm-dependent transcriptional response in the irradiated lymphoid tissue. Examination of the response showed that pro- and antiapoptotic signals were simultaneously induced, with the proapoptotic pathway mediated by p53 targets, and the prosurvival pathway by NF-kappaB targets. These findings further elucidate the molecular network induced by IR, point to novel putative NF-kappaB targets, and suggest a mechanistic model for cellular balancing between pro- and antiapoptotic signals induced by IR in lymphoid tissues, which has implications for cancer management. The emerging model suggests that restoring the p53-mediated apoptotic arm while blocking the NF-kappaB-mediated prosurvival arm could effectively increase the radiosensitivity of lymphoid tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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