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Cell. 2005 Dec 16;123(6):1065-78.

hnRNP K: an HDM2 target and transcriptional coactivator of p53 in response to DNA damage.

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The Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute and Department of Zoology, Cambridge University, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QN, United Kingdom.


In response to DNA damage, mammalian cells trigger the p53-dependent transcriptional induction of factors that regulate DNA repair, cell-cycle progression, or cell survival. Through differential proteomics, we identify heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K) as being rapidly induced by DNA damage in a manner that requires the DNA-damage signaling kinases ATM or ATR. Induction of hnRNP K ensues through the inhibition of its ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation mediated by the ubiquitin E3 ligase HDM2/MDM2. Strikingly, hnRNP K depletion abrogates transcriptional induction of p53 target genes and causes defects in DNA-damage-induced cell-cycle-checkpoint arrests. Furthermore, in response to DNA damage, p53 and hnRNP K are recruited to the promoters of p53-responsive genes in a mutually dependent manner. These findings establish hnRNP K as a new HDM2 target and show that, by serving as a cofactor for p53, hnRNP K plays key roles in coordinating transcriptional responses to DNA damage.

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