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Cell Death Differ. 2010 Nov;17(11):1739-50. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2010.56. Epub 2010 May 14.

ATM-dependent expression of IEX-1 controls nuclear accumulation of Mcl-1 and the DNA damage response.

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INSERM U, Institut Cochin, Paris, France.


The early-response gene product IEX-1 (also known as IER3) was recently found to interact with the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member, myeloid cell leukemia-1 (Mcl-1). In this study we show that this interaction specifically and timely controls the accumulation of Mcl-1 in the nucleus in response to DNA damage. The IEX-1 protein is rapidly induced by γ-irradiation, genotoxic agents or replication inhibitors, in a way dependent on ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) activity and is necessary for Mcl-1 nuclear translocation. Conversely, IEX-1 protein proteasomal degradation triggers the return of Mcl-1 to the cytosol. IEX-1 and Mcl-1 are integral components of the DNA damage response. Loss of IEX-1 or Mcl-1 leads to genomic instability and increased sensitivity to genotoxic and replicative stresses. The two proteins cooperate to maintain Chk1 activation and G2 checkpoint arrest. Mcl-1 nuclear translocation may foster checkpoint and improve the tumor resistance to DNA damage-based cancer therapies. Deciphering the pathways involved in IEX-1 degradation should lead to the discovery of new therapeutic targets to increase sensitivity of tumor cells to chemotherapy.

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