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Oncogene. 2011 Sep 1;30(35):3745-54. doi: 10.1038/onc.2011.92. Epub 2011 Apr 4.

ATM-dependent IGF-1 induction regulates secretory clusterin expression after DNA damage and in genetic instability.

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Departments of Oncology, Pharmacology, and Radiation Oncology, Laboratory of Molecular Stress Responses, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, TX, USA.


Secretory clusterin (sCLU) is a stress-induced, pro-survival glycoprotein elevated in early-stage cancers, in particular in APC/Min-defective colon cancers. sCLU is upregulated after exposure to various cytotoxic agents, including ionizing radiation (IR), leading to a survival advantage. We found that stimulation of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and IGF-1R protein kinase signaling was required for sCLU induction after IR exposure. Here, we show that activation of Ataxia telangiectasia-mutated kinase (ATM) by endogenous or exogenous forms of DNA damage was required to relieve basal repression of IGF-1 transcription by the p53/NF-YA complex, leading to sCLU expression. Although p53 levels were stabilized and elevated after DNA damage, dissociation of NF-YA, and thereby p53, from the IGF-1 promoter resulted in IGF-1 induction, indicating that NF-YA was rate limiting. Cells with elevated endogenous DNA damage (deficient in H2AX, MDC1, NBS1, mTR or hMLH1) or cells exposed to DNA-damaging agents had elevated IGF-1 expression, resulting in activation of IGF-1R signaling and sCLU induction. In contrast, ATM-deficient cells were unable to induce sCLU after DNA damage. Our results integrate DNA damage resulting from genetic instability, IR, or chemotherapeutic agents, to ATM activation and abrogation of p53/NF-YA-mediated IGF-1 transcriptional repression, that induces IGF-1-sCLU expression. Elucidation of this pathway should uncover new mechanisms for cancer progression and reveal new targets for drug development to overcome resistance to therapy.

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