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FEBS J. 2015 Jan;282(1):114-28. doi: 10.1111/febs.13108. Epub 2014 Nov 10.

Runt-related transcription factor 2 attenuates the transcriptional activity as well as DNA damage-mediated induction of pro-apoptotic TAp73 to regulate chemosensitivity.

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Laboratory of DNA Damage Signaling, Chiba Cancer Center Research Institute, Chiba, Japan.


Although runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) is known to be an essential key transcription factor for osteoblast differentiation and bone formation, RUNX2 also plays a pivotal role in the regulation of p53-dependent DNA damage response. In the present study, we report that, in addition to p53, RUNX2 downregulates pro-apoptotic TAp73 during DNA damage-dependent cell death. Upon adriamycin (ADR) exposure, human osteosarcoma-derived U2OS cells underwent cell death in association with an upregulation of TAp73 and various p53/TAp73-target gene products together with RUNX2. Small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of p73 resulted in a marked reduction in ADR-induced p53/TAp73-target gene expression, suggesting that TAp73 is responsible for the ADR-dependent DNA damage response. Immunoprecipitation and transient transfection experiments demonstrated that RUNX2 forms a complex with TAp73 and impairs its transcriptional activity. Notably, knockdown of RUNX2 stimulated ADR-induced cell death accompanied by a massive induction of TAp73 expression, indicating that RUNX2 downregulates TAp73 expression. Consistent with this notion, the overexpression of RUNX2 suppressed ADR-dependent cell death, which was associated with a remarkable downregulation of TAp73 and p53/TAp73-target gene expression. Collectively, our present findings strongly suggest that RUNX2 attenuates the transcriptional activity and ADR-mediated induction of TAp73, and may provide novel insights into understanding the molecular basis behind the development and/or maintenance of chemoresistance. Thus, we propose that the silencing of RUNX2 might be an attractive strategy for improving the chemosensitivity of malignant cancers.


DNA damage; RUNX2; TAp73; cell death; p53

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