The role of the retinoblastoma/E2F1 tumor suppressor pathway in the lesion recognition step of nucleotide excision repair

Patrick S Lin, Lisa A McPherson, Aubrey Y Chen, Julien Sage, James M Ford
DNA Repair 2009 July 4, 8 (7): 795-802
The retinoblastoma Rb/E2F tumor suppressor pathway plays a major role in the regulation of mammalian cell cycle progression. The pRb protein, along with closely related proteins p107 and p130, exerts its anti-proliferative effects by binding to the E2F family of transcription factors known to regulate essential genes throughout the cell cycle. We sought to investigate the role of the Rb/E2F1 pathway in the lesion recognition step of nucleotide excision repair (NER) in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). Rb-/-, p107-/-, p130-/- MEFs repaired both cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) and 6-4 photoproducts (6-4PPs) at higher efficiency than did wildtype cells following UV-C irradiation. The expression of damaged DNA binding gene DDB2 involved in the DNA lesion recognition step was elevated in the Rb family-deficient MEFs. To determine if the enhanced DNA repair in the absence of the Rb gene family is due to the derepression of E2F1, we assayed the ability of E2F1-deficient cells to repair damaged DNA and demonstrated that E2F1-/- MEFs are impaired for the removal of both CPDs and 6-4PPs. Furthermore, wildtype cells induced a higher expression of DDB2 and xeroderma pigmentosum gene XPC transcript levels than did E2F1-/- cells following UV-C irradiation. Using an E2F SiteScan algorithm, we uncovered a putative E2F-responsive element in the XPC promoter upstream of the transcription start site. We showed with chromatin immunoprecipitation assays the binding of E2F1 to the XPC promoter in a UV-dependent manner, suggesting that E2F1 is a transcriptional regulator of XPC. Our study identifies a novel E2F1 gene target and further supports the growing body of evidence that the Rb/E2F1 tumor suppressor pathway is involved in the regulation of the DNA lesion recognition step of nucleotide excision repair.

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