Rsf-1, a chromatin remodeling protein, induces DNA damage and promotes genomic instability

Jim Jinn-Chyuan Sheu, Bin Guan, Jung-Hye Choi, Athena Lin, Chia-Huei Lee, Yi-Ting Hsiao, Tian-Li Wang, Fuu-Jen Tsai, Ie-Ming Shih
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2010 December 3, 285 (49): 38260-9
Rsf-1 (HBXAP) has been reported as an amplified gene in human cancer, including the highly aggressive ovarian serous carcinoma. Rsf-1 protein interacts with SNF2H to form an ISWI chromatin remodeling complex, RSF. In this study, we investigated the functional role of Rsf-1 by observing phenotypes after expressing it in nontransformed cells. Acute expression of Rsf-1 resulted in DNA damage as evidenced by DNA strand breaks, nuclear γH2AX foci, and activation of the ATM-CHK2-p53-p21 pathway, leading to growth arrest and apoptosis. Deletion mutation and gene knockdown assays revealed that formation of a functional RSF complex with SNF2H was required for Rsf-1 to trigger DNA damage response (DDR). Gene knock-out of TP53 alleles, TP53 mutation, or treatment with an ATM inhibitor abolished up-regulation of p53 and p21 and prevented Rsf-1-induced growth arrest. Chronic induction of Rsf-1 expression resulted in chromosomal aberration and clonal selection for cells with c-myc amplification and CDKN2A/B deletion. Co-culture assays indicated Rsf-1-induced DDR as a selecting barrier that favored outgrowth of cell clones with a TP53 mutation. The above findings suggest that increased Rsf-1 expression and thus excessive RSF activity, which occurs in tumors harboring Rsf-1 amplification, can induce chromosomal instability likely through DDR.

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