Cellular senescence and organismal ageing in the absence of p21(CIP1/WAF1) in ku80(-/-) mice.
ABSTRACT: Ku80 is important in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks by its essential function in non-homologous end-joining. The absence of Ku80 causes the accumulation of DNA damage and leads to premature ageing in mice. We showed that mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) from ku80(-/-) mice senesced rapidly with elevated levels of p53 and p21. Deletion of p21 delayed the early senescence phenotype in ku80(-/-) MEFs, despite an otherwise intact response of p53. In contrast to ku80(-/-)p53(-/-) mice, which die rapidly primarily from lymphomas, there was no significant increase in tumorigenesis in ku80(-/-)p21(-/-) mice. However, ku80(-/-)p21(-/-) mice showed no improvement with respect to rough fur coat or osteopaenia, and even showed a shortened lifespan compared with ku80(-/-) mice. These results show that the increased lifespan of ku80(-/-) MEFs owing to the loss of p21 is not associated with an improvement of the premature ageing phenotypes of ku80(-/-) mice observed at the organismal level.
Project description:Ku80 and DNA-PKCS are both involved in the repair of double strand DNA breaks via the nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) pathway. While ku80-/- mice exhibit a severely reduced lifespan and size, this phenotype is less pronounced in dna-pkcs-/- mice. However, these observations are based on independent studies with varying genetic backgrounds. Here, we generated ku80-/-, dna-pkcs-/- and double knock out mice in a C57Bl6/J*FVB F1 hybrid background and compared their lifespan, end of life pathology and mutation frequency in liver and spleen using a lacZ reporter. Our data confirm that inactivation of Ku80 and DNA-PKCS causes reduced lifespan and bodyweights, which is most severe in ku80-/- mice. All mutant mice exhibited a strong increase in lymphoma incidence as well as other aging-related pathology (skin epidermal and adnexal atrophy, trabacular bone reduction, kidney tubular anisokaryosis, and cortical and medullar atrophy) and severe lymphoid depletion. LacZ mutation frequency analysis did not show strong differences in mutation frequencies between knock out and wild type mice. The ku80-/- mice had the most severe phenotype and the Ku80-mutation was dominant over the DNA-PKCS-mutation. Presumably, the more severe degenerative effect of Ku80 inactivation on lifespan compared to DNA-PKCS inactivation is caused by additional functions of Ku80 or activity of free Ku70 since both Ku80 and DNA-PKCS are essential for NHEJ.
Project description:Muscle wasting is a major cause of morbidity in the elderly. Ku80 is required for DNA double strand repair and is implicated in telomere maintenance. Complete loss-of-function leads to reduced post-natal growth and severe progeria in mice. We examined the role of Ku80 in age-related skeletal muscle atrophy. While complete loss of Ku80 leads to pronounced aging in muscle as expected, accompanied by accumulation of DNA damage, loss of a single allele is sufficient to accelerate aging in skeletal muscle although post-natal growth is normal. Ku80 heterozygous muscle shows no DNA damage accumulation but undergoes premature telomere shortening that alters stem cell self-renewal through stress response pathways including p53. These data reveal an unexpected requirement for both Ku80 alleles for optimal progenitor function and prevention of early onset aging in muscle, as well as providing a useful model for therapeutic approaches.
Project description:Here we analyzed the function of the c-MYC-inducible basic helix-loop-helix leucine-zipper transcription factor AP4 in AP4-deficient mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs). Loss of AP4 resulted in premature senescence and resistance towards immortalization. Senescence was accompanied by induction of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor-encoding genes p16, a known tumor suppressor, and p21, a previously described target for repression by AP4. Notably, AP4 directly repressed p16 expression via conserved E-box motifs in MEFs and human diploid fibroblasts. Senescence caused by AP4-deficiency was prevented by depletion of p16 and/or p21, demonstrating that these factors mediate senescence caused by AP4 loss. As senescence induced by the loss of AP4 was rescued by ectopic AP4, secondary lesions were not involved in causing premature senescence. Activation of c-MYC resulted in repression of p21 and p16 in AP4(+/+), but not in AP4(-/-) MEFs. Furthermore, after combined expression of c-MYC and mutant RAS in MEFs, AP4 was required for colony formation, anchorage-independent growth and tumor formation in mice. In addition, combined ectopic expression of AP4 and mutant RAS in MEFs resulted in colony formation. However, additional loss of the p53 tumor suppressor was necessary for anchorage-independent growth and tumor formation of MEFs by combined AP4 and mutant RAS expression. In conclusion, this study identified AP4 as an oncogenic antagonist of cellular senescence. AP4 achieves this effect by direct repression of p16 and p21, and may thereby critically contribute to c-MYC function and tumor progression.
Project description:Aging is a highly complex biological process that is believed to involve multiple mechanisms. Mice that have small amounts of the mitotic checkpoint protein BubR1 age much faster than normal mice, but whether other mitotic checkpoint genes function to prevent the early onset of aging is unknown. In this study, we show that several aging-associated phenotypes appear early in mice that are double haploinsufficient for the mitotic checkpoint genes Bub3 and Rae1 but not in mice that are single haploinsufficient for these genes. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) from Bub3/Rae1 haploinsufficient mice undergo premature senescence and accumulate high levels of p19, p53, p21, and p16, whereas MEFs from single haploinsufficient mice do not. Furthermore, although BubR1 hypomorphic mice have less aneuploidy than Bub3/Rae1 haploinsufficient mice, they age much faster. Our findings suggest that early onset of aging-associated phenotypes in mice with mitotic checkpoint gene defects is linked to cellular senescence and activation of the p53 and p16 pathways rather than to aneuploidy.
Project description:Rothmund-Thomson fibroblasts had replicative lifespans and growth rates within the range for normal fibroblasts; however, they show elevated levels of the stress-associated p38 MAP kinase, suggestive of stress during growth. Treatment with the p38 MAP kinase inhibitor SB203580 increased both lifespan and growth rate, as did reduction of oxidative stress using low oxygen in some strains. At replicative senescence p53, p21(WAF1) and p16(INK4A) levels were elevated, and abrogation of p53 using shRNA knockdown allowed the cells to bypass senescence. Ectopic expression of human telomerase allowed Rothmund-Thomson fibroblasts to bypass senescence. However, activated p38 was still present, and continuous growth for some telomerised clones required either a reduction in oxidative stress or SB203580 treatment. Overall, the evidence suggests that replicative senescence in Rothmund-Thomson cells resembles normal senescence in that it is telomere driven and p53 dependent. However, the lack of RECQL4 leads to enhanced levels of stress during cell growth that may lead to moderate levels of stress-induced premature senescence. As replicative senescence is believed to underlie human ageing, a moderate level of stress-induced premature senescence and p38 activity may play a role in the relatively mild ageing phenotype seen in Rothmund-Thomson.
Project description:UTX is known as a general factor that activates gene transcription during development. Here, we demonstrate an additional essential role of UTX in the DNA damage response, in which it upregulates the expression of ku80 in Drosophila, both in cultured cells and in third instar larvae. We further showed that UTX mediates the expression of ku80 by the demethylation of H3K27me3 at the ku80 promoter upon exposure to ionizing radiation (IR) in a p53-dependent manner. UTX interacts physically with p53, and both UTX and p53 are recruited to the ku80 promoter following IR exposure in an interdependent manner. In contrast, the loss of utx has little impact on the expression of ku70, mre11, hid and reaper, suggesting the specific regulation of ku80 expression by UTX. Thus, our findings further elucidate the molecular function of UTX.
Project description:Ku80 is involved in DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) repair. Ku80 is overexpressed in lung cancer tissues, yet, molecular mechanisms have not been examined. We identified that miRNA, hsa-miR-526b, is bound to the 3'-UTR of Ku80 mRNA, thus decreasing Ku80 expression in NSCLC cells. Hsa-miR-526b was downregulated in NSCLC tissues compared with corresponding non-tumorous tissues, and its expression was inversely correlated with Ku80 upregulation. Overexpression of Ku80 and downregulation of hsa-miR-526b were associated with poor clinical outcomes of NSCLC patients. Hsa-miR-526b suppressed NSCLC cell proliferation, clonogenicity, and induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Hsa-miR-526b inhibited xenografts and orthotopic lung tumor growth. Further, Ku80 knockdown in NSCLC cells suppressed tumor properties in vitro and in vivo similar to hsa-miR-526b overexpression. In agreement, Ku80 restoration partially reversed cell cycle arrest and apoptosis induced by hsa-miR-526b in NSCLC cells in vitro and in vivo. In addition, hsa-miR-526b overexpression or Ku80 knockdown increased p53 and p21CIP1/WAF1 expression. These findings reveal that hsa-miR-526b is a potential target in cancer therapy.
Project description:We show that caveolin-1 is a novel binding protein for Mdm2. After oxidative stress, caveolin-1 sequesters Mdm2 away from p53, leading to stabilization of p53 and up-regulation of p21(Waf1/Cip1) in human fibroblasts. Expression of a peptide corresponding to the Mdm2 binding domain of caveolin-1 is sufficient to up-regulate p53 and p21(Waf1/Cip1) protein expression and induce premature senescence. Oxidative stress-induced activation of the p53/p21(Waf1/Cip1) pathway and induction of premature senescence are compromised in caveolin-1 null mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF). We also show that reintroduction of caveolin-1 in oncogenic Ras (Ras(G12V))-transformed fibroblasts, which express residual levels of caveolin-1, is sufficient to promote cellular senescence. Moreover, caveolin-1 expression in MEFs is required for senescent fibroblast-induced stimulation of cell growth and tumorigenesis of both Ras(G12V)-transformed fibroblasts and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer epithelial cells both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, our results propose caveolin-1 as a key mediator of the antagonistic pleiotropic properties of cellular senescence.
Project description:Genotoxic stress triggers the p53 tumor suppressor network to activate cellular responses that lead to cell cycle arrest, DNA repair, apoptosis or senescence. This network functions mainly through transactivation of different downstream targets, including cell cycle inhibitor p21, which is required for short-term cell cycle arrest or long-term cellular senescence, or proapoptotic genes such as p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA) and Noxa. However, the mechanism that switches from cell cycle arrest to apoptosis is still unknown. In this study, we found that mice harboring a hypomorphic mutant p53, R172P, a mutation that abrogates p53-mediated apoptosis while keeping cell cycle control mostly intact, are more susceptible to ultraviolet-B (UVB)-induced skin damage, inflammation and immunosuppression than wild-type mice. p53(R172P) embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) are hypersensitive to UVB and prematurely senesce after UVB exposure, in stark contrast to wild-type MEFs, which undergo apoptosis. However, these mutant cells are able to repair UV-induced DNA lesions, indicating that the UV hypersensitive phenotype results from the subsequent damage response. Mutant MEFs show an induction of p53 and p21 after UVR, while wild-type MEFs additionally induce PUMA and Noxa. Importantly, p53(R172P) MEFs failed to downregulate anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2, which has been shown to play an important role in p53-dependent apoptosis. Taken together, these data demonstrate that in the absence of p53-mediated apoptosis, cells undergo cellular senescence to prevent genomic instability. Our results also indicate that p53-dependent apoptosis may play an active role in balancing cellular growth.
Project description:MDM2 is the predominant negative regulator of p53 that functions to maintain the appropriate level of expression and activity of this central tumor suppressor. Mdm2-a is a commonly identified splice variant of Mdm2; however, its physiological function is unclear. To gain insight into the activity of MDM2-A and its potential impact on p53, an Mdm2-a transgenic mouse model was generated. Mdm2-a transgenic mice displayed a homozygous-lethal phenotype that could be rescued by a reduction in p53 expression, demonstrating a dependence upon p53. Mdm2-a hemizygous mice exhibited reduced longevity, and enhanced senescence was observed in their salivary glands. In addition, the transgenic mice lacked typical, accelerated aging phenotypes. Growth of transgenic mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) was inhibited relative to wild-type MEFs, and MDM2-A was shown to bind to full-length MDM2 in an interaction that could increase p53 activity via reduced MDM2 inhibition. Evidence of p53 activation was shown in the Mdm2-a transgenic MEFs, including p53-dependent growth inhibition and elevated expression of the p53 target protein p21. In addition, MDM2-A increased senescence in a p21-independent manner. In conclusion, unexpected roles for MDM2-A in longevity and senescence were identified in a transgenic mouse model, suggesting that Mdm2 splice variants might be determinants of these phenotypes in vivo.