Different cell cycle modifications repress apoptosis at different steps independent of developmental signaling in Drosophila.
ABSTRACT: Apoptotic cell death is important for the normal development of a variety of organisms. Apoptosis is also a response to DNA damage and an important barrier to oncogenesis. The apoptotic response to DNA damage is dampened in specific cell types during development. Developmental signaling pathways can repress apoptosis, and reduced cell proliferation also correlates with a lower apoptotic response. However, because developmental signaling regulates both cell proliferation and apoptosis, the relative contribution of cell division to the apoptotic response has been hard to discern in vivo. Here we use Drosophila oogenesis as an in vivo model system to determine the extent to which cell proliferation influences the apoptotic response to DNA damage. We find that different types of cell cycle modifications are sufficient to repress the apoptotic response to ionizing radiation independent of developmental signaling. The step(s) at which the apoptosis pathway was repressed depended on the type of cell cycle modification-either upstream or downstream of expression of the p53-regulated proapoptotic genes. Our findings have important implications for understanding the coordination of cell proliferation with the apoptotic response in development and disease, including cancer and the tissue-specific responses to radiation therapy.
Project description:The endocycle is a common developmental cell cycle variation wherein cells become polyploid through repeated genome duplication without mitosis. We previously showed that Drosophila endocycling cells repress the apoptotic cell death response to genotoxic stress. Here, we investigate whether it is differentiation or endocycle remodeling that promotes apoptotic repression. We find that when nurse and follicle cells switch into endocycles during oogenesis they repress the apoptotic response to DNA damage caused by ionizing radiation, and that this repression has been conserved in the genus Drosophila over 40 million years of evolution. Follicle cells defective for Notch signaling failed to switch into endocycles or differentiate and remained apoptotic competent. However, genetic ablation of mitosis by knockdown of Cyclin A or overexpression of fzr/Cdh1 induced follicle cell endocycles and repressed apoptosis independently of Notch signaling and differentiation. Cells recovering from these induced endocycles regained apoptotic competence, showing that repression is reversible. Recovery from fzr/Cdh1 overexpression also resulted in an error-prone mitosis with amplified centrosomes and high levels of chromosome loss and fragmentation. Our results reveal an unanticipated link between endocycles and the repression of apoptosis, with broader implications for how endocycles may contribute to genome instability and oncogenesis.
Project description:Although Snail factors promote cell survival in development and cancer, the tumor-suppressor p53 promotes apoptosis in response to stress. p53 and Snail2 act antagonistically to regulate p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis (Puma) and cell death in hematopoietic progenitors following DNA damage. Here, we show that this relationship is conserved in the developing nervous system in which Snail genes are excluded from vertebrate neurons and they are substituted by Scratch, a related but independent neural-specific factor. The transcription of scratch2 is induced directly by p53 after DNA damage to repress puma, thereby antagonizing p53-mediated apoptosis. In addition, we show that scratch2 is required for newly differentiated neurons to survive by maintaining Puma levels low during normal embryonic development in the absence of damage. scratch2 knockdown in zebrafish embryos leads to neuronal death through the activation of the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways. To compensate for neuronal loss, the proliferation of neuronal precursors increases in scratch2-deficient embryos, reminiscent of the activation of progenitor/stem cell proliferation after damage-induced apoptosis. Our data indicate that the regulatory loop linking p53/Puma with Scratch is active in the vertebrate nervous system, not only controlling cell death in response to damage but also during normal embryonic development.
Project description:The DNA damage response (DDR) is a complex signaling network that is activated upon genotoxic stress. It determines cellular fate by either activating cell cycle arrest or initiating apoptosis and thereby ensures genomic stability. The Apoptosis Antagonizing Transcription Factor (AATF/Che-1), an RNA polymerase II-interacting transcription factor and known downstream target of major DDR kinases, affects DDR signaling by inhibiting p53-mediated transcription of pro-apoptotic genes and promoting cell cycle arrest through various pathways instead. Specifically, AATF was shown to inhibit p53 expression at the transcriptional level and repress its pro-apoptotic activity by direct binding to p53 protein and transactivation of anti-apoptotic genes. Solid and hematological tumors of various organs exploit this function by overexpressing AATF. Both copy number gains and high expression levels of AATF were associated with worse prognosis or relapse of malignant tumors. Recently, a number of studies have enabled insights into the molecular mechanisms by which AATF affects both DDR and proliferation. AATF was found to directly localize to sites of DNA damage upon laser ablation and interact with DNA repair proteins. In addition, depletion of AATF resulted in increased DNA damage and decrease of both proliferative activity and genotoxic tolerance. Interestingly, considering the role of ribosomal stress in the regulation of p53, more recent work established AATF as ribosomal RNA binding protein and enabled insights into its role as an important factor for rRNA processing and ribosome biogenesis. This Mini Review summarizes recent findings on AATF and its important role in the DDR, malignancy, and ribosome biogenesis.
Project description:Aging is associated with progressive telomere shortening, resulting in the formation of dysfunctional telomeres that compromise tissue proliferation. However, dysfunctional telomeres can limit tumorigenesis by activating p53-dependent cellular senescence and apoptosis. While activation of both senescence and apoptosis is required for repress tumor formation, it is not clear which pathway is the major tumor suppressive pathway in vivo. In this study, we generated E?-myc; Pot1b(?/?) mouse to directly compare tumor formation under conditions in which either p53-dependent apoptosis or senescence is activated by telomeres devoid of the shelterin component Pot1b. We found that activation of p53-dependent apoptosis plays a more critical role in suppressing lymphoma formation than p53-dependent senescence. In addition, we found that telomeres in Pot1b(?/?) ; p53(-/-) mice activate an ATR-Chk1-dependent DNA damage response to initiate a robust p53-independent, p73-dependent apoptotic pathway that limited stem cell proliferation but suppressed B-cell lymphomagenesis. Our results demonstrate that in mouse models, both p53-dependent and p53-independent apoptosis are important to suppressing tumor formation.
Project description:To investigate the role of thrombin in regulating apoptosis, we have used CCl39 cells, a fibroblast cell line in which thrombin-induced cell proliferation has been extensively studied. Withdrawal of serum from CCl39 cells resulted in a rapid apoptotic response that was completely prevented by the inclusion of thrombin. The protective effect of thrombin was reversed by pertussis toxin, suggesting that cell-survival signalling pathways are activated via a G(i) or G(o) heterotrimeric GTPase. Serum-withdrawal-induced death required de novo gene expression and was preceded by the rapid de novo expression of the pro-apoptotic 'BH3-only' protein Bim (Bcl-2-interacting mediator of cell death). Thrombin strongly inhibited the up-regulation of both Bim protein and Bim mRNA. The ability of thrombin to repress Bim expression, and to protect cells from apoptosis, was reversed by U0126, a MEK1/2 [MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) or ERK (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase) 1/2] inhibitor, or LY294002, a phosphoinositide 3'-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, suggesting that both the Raf-->MEK-->ERK1/2 and PI3K pathways co-operate to repress Bim and promote cell survival. A PAR1p (protease-activated receptor 1 agonist peptide) was also able to protect cells from serum-withdrawal-induced apoptosis, suggesting that thrombin acts via PAR1 to prevent apoptosis.
Project description:Preventing unnecessary cell death is essential for DNA-damaged cells to carry out the DNA repair process.Cdc7 inhibits the Cul4-DDB1(Cdt2)-dependent Tob degradation.Cdc7 enables mild DNA-damaged cells to keep their viability by competing with the Tob degradation system.Cells deal with moderate DNA damage not only by cessation of the cell cycle but also through direct mediated pro-survival signaling. Cells respond to DNA damage by activating alternate signaling pathways that induce proliferation arrest or apoptosis. The correct balance between these two pathways is important for maintaining genomic integrity and preventing unnecessary cell death. The mechanism by which DNA-damaged cells escape from apoptosis during DNA repair is poorly understood. We show that the DNA replication-initiating kinase Cdc7 actively prevents unnecessary death in DNA-damaged cells. In response to mild DNA damage, Tob levels increase through both a transcriptional mechanism and protein stabilization, resulting in inhibition of pro-apoptotic signaling. Cells lacking Cdc7 expression undergo apoptosis after mild DNA damage, where Cul4-DDB1(Cdt2) induces Tob ubiquitination and subsequent degradation. Cdc7 phosphorylates and interacts with Tob to inhibit the Cul4-DDB1(Cdt2)-dependent Tob degradation. Thus, Cdc7 defines an essential pro-survival signaling pathway by contributing to stabilization of Tob, thereby the viability of DNA-damaged cells being maintained.
Project description:Cell proliferation and cell death are opposing but fundamental aspects of development that must be tightly controlled to ensure proper tissue organization and organismal health. Developmental apoptosis of abdominal neuroblasts in the Drosophila ventral nerve cord is controlled by multiple upstream spatial and temporal signals, which have also been implicated in control of cell proliferation. It has therefore remained unclear whether developmental apoptosis is linked to active cell proliferation. Previous investigations into this topic have focused on the effect of cell cycle arrests on exogenous induction of apoptosis, and thus have not addressed whether potential effects of the cell cycle lie with the sensing of damage signals or the execution of apoptosis itself. In this report, we show that developmental apoptosis is not inhibited by cell cycle arrest, and that endogenous cell death occurs independently of cell cycle phase. We also find that ectopic neuroblasts rescued from cell death retain the competency to respond to quiescence cues at the end of embryogenesis. In addition, we observe multiple quiescence types in neuroblasts, and we show that cell death mutant embryos display a specific loss of presumptive G2 quiescent abdominal neuroblasts at the end of embryogenesis. This study demonstrates that upstream control of neuroblast proliferation and apoptosis represent independent mechanisms of regulating stem cell fate, and that execution of apoptosis occurs in a cell cycle-independent manner. Our findings also indicate that a subset of G2Q-fated abdominal neuroblasts are eliminated from the embryo through a non-apoptotic mechanism.
Project description:It is not understood why healthy tissues can exhibit varying levels of sensitivity to the same toxic stimuli. Using BH3 profiling, we find that mitochondria of many adult somatic tissues, including brain, heart, and kidneys, are profoundly refractory to pro-apoptotic signaling, leading to cellular resistance to cytotoxic chemotherapies and ionizing radiation. In contrast, mitochondria from these tissues in young mice and humans are primed for apoptosis, predisposing them to undergo cell death in response to genotoxic damage. While expression of the apoptotic protein machinery is nearly absent by adulthood, in young tissues its expression is driven by c-Myc, linking developmental growth to cell death. These differences may explain why pediatric cancer patients have a higher risk of developing treatment-associated toxicities.
Project description:The Jun Kinase (JNK) signaling pathway responds to diverse stimuli by appropriate and specific cellular responses such as apoptosis, differentiation or proliferation. The mechanisms that mediate this specificity remain largely unknown. The core of this signaling pathway, composed of a JNK protein and a JNK kinase (JNKK), can be activated by various putative JNKK kinases (JNKKK) which are themselves downstream of different adaptor proteins. A proposed hypothesis is that the JNK pathway specific response lies in the combination of a JNKKK and an adaptor protein upstream of the JNKK. We previously showed that the Drosophila homolog of pRb (Rbf1) and a mutant form of Rbf1 (Rbf1(D253A)) have JNK-dependent pro-apoptotic properties. Rbf1(D253A) is also able to induce a JNK-dependent abnormal proliferation. Here, we show that Rbf1-induced apoptosis triggers proliferation which depends on the JNK pathway activation. Taking advantage of these phenotypes, we investigated the JNK signaling involved in either Rbf1-induced apoptosis or in proliferation in response to Rbf1-induced apoptosis. We demonstrated that 2 different JNK pathways involving different adaptor proteins and kinases are involved in Rbf1-apoptosis (i.e. Rac1-dTak1-dMekk1-JNK pathway) and in proliferation in response to Rbf1-induced apoptosis (i.e., dTRAF1-Slipper-JNK pathway). Using a transient induction of rbf1, we show that Rbf1-induced apoptosis activates a compensatory proliferation mechanism which also depends on Slipper and dTRAF1. Thus, these 2 proteins seem to be key players of compensatory proliferation in Drosophila.
Project description:In multicellular organisms, apoptotic cells induce compensatory proliferation of neighboring cells to maintain tissue homeostasis. In the Drosophila wing imaginal disc, dying cells trigger compensatory proliferation through secretion of the mitogens Decapentaplegic (Dpp) and Wingless (Wg). This process is under control of the initiator caspase Dronc, but not effector caspases. Here we show that a second mechanism of apoptosis-induced compensatory proliferation exists. This mechanism is dependent on effector caspases which trigger the activation of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling for compensatory proliferation. Furthermore, whereas Dpp and Wg signaling is preferentially employed in apoptotic proliferating tissues, Hh signaling is activated in differentiating eye tissues. Interestingly, effector caspases in photoreceptor neurons stimulate Hh signaling which triggers cell-cycle reentry of cells that had previously exited the cell cycle. In summary, dependent on the developmental potential of the affected tissue, different caspases trigger distinct forms of compensatory proliferation in an apparent nonapoptotic function.