Focus of Research:
Co-Authors Vladimir L. Gabai, Cornelia O'Callaghan-Sunol, Le Meng, Michael Y. Sherman
Cancer Res. 2008 Mar 15;68(6):1834-42Depletion of the major heat shock protein Hsp72 leads to activation of the senescence program in a variety of tumor cell lines via both p53-dependent and p53-independent pathways. Here, we found that the Hsp72-depleted cells show defect in phosphorylation and activation of the protein kinase Chk1 by genotoxic stresses, such as UVC irradiation or camptothecin. Under these conditions, phosphorylation of Rad17 was also suppressed, whereas phosphorylation of p53 at Ser(15) was not affected, indicating a specific defect in phosphorylation of a subset of the ATR kinase substrates. Similarly, suppression of Chk1 activation was seen when senescence signaling was triggered by direct stimulation of p53, depletion of Cdc2, or overexpression of the cell cycle inhibitors p21 or p16. Thus, defect in Chk1 activation was not a consequence of the chaperone imbalance, but rather a downstream effect of activation of the senescence signaling. Inhibition of Chk1 was associated with inefficient inter-S phase checkpoint, as Hsp72 depleted cells failed to halt cell cycle progression upon UVC irradiation. Accordingly, sensitivity of cells to genotoxic stimuli after Hsp72 depletion was significantly enhanced. Thus, activation of the senescence signaling causes a defect in the DNA damage response manifested in increased sensitivity to genotoxic stresses.