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The identification of new molecular components of the DNA damage signaling cascade opens novel avenues to enhance the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs. High-mobility group protein 1 (HMGB1) is a DNA damage sensor responsive to the incorporation of nonnatural nucleosides into DNA; several nuclear and cytosolic proteins are functionally integrated with HMGB1 in the context of DNA damage response. The functional role of HMGB1 and HMGB1-associated proteins (high-mobility group protein B2, HMGB2; glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, GAPDH; protein disulfide isomerase family A member 3, PDIA3; and heat shock 70 kDa protein 8, HSPA8) in DNA damage response was assessed in human carcinoma cells A549 and UO31 by transient knockdown with short interfering RNAs. Using the cell proliferation assay, we found that knockdown of HMGB1-associated proteins resulted in 8-fold to 50-fold decreased chemosensitivity of A549 cells to cytarabine. Western blot analysis and immunofluorescent microscopy were used to evaluate genotoxic stress markers in knocked-down cancer cells after 24 to 72 hours of incubation with 1 micromol/L of cytarabine. Our results dissect the roles of HMGB1-associated proteins in DNA damage response: HMGB1 and HMGB2 facilitate p53 phosphorylation after exposure to genotoxic stress, and PDIA3 has been found essential for H2AX phosphorylation (no gamma-H2AX accumulated after 24-72 hours of incubation with 1 micromol/L of cytarabine in PDIA3 knockdown cells). We conclude that phosphorylation of p53 and phosphorylation of H2AX occur in two distinct branches of the DNA damage response. These findings identify new molecular components of the DNA damage signaling cascade and provide novel promising targets for chemotherapeutic intervention.


Natalia F Krynetskaia, Manali S Phadke, Sachin H Jadhav, Evgeny Y Krynetskiy. Chromatin-associated proteins HMGB1/2 and PDIA3 trigger cellular response to chemotherapy-induced DNA damage. Molecular cancer therapeutics. 2009 Apr;8(4):864-72

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PMID: 19372559

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