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Mechanism of DNA damage responses induced by exposure to an oligonucleotide homologous to the telomere overhang in melanoma

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journal contribution
posted on 10.02.2014, 00:00 by Luke Wojdyla, Neelu Puri, Ryan T. Pitman
T-oligo, an 11-base oligonucleotide homologous to the 3’-telomeric overhang, is a novel, potent therapeutic modality in melanoma and multiple other tumor types. T-oligo is proposed to function in a manner similar to experimental disruption of the telomere overhang and induces DNA damage responses including apoptosis, differentiation and senescence. However, important components involved in T-oligo induced responses are not defined, particularly the role of p53, TRF1 and TRF2 in mediating the T-oligo induced responses. In MU, PM-WK, and MM-MC melanoma cells, exposure to T-oligo upregulates p53 expression and phosphorylation, resulting in cellular differentiation and activation of a caspase-mediated apoptotic cascade. However, siRNA-mediated knockdown of p53 completely blocks T-oligo induced differentiation and significantly decreases apoptosis, suggesting that p53 is an important mediator of T-oligo induced responses. In addition, we characterized the roles of telomere binding proteins, TRF1, TRF2, and tankyrase-1, in T-oligo induced damage responses. We demonstrate that tankyrase-1 activity is required for initiation of T-oligo induced damage responses including p53 phosphorylation and reduction of cellular proliferation. These results highlight TRF1, TRF2, tankyrase-1 and p53 as important elements in T-oligo mediated responses and suggest new avenues for research into T-oligo’s mechanism of action.


Research reported in this publication was supported by National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number 7R03AR050110.


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This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. This is a copy of an article published in the Oncotarget © 2013 Impact Journals


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