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DYRK2 is targeted to the nucleus and controls p53 via Ser46 phosphorylation in the apoptotic response to DNA damage.

Taira N., Nihira K., Yamaguchi T., Miki Y., Yoshida K.

Genotoxic stress exerts biological activity by activating downstream effectors, including the p53 tumor suppressor. p53 regulates cell-cycle checkpoint and induction of apoptosis in response to DNA damage; however, molecular mechanisms responsible for committing to these distinct functions remain to be elucidated. Recent studies demonstrated that phosphorylation of p53 at Ser46 is associated with induction of p53AIP1 expression, resulting in commitment to apoptotic cell death. In this regard, the role for Ser46 kinases in p53-dependent apoptosis has been established; however, the kinases responsible for Ser46 phosphorylation have yet to be identified. Here, we demonstrate that the dual-specificity tyrosine-phosphorylation-regulated kinase 2 (DYRK2) directly phosphorylates p53 at Ser46. Upon exposure to genotoxic stress, DYRK2 translocates into the nucleus for Ser46 phosphorylation. Consistent with these results, DYRK2 induces p53AIP1 expression and apoptosis in a Ser46 phosphorylation-dependent manner. These findings indicate that DYRK2 regulates p53 to induce apoptosis in response to DNA damage.

Mol. Cell 25:725-738(2007) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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