Hypoxia-induced SETX links replication stress with the unfolded protein response
Ramachandran S., Ma T., Ng N., Foskolou IP., Hwang M-S., Victori P., Cheng W-C., Buffa FM., Leszczynska KB., Gromak N., Hammond EM.
<jats:title>ABSTRACT</jats:title><jats:p>The levels of hypoxia associated with resistance to radiotherapy significantly impact cancer patient prognosis. These levels of hypoxia initiate a unique transcriptional response with the rapid activation of numerous transcription factors in a background of global repression of transcription. Here, we show that the biological response to radiobiological hypoxia includes the induction of the DNA/RNA helicase SETX. In the absence of hypoxia-induced SETX, R-loop levels increase, DNA damage accumulates, and DNA replication rates decrease. SETX plays a key role in protecting cells from DNA damage induced during transcription in hypoxia. Importantly, we show that the mechanism of SETX induction is reliant on the PERK/ATF4 arm of the unfolded protein response. These data not only highlight the unique cellular response to radiobiological hypoxia, which includes both a replication stress dependent DNA damage response and an unfolded protein response but uncover a novel link between these two distinct pathways.</jats:p>