Chk2 activates E2F-1 in response to DNA damage.
Stevens C., Smith L., La Thangue NB.
The E2F-1 transcription factor is regulated during cell cycle progression and induced by cellular stress, such as DNA damage. We report that checkpoint kinase 2 (Chk2) regulates E2F-1 activity in response to the DNA-damaging agent etoposide. A Chk2 consensus phosphorylation site in E2F-1 is phosphorylated in response to DNA damage, resulting in protein stabilization, increased half-life, transcriptional activation and localization of phosphorylated E2F-1 to discrete nuclear structures. Expression of a dominant-negative Chk2 mutant blocks induction of E2F-1 and prevents E2F-1-dependent apoptosis. Moreover, E2F-1 is resistant to induction by etoposide in tumour cells expressing mutant chk2. Therefore, Chk2 phosphorylates and activates E2F-1 in response to DNA damage, resulting in apoptosis. These results suggest a role for E2F-1 in checkpoint control and provide a plausible explanation for the tumour suppressor activity of E2F-1.