RASSF Signalling and DNA Damage: Monitoring the Integrity of the Genome?
Scrace SF., O'Neill E.
The RASSF family of proteins has been extensively studied in terms of their genetics, structure and function. One of the functions that has been increasingly studied is the role of the RASSF proteins in the DNA damage response. Surprisingly, this research, which encompasses both the classical and N-terminal RASSF proteins, has revealed an involvement of the RASSFs in oncogenic pathways as well as the more familiar tumour suppressor pathways usually associated with the RASSF family members. The most studied protein with respect to DNA damage is RASSF1A, which has been shown, not only to be activated by ATM, a major regulator of the DNA damage response, but also to bind to and activate a number of different pathways which all lead to and feedback from the guardian of the genome, p53. In this review we discuss the latest research linking the RASSF proteins to DNA damage signalling and maintenance of genomic integrity and look at how this knowledge is being utilised in the clinic to enhance the effectiveness of traditional cancer therapies such as radiotherapy.