Post-transcriptional regulation of DNA damage-responsive gene expression
Significance: Production of proteins requires the synthesis, maturation, and export of mRNAs before their translation in the cytoplasm. Endogenous and exogenous sources of DNA damage pose a challenge to the co-ordinated regulation of gene expression, because the integrity of the DNA template can be compromised by DNA lesions. Cells recognize and respond to this DNA damage through a variety of DNA damage responses (DDRs). Failure to deal with DNA damage appropriately can lead to genomic instability and cancer. Recent Advances: The p53 tumor suppressor plays a dominant role in DDR-dependent changes in gene expression, but this transcription factor is not solely responsible for all changes. Recent evidence indicates that RNA metabolism is integral to DDRs as well. In particular, post-transcriptional processes are emerging as important contributors to these complex responses. Critical Issues: Transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and translational regulation of gene expression is subject to changes in response to DNA damage. How these processes are intertwined in the unfolding of DDR is not fully understood. Future Directions: Many complex regulatory responses combine to determine cell fate after DNA damage. Understanding how transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and translational processes interdigitate to create a web of regulatory interactions will be one of the key challenges to fully understand DDRs. 640-654.