Ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase is a component of a signalling mechanism that determines the process of decision-making in response to DNA damage and involves the participation of multiple proteins. ATM is activated by DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) through the Mre11–Rad50–Nbs1 (MRN) DNA repair complex, and orchestrates signalling cascades that initiate the DNA damage response. Cells lacking ATM are hypersensitive to insults, particularly genotoxic stress, induced through radiation or radiomimetic drugs. Here, we investigate the degree of ATM activation during time-dependent treatment with genotoxic agents and the effects of ATM on phospho-induction and localization of its downstream substrates. Additionally, we have demonstrated a new cell-cycle-independent mechanism of ATM gene regulation following ATM kinase inhibition with KU5593. Inhibition of ATM activity causes induction of ATM protein followed by oscillation and this mechanism is governed at the transcriptional level. Furthermore, this autoregulatory induction of ATM is also accompanied by a transient upregulation of p53, pATR and E2F1 levels. Since ATM inhibition is believed to sensitize cancer cells to genotoxic agents, this novel insight into the mechanism of ATM regulation might be useful for designing more precise strategies for modulation of ATM activity in cancer therapy.
- DNA repair
- DNA damage response