Ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase plays a crucial role as a master controller in the cellular DNA damage response. Inhibition of ATM leads to inhibition of the checkpoint signaling pathway. Hence, addition of checkpoint inhibitors to anticancer therapies may be an effective targeting strategy. A recent study reported that Wip1, a protein phosphatase, dephosphorylates serine 1981 of ATM during the DNA damage response. Squalene has been proposed to complement anticancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy; however, there is little mechanistic information supporting this idea. Here, we report the inhibitory effect of squalene on ATM-dependent DNA damage signals. Squalene itself did not affect cell viability and the cell cycle of A549 cells, but it enhanced the cytotoxicity of gamma-irradiation (γIR). The in vitro kinase activity of ATM was not altered by squalene. However, squalene increased Wip1 expression in cells and suppressed ATM activation in γIR-treated cells. Consistent with the potential inhibition of ATM by squalene, IR-induced phosphorylation of ATM effectors such as p53 (Ser15) and Chk1 (Ser317) was inhibited by cell treatment with squalene. Thus, squalene inhibits the ATM-dependent signaling pathway following DNA damage through intracellular induction of Wip1 expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)