Increased BUB1B/BUBR1 expression contributes to aberrant DNA repair activity leading to resistance to DNA-damaging agents

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Oncogene. 2021 Sep 20. doi: 10.1038/s41388-021-02021-y. Online ahead of print.


There has been accumulating evidence for the clinical benefit of chemoradiation therapy (CRT), whereas mechanisms in CRT-recurrent clones derived from the primary tumor are still elusive. Herein, we identified an aberrant BUB1B/BUBR1 expression in CRT-recurrent clones in bladder cancer (BC) by comprehensive proteomic analysis. CRT-recurrent BC cells exhibited a cell-cycle-independent upregulation of BUB1B/BUBR1 expression rendering an enhanced DNA repair activity in response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). With DNA repair analyses employing the CRISPR/cas9 system, we revealed that cells with aberrant BUB1B/BUBR1 expression dominantly exploit mutagenic nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ). We further found that phosphorylated ATM interacts with BUB1B/BUBR1 after ionizing radiation (IR) treatment, and the resistance to DSBs by increased BUB1B/BUBR1 depends on the functional ATM. In vivo, tumor growth of CRT-resistant T24R cells was abrogated by ATM inhibition using AZD0156. A dataset analysis identified FOXM1 as a putative BUB1B/BUBR1-targeting transcription factor causing its increased expression. These data collectively suggest a redundant role of BUB1B/BUBR1 underlying mutagenic NHEJ in an ATM-dependent manner, aside from the canonical activity of BUB1B/BUBR1 on the G2/M checkpoint, and offer novel clues to overcome CRT resistance.

PMID:34545188 | DOI:10.1038/s41388-021-02021-y

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