Cell cycle and apoptosis regulator 2 at the interface between DNA damage response and cell physiology

Martina Magni, Giacomo Buscemi, Laura Zannini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cell cycle and apoptosis regulator 2 (CCAR2 or DBC1) is a human protein recently emerged as a novel and important player of the DNA damage response (DDR). Indeed, upon genotoxic stress, CCAR2, phosphorylated by the apical DDR kinases ATM and ATR, increases its binding to the NAD+-dependent histone deacetylase SIRT1 and inhibits SIRT1 activity. This event promotes the acetylation and activation of p53, a SIRT1 target, and the subsequent induction of p53 dependent apoptosis. In addition, CCAR2 influences DNA repair pathway choice and promotes the chromatin relaxation necessary for the repair of heterochromatic DNA lesions. However, besides DDR, CCAR2 is involved in several other cellular functions. Indeed, through the interaction with transcription factors, nuclear receptors, epigenetic modifiers and RNA polymerase II, CCAR2 regulates transcription and transcript elongation. Moreover, promoting Rev-erbα protein stability and repressing BMAL1 and CLOCK expression, it was reported to modulate the circadian rhythm. Through SIRT1 inhibition, CCAR2 is also involved in metabolism control and, suppressing RelB and p65 activities in the NFkB pathway, it restricts B cell proliferation and immunoglobulin production. Notably, CCAR2 expression is deregulated in several tumors and, compared to the non-neoplastic counterpart, it may be up- or down-regulated. Since its up-regulation in cancer patients is usually associated with poor prognosis and its depletion reduces cancer cell growth in vitro, CCAR2 was suggested to act as a tumor promoter. However, there is also evidence that CCAR2 functions as a tumor suppressor and therefore its role in cancer formation and progression is still unclear. In this review we discuss CCAR2 functions in the DDR and its multiple biological activities in unstressed cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalMutation Research
Publication statusPublished - May 29 2018


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics
  • Apoptosis/genetics
  • B-Lymphocytes/immunology
  • Cellular Senescence/genetics
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly/genetics
  • Circadian Clocks/genetics
  • DNA Damage/genetics
  • DNA Repair/genetics
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms/etiology
  • Sirtuin 1/genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/genetics


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