Germ cells are sensitive to genotoxins, and ovarian failure and infertility are major side effects of chemotherapy in young patients with cancer. Here we describe the c-Abl-TAp63 pathway activated by chemotherapeutic DNA-damaging drugs in model human cell lines and in mouse oocytes and its role in cell death. In cell lines, upon cisplatin treatment, c-Abl phosphorylates TAp63 on specific tyrosine residues. Such modifications affect p63 stability and induce a p63-dependent activation of proapoptotic promoters. Similarly, in oocytes, cisplatin rapidly promotes TAp63 accumulation and eventually cell death. Treatment with the c-Abl kinase inhibitor imatinib counteracts these cisplatin-induced effects. Taken together, these data support a model in which signals initiated by DNA double-strand breaks are detected by c-Abl, which, through its kinase activity, modulates the p63 transcriptional output. Moreover, they suggest a new use for imatinib, aimed at preserving oocytes of the follicle reserve during chemotherapeutic treatments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)