ASS1 metabolically contributes to the nuclear and cytosolic p53-mediated DNA damage response

Lisha Qiu Jin Lim, Lital Adler, Emma Hajaj, Leandro R. Soria, Rotem Ben Tov Perry, Naama Darzi, Ruchama Brody, Noa Furth, Michal Lichtenstein, Elizabeta Bab-Dinitz, Ziv Porat, Tevie Melman, Alexander Brandis, Yael Aylon, Shifra Ben-Dor, Irit Orr, Amir Pri-Or, Rony Seger, Yoav Shaul, Eytan RuppinMoshe Oren, Minervo Perez, Jordan Meier, Nicola Brunetti-Pierri, Efrat Shema, Igor Ulitsky, Ayelet Erez*, Sergey Malitsky, Maxim Itkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Downregulation of the urea cycle enzyme argininosuccinate synthase (ASS1) in multiple tumors is associated with a poor prognosis partly because of the metabolic diversion of cytosolic aspartate for pyrimidine synthesis, supporting proliferation and mutagenesis owing to nucleotide imbalance. Here, we find that prolonged loss of ASS1 promotes DNA damage in colon cancer cells and fibroblasts from subjects with citrullinemia type I. Following acute induction of DNA damage with doxorubicin, ASS1 expression is elevated in the cytosol and the nucleus with at least a partial dependency on p53; ASS1 metabolically restrains cell cycle progression in the cytosol by restricting nucleotide synthesis. In the nucleus, ASS1 and ASL generate fumarate for the succination of SMARCC1, destabilizing the chromatin-remodeling complex SMARCC1–SNF5 to decrease gene transcription, specifically in a subset of the p53-regulated cell cycle genes. Thus, following DNA damage, ASS1 is part of the p53 network that pauses cell cycle progression, enabling genome maintenance and survival. Loss of ASS1 contributes to DNA damage and promotes cell cycle progression, likely contributing to cancer mutagenesis and, hence, adaptability potential.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Metabolism
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

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© The Author(s) 2024.


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