DAZAP2 acts as specifier of the p53 response to DNA damage

Magdalena C. Liebl, Jutta Moehlenbrink, Huong Becker, Günter Raddatz, Suhaib K. Abdeen, Rami I. Aqeilan, Frank Lyko, Thomas G. Hofmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The DNA damage-responsive tumor suppressors p53 and HIPK2 are well established regulators of cell fate decision-making and regulate the cellular sensitivity to DNA-damaging drugs. Here, we identify Deleted in Azoospermia-associated protein 2 (DAZAP2), a small adaptor protein, as a novel regulator of HIPK2 and specifier of the DNA damage-induced p53 response. Knock-down or genetic deletion of DAZAP2 strongly potentiates cancer cell chemosensitivity both in cells and in vivo using a mouse tumour xenograft model. In unstressed cells, DAZAP2 stimulates HIPK2 polyubiquitination and degradation through interplay with the ubiquitin ligase SIAH1. Upon DNA damage, HIPK2 site-specifically phosphorylates DAZAP2, which terminates its HIPK2-degrading function and triggers its re-localization to the cell nucleus. Interestingly, nuclear DAZAP2 interacts with p53 and specifies target gene expression through modulating a defined subset of p53 target genes. Furthermore, our results suggest that DAZAP2 co-occupies p53 response elements to specify target gene expression. Collectively, our findings propose DAZAP2 as novel regulator of the DNA damage-induced p53 response that controls cancer cell chemosensitivity.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2759-2776
Number of pages18
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 18 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.


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