Loss of the N-terminal methyltransferase NRMT1 increases sensitivity to DNA damage and promotes mammary oncogenesis

Lindsay A. Bonsignore, Jill Sergesketter Butler, Carolyn M. Klinge, Christine E. Schaner Tooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Though discovered over four decades ago, the function of N-terminal methylation has mostly remained a mystery. Our discovery of the first mammalian N-terminal methyltransferase, NRMT1, has led to the discovery of many new functions for N-terminal methylation, including regulation of DNA/protein interactions, accurate mitotic division, and nucleotide excision repair (NER). Here we test whether NRMT1 is also important for DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair, and given its previously known roles in cell cycle regulation and the DNA damage response, assay if NRMT1 is acting as a tumor suppressor. We find that NRMT1 knockdown significantly enhances the sensitivity of breast cancer cell lines to both etoposide treatment and γ-irradiation, as well as, increases proliferation rate, invasive potential, anchorage-independent growth, xenograft tumor size, and tamoxifen sensitivity. Interestingly, this positions NRMT1 as a tumor suppressor protein involved in multiple DNA repair pathways, and indicates, similar to BRCA1 and BRCA2, its loss may result in tumors with enhanced sensitivity to diverse DNA damaging chemotherapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12248-12263
Number of pages16
JournalOncotarget
Volume6
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • DNA damage
  • DNA repair
  • N-terminal methylation
  • NRMT1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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