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The Journal of Biological Chemistry

Year: 2008  |  Volume: 283  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 2353 - 2362

RhoBTB2 (DBC2) Is a Mitotic E2F1 Target Gene with a Novel Role in Apoptosis

Scott N. Freeman, Yihong Ma and W. Douglas Cress


We have identified the RhoBTB2 putative tumor suppressor gene as a direct target of the E2F1 transcription factor. Overexpression of E2F1 led to up-regulation of RhoBTB2 at the level of mRNA and protein. This also occurred during the induction of E2F1 activity in the presence of cycloheximide, thus indicating that RhoBTB2 is a direct target. RNAi-mediated knockdown of E2F1 resulted in decreased RhoBTB2 protein expression, demonstrating that RhoBTB2 is a physiological target of E2F1. Because E2F1 primarily serves to transcribe genes involved in cell cycle progression and apoptosis, we explored whether RhoBTB2 played roles in either of these processes. We found RhoBTB2 expression highly up-regulated during mitosis, which was partially dependent on the presence of E2F1. Furthermore, overexpression of RhoBTB2 induced a short term increase in cell cycle progression and proliferation, while long term expression had a negative effect on these processes. We similarly found RhoBTB2 up-regulated during drug-induced apoptosis, with this being primarily dependent on E2F1. Finally, we observed that knockdown of RhoBTB2 levels via siRNA delayed the onset of drug-induced apoptosis. Collectively, we describe RhoBTB2 as a novel direct target of E2F1 with roles in cell cycle and apoptosis.

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