Molecular Cell - A Posttranslational Modification Cascade Involving p38, Tip60, and PRAK Mediates Oncogene-Induced Senescence

Oncogene-induced senescence is an important tumor-suppressing defense mechanism. However, relatively little is known about the signaling pathway mediating the senescence response. Here, we demonstrate that a multifunctional acetyltransferase, Tip60, plays an essential role in oncogenic ras-induced senescence. Further investigation reveals a cascade of posttranslational modifications involving p38, Tip60, and PRAK, three proteins that are essential for ras-induced senescence. Upon activation by ras, p38 induces the acetyltransferase activity of Tip60 through phosphorylation of Thr158; activated Tip60 in turn directly interacts with and induces the protein kinase activity of PRAK through acetylation of K364 in a manner that depends on phosphorylation of both Tip60 and PRAK by p38. These posttranslational modifications are critical for the prosenescent function of Tip60 and PRAK, respectively. These results have defined a signaling pathway that mediates oncogene-induced senescence, and identified posttranslational modifications that regulate the enzymatic activity and biological functions of Tip60 and PRAK.

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