Transcriptional downregulation of ATM by EGF is defective in ataxia-telangiectasia cells expressing mutant protein
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There is evidence that ATM plays a wider role in intracellular signalling in addition to DNA damage recognition and cell cycle control, In this report we show that activation of the EGF receptor is defective in ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) cells and that sustained stimulation of cells with EGF downregulates ATM protein in control cells but not in A-T cells expressing mutant protein, Concomitant with the downregulation of ATM, DNA-binding activity of the transcription factor Spl decreased in controls after EGF treatment but increased from a lower basal level in A-T cells to that in untreated control cells, Mutation in two Spl consensus sequences in the ATM promoter reduced markedly the capacity of the promoter to support luciferase activity in a reporter assay. Overexpression of anti-sense ATM cDNA in control cells decreased the;basal level of Spl, which in turn was increased by subsequent treatment of cells with EGF, similar to that observed in,A-T cells. On the other hand full-length ATM cDNA increased the basal level of Spl binding in A-T cells, and in response to EGF Spl binding decreased, confirming that this is an ATR I-dependent process. Contrary to that observed in control cells there was no radiation-induced change in ATM protein in EGF-treated A-T cells and likewise no alteration in Spl binding activity. The results demonstrate that EGF-induced downregulation of ATM (mutant) protein in A-T cells is defective and this appears to be due to less efficient EGFR activation and abnormal Spl regulation.