UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cancer Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Acetylation; Acetyltransferases; CREB-Binding Protein; Cell Line; DNA Damage; DNA Repair; Exodeoxyribonucleases; Humans; Protein Processing, Post-Translational; Protein Stability; RecQ Helicases; *Ubiquitination; p300-CBP Transcription Factors


Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Cell and Developmental Biology | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


BACKGROUND: WRN is a multi-functional protein involving DNA replication, recombination and repair. WRN acetylation has been demonstrated playing an important role in response to DNA damage. We previously found that WRN acetylation can regulate its enzymatic activities and nuclear distribution.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING: Here, we investigated the factors involved in WRN acetylation and found that CBP and p300 are the only major acetyltransferases for WRN acetylation. We further identified 6 lysine residues in WRN that are subject to acetylation. Interestingly, WRN acetylation can increase its protein stability. SIRT1-mediated deacetylation of WRN reverses this effect. CBP dramatically increases the half-life of wild type WRN, while mutation of these 6 lysine residues (WRN-6KR) abrogates this increase. We further found that WRN stability is regulated by the ubiquitination pathway and WRN acetylation by CBP significantly reduces its ubiquitination. Importantly, we found that WRN is strongly acetylated and stabilized in response to mitomycin C (MMC) treatment. H1299 cells stably expressing WRN-6KR, which mimics unacetylated WRN, display significantly higher MMC sensitivity compared with the cells expressing wild-type WRN.

CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Taken together, these data demonstrate that WRN acetylation regulates its stability and has significant implications regarding the role of acetylation on WRN function in response to DNA damage.

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Copyright: © 2010 Li et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI of Published Version



Li K, Wang R, Lozada E, Fan W, Orren DK, et al. (2010) Acetylation of WRN Protein Regulates Its Stability by Inhibiting Ubiquitination. PLoS ONE 5(4): e10341. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010341. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

PloS one

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