Induction of fragility at the human RNU2 locus by cytosine arabinoside is dependent upon a transcriptionally competent U2 small nuclear RNA gene and the expression of p53 Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Chromosomal fragile sites are regions that are intrinsically unstable and are susceptible to experimentally induced damage. In most cases, the target and mechanism of induction of fragility are unknown. Using ectopic integration of engineered DNA arrays to create "new" fragile sites, we and others have previously shown that the transcriptionally competent U2 gene is necessary and sufficient for induction of fragility at the RNU2 locus upon infection of human cells with Adenovirus 12. In the present study we have investigated the response of the RNU2 locus to cytosine arabinoside (araC), an inhibitor of DNA polymerases and a common inducer of fragile sites. We demonstrate that the RNU2 locus is sensitive to the drug and that araC-induced fragility is dependent upon a functional U2 gene and on the expression of the cellular p53 protein. Our results identify a novel DNA structure associated with fragile sites and suggest a role for transcription and repair processes in RNU2 fragility.

publication date

  • November 1997