Control of the cell cycle and mitosis by phosphorylated activating transcription factor 2 and its homologue 7

Chia-Chen Ku, Hitomi Hasegawa, Chang-Shen Lin, Ming-Ho Tsai, Kenly Wuputra, Richard Eckner, Naoto Yamaguchi, Kazunari K. Yokoyama

Center for Stem Cell Research, Center for Environmental Medicine, Graduate Institute of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Department of Biological Sciences, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Graduate School of Pharmacological Sciences, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, USA


Activating transcription factors (ATFs) comprise a family of sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins that possess a basic region/leucine zipper (bZIP) and they play multiple roles in the mammalian cells. Despite their diverse physiological roles, they all share the ability to respond to environmental stresses and maintain cellular homeostasis. ATF2 and ATF7 are structurally very similar, especially in terms of their bZIP DNA-binding and dimerization domains, where they share >90% identity. In response to stress stimuli, ATFs activate a variety of targets, including cell cycle, DNA damage, antiproliferation, and apoptosis regulators, although most of these targets have been studied only G1/S phase events. Recent research demonstrates that the cycling-dependent kinase 1 specifically phosphorylates ATF2 and ATF7 in the M phases, and phosphorylated ATF2 and ATF7 are required for G2/M progression, partly by activating Aurora kinase. This review describes the phosphorylation mode of ATF2/ATF7 proteins and their potential functions in cell cycle progression and oncogene addiction. Journal of Nature and Science, 1(4):e74, 2015

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