Ph.D. National Tsing Hua University
Postdoc Assoc. Yale University
Y14 is a core component of the exon junction complex (EJC), while it also exerts cellular functions independent of the EJC. Depletion of Y14 causes G2/M arrest, DNA damage and apoptosis. Here we show that knockdown of Y14 induces the expression of an alternative spliced isoform of p53, namely p53β, in human cells. Y14, in the context of the EJC, inhibited aberrant exon inclusion during the splicing of p53 pre-mRNA, and thus prevent p53β expression. The anti-cancer agent camptothecin specifically suppressed p53β induction. Intriguingly, both depletion and overexpression of Y14 increased overall p53 protein levels, suggesting that Y14 governs the quality and quantity control of p53. Moreover, Y14 depletion unexpectedly reduced p21 protein levels, which in conjunction with aberrant p53 expression accordingly increased cell sensitivity to genotoxic agents. This study establishes a direct link between Y14 and p53 expression and suggests a function for Y14 in DNA damage signaling.