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Sam68/KHDRBS1 is critical for colon tumorigenesis by regulating genotoxic stress-induced NF-κB activation.


Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB)-mediated transcription is an important mediator for cellular responses to DNA damage. Genotoxic agents trigger a 'nuclear-to-cytoplasmic' NF-κB activation signaling pathway; however, the early nuclear signaling cascade linking DNA damage and NF-κB activation is poorly understood. Here we report that Src-associated-substrate-during-mitosis-of-68kDa/KH domain containing, RNA binding, signal transduction associated 1 (Sam68/KHDRBS1) is a key NF-κB regulator in genotoxic stress-initiated signaling pathway. Sam68 deficiency abolishes DNA damage-stimulated polymers of ADP-ribose (PAR) production and the PAR-dependent NF-κB transactivation of anti-apoptotic genes. Sam68 deleted cells are hypersensitive to genotoxicity caused by DNA damaging agents. Upregulated Sam68 coincides with elevated PAR production and NF-κB-mediated anti-apoptotic transcription in human and mouse colon cancer. Knockdown of Sam68 sensitizes human colon cancer cells to genotoxic stress-induced apoptosis and genetic deletion of Sam68 dampens colon tumor burden in mice. Together our data reveal a novel function of Sam68 in the genotoxic stress-initiated nuclear signaling, which is crucial for colon tumorigenesis.