Oncogene-induced senescence is characterized by a stable cell growth arrest, thus providing a tumor suppression mechanism. However, the underlying mechanisms for this phenomenon remain unknown. Here, we show that a decrease in deoxyribonucleotide triphosphate (dNTP) levels underlies oncogene-induced stable senescence-associated cell growth arrest. The decrease in dNTP levels is caused by oncogene-induced repression of ribonucleotide reductase subunit M2 (RRM2), a rate-limiting protein in dNTP synthesis. This precedes the senescence-associated cell-cycle exit and coincides with the DNA damage response. Consistently, RRM2 downregulation is both necessary and sufficient for senescence. Strikingly, suppression of nucleotide metabolism by RRM2 repression is also necessary for maintenance of the stable senescence-associated cell growth arrest. Furthermore, RRM2 repression correlates with senescence status in benign nevi and melanoma, and its knockdown drives senescence of melanoma cells. These data reveal the molecular basis whereby the stable growth arrest of oncogene-induced senescence is established and maintained through suppression of nucleotide metabolism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)