Adriamycin and other DNA-damaging agents have been shown to reduce BRCA2 mRNA levels in breast cancer cell lines, but the mechanism by which this occurs is unknown. In this study, we show that adriamycin and mitomycin C, but not other DNA-damaging agents, repress BRCA2 promoter activity in a dose- and time-dependent manner. We demonstrate that the effect is dependent on wild type p53 and that adriamycin and p53 mediate repression of the BRCA2 promoter by inhibiting binding of an upstream stimulatory factor protein complex to the promoter. In addition, we present evidence indicating that adriamycin and other DNA-damaging agents reduce BRCA2 mRNA and protein levels by altering both BRCA2 mRNA stability and protein stability. Thus, BRCA2 levels in the cell are regulated by three independent mechanisms in a p53-dependent manner.
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