Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

XIAP-associating factor 1, a transcriptional target of BRD7, contributes to endothelial cell senescence

Jong-Ik Heo, Wonwoo Kim, Kyu Jin Choi, Sangwoo Bae, Jae-Hoon Jeong and Kwang Seok Kim _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:5118-5130. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6962

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Jong-Ik Heo1, Wonwoo Kim2, Kyu Jin Choi1, Sangwoo Bae1, Jae-Hoon Jeong2 and Kwang Seok Kim1

1 Divisions of Radiation Effects, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2 Research Center for Radiotherapy, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:

Kwang Seok Kim, email:

Keywords: XAF1, p53, ionizing radiation, DNA damage, cellular senescence, BRD7, Gerotarget

Received: September 09, 2015 Accepted: January 15, 2016 Published: January 20, 2016


X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP)-associated factor 1 (XAF1) is well known as an antagonist of XIAP-mediated caspase inhibition. Although XAF1 serves as a tumor-suppressor gene, the role of XAF1 in cellular senescence remains unclear. We found that XAF1 expression was increased by genotoxic agents, such as doxorubicin and ionizing radiation in pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells, consequently leading to premature senescence. Conversely, downregulation of XAF1 in premature senescent cells partially overcame endothelial cell senescence. p53 knockdown, but not p16 knockdown, abolished senescence phenotypes caused by XAF1 induction. XAF1 expression was transcriptionally regulated by Bromodomain 7 (BRD7). XAF1 induction with interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) treatment was abrogated by BRD7 knockdown, which resulted in blocking interferon-induced senescence. In lung cancer cells, XAF1 tumor suppressor activity was decreased by BRD7 knockdown, and inhibition of tumor growth by IFN-γ did not appear in BRD7-depleted xenograft tumors. These data suggest that XAF1 is involved in BRD7-associated senescence and plays an important role in the regulation of endothelial senescence through a p53-dependent pathway. Furthermore, regulation of the BRD7/XAF1 system might contribute to tissue or organismal aging and protection against cellular transformation.

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