We observed extra-telomeric binding of the telomere repeat binding factor TRF2 within the promoter of the cyclin-dependent kinase CDKNIA (p21/CIP1/WAF1). This result in TRF2 induced transcription repression of p21. Interestingly, p21 repression was through engagement of the REST-coREST-LSD1-repressor complex and altered histone marks at the p21 promoter in a TRF2-dependent fashion. Furthermore, mutational analysis shows p21 repression requires interaction of TRF2 with a p21 promoter G-quadruplex. Physiologically, TRF2-mediated p21 repression attenuated drug-induced activation of cellular DNA damage response by evading G2/M arrest in cancer cells. Together these reveal for the first time role of TRF2 in REST-repressor complex mediated transcription repression.
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