Transient inhibition of p53 homologs protects ovarian function from two distinct apoptotic pathways triggered by anticancer therapies

So Youn Kim*, Devi M. Nair, Megan Romero, Vanida A. Serna, Anthony J. Koleske, Teresa K. Woodruff, Takeshi Kurita

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Platinum-based chemotherapies can result in ovarian insufficiency by reducing the ovarian reserve, a reduction believed to result from apoptosis of immature oocytes via activation/phosphorylation of TAp63α by multiple kinases including CHEK2, CK1, and ABL1. Here we demonstrate that cisplatin (CDDP) induces oocyte apoptosis through a novel pathway and that temporary repression of this pathway fully preserves ovarian function in vivo. Although ABL kinase inhibitors effectively block CDDP-induced apoptosis of oocytes, oocytic ABL1, and ABL2 are dispensable for damage-induced apoptosis. Instead, CDDP activates TAp63α through the ATR > CHEK1 pathway independent of TAp63α hyper-phosphorylation, whereas X-irradiation activates the ATM > CHEK2 > TAp63α-hyper-phosphorylation pathway. Furthermore, oocyte-specific deletion of Trp73 partially protects oocytes from CDDP but not from X-ray, highlighting the fundamental differences of two pathways. Nevertheless, temporary repression of DNA damage response by a kinase inhibitor that attenuates phosphorylation of ATM, ATR, CHEK1, and CHEK2 fully preserves fertility in female mice against CDDP as well as X-ray. Our current study establishes the molecular basis and feasibility of adjuvant therapies to protect ovarian function against two distinctive gonadotoxic therapeutics, CDDP, and ionizing radiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-515
Number of pages14
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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