When DNA is damaged by alkylating agents, apoptosis is induced to exclude cells carrying DNA lesions in order to prevent mutations and cancer. MAPO1, identified as a component involved in the induction of apoptosis, interacts with AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and folliculin (FLCN). We herein report that MAPO1 is stabilized during the course of apoptosis, triggered by alkylation-induced O(6)-methylguanine in DNA. An immunoblotting analysis revealed that the amount of MAPO1 increased gradually after treatment with N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU), although the level of mRNA for MAPO1 was unchanged. When cells were exposed to a proteasome inhibitor, MG132, the MAPO1 level significantly increased. On the other hand, application of a protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide, caused a decrease in the MAPO1 content, implying that proteasome-mediated degradation is involved. In FLCN-knockdown cells, the MAPO1 level decreased, and no increases occurred even after MNU treatment. In contrast, stabilization of MAPO1 occurred in AMPKα-knockdown cells even without MNU treatment. While MAPO1 retains its ability to stably bind to FLCN, it dissociates gradually from AMPK after exposure to MNU. It seems that the proapoptotic function of MAPO1 may be regulated by AMPK and FLCN through stabilization of MAPO1 itself.
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