An E2F7-dependent transcriptional program modulates DNA damage repair and genomic stability

Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 May 18;46(9):4546-4559. doi: 10.1093/nar/gky218.


The cellular response to DNA damage is essential for maintaining the integrity of the genome. Recent evidence has identified E2F7 as a key player in DNA damage-dependent transcriptional regulation of cell-cycle genes. However, the contribution of E2F7 to cellular responses upon genotoxic damage is still poorly defined. Here we show that E2F7 represses the expression of genes involved in the maintenance of genomic stability, both throughout the cell cycle and upon induction of DNA lesions that interfere with replication fork progression. Knockdown of E2F7 leads to a reduction in 53BP1 and FANCD2 foci and to fewer chromosomal aberrations following treatment with agents that cause interstrand crosslink (ICL) lesions but not upon ionizing radiation. Accordingly, E2F7-depleted cells exhibit enhanced cell-cycle re-entry and clonogenic survival after exposure to ICL-inducing agents. We further report that expression and functional activity of E2F7 are p53-independent in this context. Using a cell-based assay, we show that E2F7 restricts homologous recombination through the transcriptional repression of RAD51. Finally, we present evidence that downregulation of E2F7 confers an increased resistance to chemotherapy in recombination-deficient cells. Taken together, our results reveal an E2F7-dependent transcriptional program that contributes to the regulation of DNA repair and genomic integrity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Cell Line
  • Chromosome Breakage
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Repair*
  • E2F7 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • E2F7 Transcription Factor / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Genomic Instability*
  • Humans
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Recombinational DNA Repair
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transcriptome
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • E2F7 Transcription Factor
  • E2F7 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53