Identification of a novel ionizing radiation-induced nuclease, AEN, and its functional characterization in apoptosis

Ji Hyun Lee, Yeon A. Koh, Chul Koo Cho, Su Jae Lee, Yun Sil Lee, Sangwoo Bae

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22 Scopus citations


To investigate ionizing radiation response, we screened genes that exhibit higher expression following γ irradiation. We report here the isolation and functional characterization of a novel ionizing radiation-induced gene, AEN. Sequence analysis of AEN revealed exonuclease domain highly similar to that of exonuclease III. The AEN protein revealed DNase activity by cleaving various DNA substrates. Subcellular distribution of AEN exhibited nuclear colocalization with apoptotic nucleases such as CAD and AIF following irradiation. Moreover AEN distribution revealed perinuclear staining pattern which could be seen with other apoptotic nucleases. Irradiation of AEN-expressing cells resulted in synergistic increase of apoptosis whereas AEN deletion mutant in exonuclease domain did not. Our data, thus, suggest that radiation-induced AEN cleaves DNA in concert with other apoptotic nucleases and thereby enhances apoptosis following ionizing irradiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 11 Nov 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. E. Kim, Dr. Dae Hoon Lee, Sohee Jun, Sunhye Shin, Mira Kim, and Kyung-Joong Kim for advice and technical assistance. We also thank members of laboratory of Radiation Effect at KIRAMS for sharing research information. This work was supported by the Nuclear R&D program from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Korea.


  • Apoptosis
  • Apoptosis enhancing nuclease
  • DNase
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Radiation response


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