Background: TCAB1, a.k.a. WRAP53β or WDR79, is an important molecule for the maintenance of Cajal bodies and critically involved in telomere elongation and DNA repair. Upregulation of TCAB1 were discovered in a variety types of cancers. However, the function of TCAB1 in tumor cell senescence remains absent.
Methods: The TCAB1 knockdown cell lines were constructed. The expression levels of TCAB1, p21, p16 and p53 were detected by qRT-PCR and western blotting. Staining of senescence-associated β-galactosidase was used to detect senescent cells. The ubiquitination of the p21 was analysed by immunoprecipitatation and in vivo ubiquitination assay. TCGA databases were employed to perform in silico analyses for the mRNA expression of TCAB1, p21, p16 and p53.
Results: Here, we discovered that knockdown of TCAB1 induced rapid progression of cellular senescence in A549, H1299 and HeLa cells. In exploiting the mechanism underlining the role of TCAB1 on senescence, we found a significant increase of p21 at the protein levels upon TCAB1 depletion, whereas the p21 mRNA expression was not altered. We verified that TCAB1 knockdown was able to shunt p21 from proteasomal degradation by regulating the ubiquitination of p21. In rescue assays, it was demonstrated that decreasing the expression of p21 was able to attenuate the cellular senescence process induced by TCAB1 silencing.
Conclusions: This study revealed the importance of TCAB1 for its biological functions in the regulation of cell senescence. Our results will be helpful to understand the mechanisms of senescence in cancer cells, which could provide clues for designing novel strategies for developing effective treatment regimens.