Loss of Urokinase Receptor Sensitizes Cells to DNA Damage and Delays DNA Repair

DNA damage induced by numerous exogenous or endogenous factors may have irreversible consequences on the cell leading to cell cycle arrest, senescence and cell death. The DNA damage response (DDR) is powerful signaling machinery triggered in response to DNA damage, to provide DNA damage recognition, signaling and repair. Most anticancer drugs induce DNA damage, and DNA repair in turn attenuates therapeutic efficiency of those drugs. Approaches delaying DNA repair are often used to increase efficiency of treatment. Recent data show that ubiquitin-proteasome system is essential for signaling and repair of DNA damage. However, mechanisms providing regulation of proteasome intracellular localization, activity, and recruitment to DNA damage sites are elusive. Even less investigated are the roles of extranuclear signaling proteins in these processes. In this study, we report the involvement of the serine protease urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) in DDR-associated regulation of proteasome. We show that in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) uPAR activates DNA single strand break repair signaling pathway. We provide evidence that uPAR is essential for functional assembly of the 26S proteasome. We further demonstrate that uPAR mediates DNA damage-induced phosphorylation, nuclear import, and recruitment of the regulatory subunit PSMD6 to proteasome. We found that deficiency of uPAR and PSMD6 delays DNA repair and leads to decreased cell survival. These data may offer new therapeutic approaches for diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders.