Front Genet 2015 15;6:142. Epub 2015 Apr 15.
Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Rome Tor Vergata , Rome, Italy ; Laboratory of Neuroembryology, Fondazione Santa Lucia , Rome, Italy.
Genome integrity is constantly threatened by endogenous and exogenous factors. However, its preservation is ensured by a network of pathways that prevent and/or repair the lesion, which constitute the DNA damage response (DDR). Expression of the key proteins involved in the DDR is controlled by numerous post-transcriptional mechanisms, among which pre-mRNA splicing stands out. Intriguingly, several splicing factors (SFs) have been recently shown to play direct functions in DNA damage prevention and repair, which go beyond their expected splicing activity. At the same time, evidence is emerging that DNA repair proteins (DRPs) can actively sustain the DDR by acting as post-transcriptional regulator of gene expression, in addition to their well-known role in the mechanisms of signaling and repair of the lesion. Herein, we will review these non-canonical functions of both SFs and DRPs, which suggest the existence of a tight interplay between splicing regulation and canonical DNA safeguard mechanisms ensuring genome stability.