Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes und Medizinische Fakultät der Universität des Saarlandes
Klinik für Strahlentherapie und Radioonkologie
Leitung: Univ. Prof. Dr. med. M. Hecht
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Histon Variante H2A.J

Histone variant H2A.J involved in persistent DNA damage signaling triggers senescence-associated inflammatory cytokine secretion

The senescence of mammalian cells is characterized by a proliferative arrest in response to stress and the expression of an inflammatory phenotype. Histone H2A.J, a poorly studied H2A variant found only in mammals, accumulates in human fibroblasts in senescence with persistent DNA damage. H2A.J also accumulates in mice with aging in a tissue-specific manner and in human skin. Knock-down of H2A.J inhibits the expression of inflammatory genes that contribute to the senescent-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), and over expression of H2A.J increases the expression of some of these genes in proliferating cells. H2A.J accumulation may thus promote the signalling of senescent cells to the immune system, and it may contribute to chronic inflammation and the development of aging-associated diseases.


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Human skin aging is associated with increased expression of the histone variant H2A.J in the epidermis.Rübe CE, Bäumert C, Schuler N, Isermann A, Schmal Z, Glanemann M, Mann C, Scherthan H. NPJ Aging Mech Dis. 2021 Apr 1;7(1):7. PMID: 33795696

Histone Variant H2A.J Marks Persistent DNA Damage and Triggers the Secretory Phenotype in Radiation-Induced Senescence. Isermann A, Mann C, Rübe CE. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(23), 9130. PMID: 33266246


Histone variant H2A.J accumulates in senescent cells and promotes inflammatory gene expression. Contrepois K, Coudereau C, Benayoun BA, Schuler N, Roux PF, Bischof O, Courbeyrette R, Carvalho C, Thuret JY, Ma Z, Derbois C, Nevers MC, Volland H, Redon CE, Bonner WM, Deleuze JF, Wiel C, Bernard D, Snyder MP, Rübe CE, Olaso R, Fenaille F, Mann C. Nat Commun. 2017 May 10;8:14995. PMID: 28489069