Singh U, Westermark B
Ups. J. Med. Sci. 120 (4) 219-232 [2015-10-21; online 2015-10-21]
The human genome contains multiple stretches of CGG trinucleotide repeats, which act as transcription- and translation-regulatory elements but at the same time form secondary structures that impede replication and give rise to sites of chromosome fragility. Proteins binding to such DNA elements may be involved in divergent cellular processes such as transcription, DNA damage, and epigenetic state of the chromatin. We review here the work done on CGG repeats and associated proteins with special focus on a factor called CGGBP1. CGGBP1 presents with an interesting example of factors that do not have any single dedicated function, but participate indispensably in multiple processes. Both experimental results and data from cancer genome sequencing have revealed that any alteration in CGGBP1 that compromises its function is not tolerated by normal or cancer cells alike. Based upon a large amount of published data, information from databases, and unpublished results, we decipher in this review how CGGBP1 is a classic example of the 'one factor, divergent functions' paradigm of cytoprotection. By taking cues from the studies on CGGBP1, more such factors can be discovered for a better understanding of the evolution of mechanisms of cellular survival.