Date of Graduation


Document Type

Thesis (MS)

Program Affiliation

Biomedical Sciences

Degree Name

Masters of Science (MS)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Michelle Barton, PhD

Committee Member

Richard Behringer, PhD

Committee Member

Sharon Dent, PhD

Committee Member

Pierre McCrea, PhD

Committee Member

Stephanie Watowich, PhD


Dissecting the Interaction of p53 and TRIM24

Aundrietta DeVan Duncan

Supervisory Professor, Michelle Barton, Ph.D.

p53, the “guardian of the genome”, plays an important role in multiple biological processes including cell cycle, angiogenesis, DNA repair and apoptosis. Because it is mutated in over 50% of cancers, p53 has been widely studied in established cancer cell lines. However, little is known about the function of p53 in a normal cell. We focused on characterizing p53 in normal cells and during differentiation. Our lab recently identified a novel binding partner of p53, Tripartite Motif 24 protein (TRIM24). TRIM24 is a member of the TRIM family of proteins, defined by their conserved RING, B-box, and coiled coil domains. Specifically, TRIM24 is a member of the TIF1 subfamily, which is characterized by PHD and Bromo domains in the C-terminus. Between the Coiled-coil and PHD domain is a linker region, 437 amino acids in length. This linker region houses important functions of TRIM24 including it’s site of interaction with nuclear receptors. TRIM24 is an E3-ubiquitin ligase, recently discovered to negatively regulate p53 by targeting it for degradation. Though it is known that Trim24 and p53 interact, it is not known if the interaction is direct and what effect this interaction has on the function of TRIM24 and p53. My study aims to elucidate the specific interaction domains of p53 and TRIM24. To determine the specific domains of p53 required for interaction with TRIM24, we performed co-immuoprecipitation (Co-IP) with recombinant full-length Flag-tagged TRIM24 protein and various deletion constructs of in vitro translated GST-p53, as well as the reverse. I found that TRIM24 binds both the carboxy terminus and DNA binding domain of p53. Furthermore, my results show that binding is altered when post-translational modifications of p53 are present, suggesting that the interaction between p53 and TRIM24 may be affected by these post-translational modifications. To determine the specific domains of TRIM24 required for p53 interaction, we performed GST pull-downs with in vitro translated, Flag-TRIM24 protein constructs and recombinant GST-p53 protein purified from E. coli. We found that the Linker region is sufficient for interaction of p53 and TRIM24. Taken together, these data indicate that the interaction between p53 and TRIM24 does occur in vitro and that interaction may be influenced by post-translational modifications of the proteins.


p53, TRIM24, negative regulator, ubiquitin ligase, domain mapping, RING domain, PHD domain, Linker, Post-translational modifications