A novel DNA damage inducible inhibitor of p53

Sung-Ling Wang, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


p53 is required for the maintenance of the genomic stability of cells. Mutations in the p53 tumor-suppressor gene occur in more than 50% of human cancers of diverse types. In addition, 70% of families with Li-Fraumeni syndrome have a germline mutation in p53, predisposing these individuals to multiple forms of cancer. In response to DNA damage, p53 becomes stabilized and activated. However the exact mechanism by which DNA damage signals the stabilization and activation of p53 still remains elusive. The biochemical activity of p53 that is required for tumor suppression, and presumably the cellular response to DNA damage, involves the ability of the protein to bind to specific DNA sequences and to function as a transcription factor. For the downstream targets, p53 transactivates many genes involved in growth arrest, apoptosis and DNA repair such as p21, Bax and GADD45, respectively. An open question in the field is how cells can determine the downstream effects of p53. We hypothesize that, through its associated proteins, p53 can differentially transactivate its target genes, which determine its downstream effect. Additionally, p53 interacting proteins may be involved in signaling for the stabilization and activation of p53. Therefore, a key aspect to understanding p53 function is the identification and analysis of proteins that interact with it. We have employed the Sos recruitment system (SRS), a cytoplasmic yeast two-hybrid screen to identify p53 interacting proteins. The SRS is based on the ability of Sos to activate Ras when it becomes localized to the plasma membrane. The system takes advantage of an S. cerevisiae strain, cdc25-2 temperature sensitive mutant, harboring a mutation in Sos. In this strain, fusion proteins containing a truncated Sos will only localize to the membrane by protein-protein interaction, which allows growth at non-permissive temperature. This system allows the use of intact transcriptional activators such as p53. To date, using a modified SRS library screen to identify p53 interacting proteins, I have identified p53 (known to interact with itself) and a novel p53-interacting protein (PIP). PIP is a specific p53 interacting protein in the SRS. The interaction of p53 and PIP was further confirmed by performing in vitro and in vivo binding assays. In the in vivo binding study, the interaction can only be detected in the presence of ionizing radiation suggesting that this interaction might be involved in DNA-damage induced p53-signalling pathway. After screening cDNA and genomic libraries, a full-length PIP-cDNA clone ([special characters omitted]3kb) was obtained which encodes a protein of 429 amino acids with calculated molecular weight of 46 kDa. The results of genebank search indicated that the PIP is an unidentified gene and contains a conserved ring-finger domain, which is present in a diverse family of regulatory proteins involved in different aspects of cellular function. Northern blot analysis revealed that the size of its messenge is approximately 3 kb preferentially expressed in brain, heart, liver and kidney. The PIP protein is mainly located in the cytoplasm as determined by the cellular localization of a green fluorescence fusion protein. Preliminary functional analysis revealed that PIP downregulated the transactivation activity of p53 on both p21 and mdm2 promoters. Thus, PIP may be a novel negative regulator of p53 subsequent to DNA damage.

Subject Area

Oncology|Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Wang, Sung-Ling, "A novel DNA damage inducible inhibitor of p53" (1999). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9951903.