Effects of ?40p53, an isoform of p53 lacking the N-terminus, on transactivation capacity of the tumor suppressor protein p53.
ABSTRACT: The p53 protein is expressed as multiple isoforms that differ in their N- and C-terminus due to alternative splicing, promoter or codon initiation usage. ?40p53 lacks the first 39 residues containing the main transcriptional activation domain, resulting from initiation of translation at AUG +40 in fully spliced p53 mRNA or in a specific variant mRNA retaining intron 2. Overexpression of ?40p53 antagonizes wild-type p53 in vitro. However, animal models of ?40p53 in mouse or Zebrafish have shown complex phenotypes suggestive of p53-dependent growth suppressive effects.We have co-transfected expression vectors for p53 and ?40p53 in p53-null cell lines Saos-2 and H1299 to show that ?40p53 forms mixed oligomers with p53 that bind to DNA and modulate the transcription of a generic p53-dependent reporter gene.In H1299 cells, co-expression of the two proteins induced a decrease in transcription with amplitude that depended upon the predicted composition of the hetero-tetramer. In Saos-2, a paradoxical effect was observed, with a small increase in activity for hetero-tetramers predicted to contain 1 or 2 monomers of ?40p53 and a decrease at higher ?40p53/p53 ratios. In this cell line, co-transfection of ?40p53 prevented Hdm2-mediated degradation of p53.?40p53 modulates transcriptional activity by interfering with the binding of Hdm2 to hetero-tetramers containing both ?40p53 and p53. These results provide a basis for growth suppressive effects in animal models co-expressing roughly similar levels of p53 and ?40p53.
Project description:The TP53 gene encodes 12 distinct isoforms, some of which can alter p53 activity in the absence of genomic alteration. Endogenous p53 isoforms have been identified in cancers; however, the function of these isoforms remains unclear. In melanoma, the frequency of TP53 mutations is relatively low compared with other cancers, suggesting that these isoforms may have a larger role in regulating TP53 activity. We hypothesized that p53 function and therefore cell fate might be altered by the presence of ?40p53, an embryonic isoform missing the first 40 N-terminal amino acids of the full-length protein including the transactivation and Mdm2-binding domains. To test this hypothesis, we transduced tumor and normal cells with a lentivirus encoding ?40p53. We found that exogenous ?40p53 caused apoptosis and increased the levels of endogenous, activated p53 in both cancerous and non-cancerous cells, which led to significant levels of cell death, particularly in cancer cells. Activated p53 molecules formed nuclear heterotetramers with ?40p53 and altered downstream p53 transcription target levels including p53-induced protein with death domain and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, p21. ?40p53 altered the promoter occupancy of these downstream p53 target genes in such a way that it shifted cell fate toward apoptosis and away from cell cycle arrest. We show that tumor suppression by p53 can occur via an alternate route that relies on its interaction with ?40p53.
Project description:Dysfunctional p53 formation and activity can result from aberrant expression and subcellular localization of distinct p53 isoforms or aggregates. Endometrial carcinoma (EC) is a cancer type in which p53 status is correlated with prognosis, and TP53 mutations are a frequent genetic modification. Here we aimed to evaluate the expression patterns of different p53 isoforms and their contributions to the formation and subcellular localization of p53 amyloid aggregates in both EC and endometrial nontumor cell lines. We found that full-length (fl) p53 and a truncated p53 isoform, ?40p53, resulting from alternative splicing of exon 2 or alternative initiation of translation at ATG-40, are the predominantly expressed p53 variants in EC cells. However, ?40p53 was the major p53 isoform in endometrial nontumor cells. Immunofluorescence assays revealed that ?40p53 is mainly localized to cytoplasmic punctate structures of EC cells, resembling solid-phase structures similar to those found in neurodegenerative pathologies. Using light-scattering kinetics, CD, and transmission EM, we noted that the p53 N-terminal transactivation domain significantly reduces aggregation of the WT p53 DNA-binding domain, confirming the higher aggregation tendency of ?40p53, which lacks this domain. This is the first report of cytoplasmic ?40p53 in EC cells being a major component of amyloid aggregates. The differential aggregation properties of p53 isoforms in EC cells may open up new avenues in the development of therapeutic strategies that preferentially target specific p53 isoforms to prevent p53 amyloid aggregate formation.
Project description:The tumor suppressor p53 is a transcription factor that regulates the expression of a range of target genes in response to cellular stress. Adding to the complexity of understanding its cellular function is that in addition to the full-length protein, several p53 isoforms are produced in humans, harboring diverse expression patterns and functionalities. One isoform, ?40p53, which lacks the first transactivation domain including the binding region for the negative regulator MDM2, was shown to be a product of alternative translation initiation. Here we report the discovery of an alternative cellular mechanism for ?40p53 formation. We show that the 20S proteasome specifically cleaves the full-length protein (FLp53) to generate the ?40p53 isoform. Moreover, we demonstrate that a dimer of FLp53 interacts with a ?40p53 dimer, creating a functional hetero-tetramer. Consequently, the co-expression of both isoforms attenuates the transcriptional activity of FLp53 in a dominant negative manner. Finally, we demonstrate that following oxidative stress, at the time when the 20S proteasome becomes the major degradation machinery and FLp53 is activated, the formation of ?40p53 is enhanced, creating a negative feedback loop that balances FLp53 activation. Overall, our results suggest that ?40p53 can be generated by a 20S proteasome-mediated post-translational mechanism so as to control p53 function. More generally, the discovery of a specific cleavage function for the 20S proteasome may represent a more general cellular regulatory mechanism to produce proteins with distinct functional properties.
Project description:The tumour suppressor p53 is essential for maintaining DNA integrity, and plays a major role in cellular senescence and aging. Understanding the mechanisms that contribute to p53 dysfunction can uncover novel possibilities for improving cancer therapies and diagnosis, as well as cognitive decline associated with aging. In recent years, the complexity of p53 signalling has become increasingly apparent owing to the discovery of the p53 isoforms. These isoforms play important roles in regulating cell growth and turnover in response to different stressors, depending on the cellular context. In this review, we focus on ?40p53, an N-terminally truncated p53 isoform. ?40p53 can alter p53 target gene expression in both a positive and negative manner, modulating the biological outcome of p53 activation; it also functions independently of p53. Therefore, proper control of the ?40p53: p53 ratio is essential for normal cell growth, aging, and responses to cancer therapy. Defining the contexts and the mechanisms by which ?40p53 behaves as a "good cop or bad cop" is critical if we are to target this isoform therapeutically.
Project description:p53 and its translational isoform ?40p53 are involved in many important cellular functions like cell cycle, cell proliferation, differentiation and metabolism. Expression of both the isoforms can be regulated at different steps. In this study, we explored the role of 3'UTR in regulating the expression of these two translational isoforms. We report that the trans acting factor, Polypyrimidine Tract Binding protein (PTB), also interacts specifically with 3'UTR of p53 mRNA and positively regulates expression of p53 isoforms. Our results suggest that there is interplay between miRNAs and PTB at the 3'UTR under normal and stress conditions like DNA damage. Interestingly, PTB showed some overlapping binding regions in the p53 3'UTR with miR-1285. In fact, knockdown of miR-1285 as well as expression of p53 3'UTR with mutated miR-1285 binding sites resulted in enhanced association of PTB with the 3'UTR, which provides mechanistic insights of this interplay. Taken together, the results provide a plausible molecular basis of how the interplay between miRNAs and the PTB protein at the 3'UTR can play pivotal role in fine tuning the expression of the two p53 isoforms.
Project description:The tumor suppressor p53 is in equilibrium at cellular concentrations between dimers and tetramers. Oncogenic mutant p53 (mut) exerts a dominant-negative effect on co-expression of p53 wild-type (wt) and mut alleles in cancer cells. It is believed that wt and mut form hetero-tetramers of attenuated activity, via their tetramerization domains. Using electrospray mass spectrometry on isotopically labeled samples, we measured directly the composition and rates of formation of p53 complexes in the presence and absence of response element DNA. The dissociation of tetramers was unexpectedly very slow (t(1/2) = 40 min) at 37 degrees C, matched by slow association of dimers, which is approximately four times longer than the half-life of spontaneous denaturation of wt p53. On mixing wt tetramers with the oncogenic contact mutant R273H of low DNA affinity, we observed the same slow formation of only wt(4), wt(2)mut(2), and mut(4), in the ratio 1:2:1, on a cellular time scale. On mixing wt and mut with response element DNAs P21 and BAX, we observed only the complexes wt(4)xDNA, wt(2)mut(2)xDNA, and mut(4)xDNA, with relative dissociation constants 1:4:71 and 1:13:85, respectively, accounting for the dominant-negative effect by weakened affinity. p53 dimers assemble rapidly to tetramers on binding to response element DNA, initiated by the p53 DNA binding domains. The slow oligomerization of free p53, competing with spontaneous denaturation, has implications for the possible regulation of p53 by binding proteins and DNA that affect tetramerization kinetics as well as equilibria.
Project description:The tumor suppressor function of the wild-type p53 protein is transdominantly inhibited by tumor-derived mutant p53 proteins. Such transdominant inhibition limits the prospects for gene therapy approaches that aim to introduce wild-type p53 into cancer cells. The molecular mechanism for transdominant inhibition involves sequestration of wild-type p53 subunits into inactive wild-type/mutant hetero-tetramers. Thus, p53 proteins, whose oligomerization specificity is altered so they cannot interact with tumor-derived mutant p53, would escape transdominant inhibition. Aided by the known three-dimensional structure of the p53 tetramerization domain and by trial and error we designed a novel domain with seven amino acid substitutions in the hydrophobic core. A full-length p53 protein bearing this novel domain formed homo-tetramers and had tumor suppressor function, but did not hetero-oligomerize with tumor-derived mutant p53 and resisted transdominant inhibition. Thus, hydrophobic core residues influence the oligomerization specificity of the p53 tetramerization domain.
Project description:Nucleolin is an abundant multifunctional nucleolar protein with defined roles in ribosomal RNA processing, RNA polymerase I catalyzed transcription and the regulation of apoptosis. Earlier we reported that human nucleolin binds to the p53 antagonist human double minute 2 (Hdm2) as determined by reciprocal co-immunoprecipitation assays using cell lysates. We also demonstrated that nucleolin antagonizes Hdm2-mediated degradation of p53. Here, we identify specific domains of nucleolin and Hdm2 proteins that support mutual interaction and investigate the implications of complex formation on p53 ubiquitination and protein levels. Our data indicate that the nucleolin N-terminus as well as the central RNA-binding domain (RBD) are predominantly involved in binding to Hdm2. The nucleolin RBD robustly bound to the NLS/NES (nuclear localization and export signals) domain of Hdm2 in vitro, while the N-terminus of nucleolin preferentially associated with the Hdm2 RING (really interesting new gene) domain expressed in cells. We further demonstrate that the C-terminal glycine-arginine rich domain of nucleolin serves as the predominant binding domain for direct interaction with p53. While overexpression of nucleolin or its various domains had no significant effect on Hdm2 auto-ubiquitination, the nucleolin RBD antagonized the Hdm2 E3 ligase activity against p53, leading to p53 stabilization. Conversely, the adjacent glycine-arginine rich domain of nucleolin interacted with p53 causing a modest stimulatory effect on p53 ubiquitination. These data suggest that changes in nucleolin conformation can alter the availabilities of such domains in vivo to modulate the overall impact of nucleolin on Hdm2 activity and hence on p53 stability.
Project description:The tumor suppressor p53 induces potent anti-proliferative responses in stressed cells; in unstressed cells this ability of p53 is restrained by Hdm2. Expression of Hdm2 is also induced by p53, thereby establishing feedback inhibition. Regulation of the p53-Hdm2 interaction and the feedback inhibition of p53 are not well understood. Here, we show that the p53-Hdm2 interaction in unstressed cells is promoted by Siva1, which, like Hdm2, is the product of a p53 target gene. Siva1 binds to both p53 and Hdm2 through distinct regions and enhances Hdm2-mediated p53 ubiquitination and degradation. Siva1 strongly inhibits p53-mediated gene expression and apoptosis. In xenograft mouse models, downregulation of Siva1 markedly inhibits tumor formation because of the activation of p53. On DNA damage, the interactions of Siva1 with both p53 and Hdm2 are diminished. The function of Siva1 seems to be related to its ability to form a homo-oligomer as the oligomerization defective splicing variant Siva2 fails to de-stabilize p53. These results identify Siva1 as an important adaptor promoting p53 degradation through Hdm2. Siva1 may be part of the negative feedback loop that inhibits p53 activity at the end of a non-lethal stress response.