The tumor suppressor p53 is pivotal in cell growth arrest and apoptosis upon cellular stresses including DNA damage. Mounting evidence indicates that p63 proteins, which are homologs of p53, are also involved in apoptosis under certain circumstances. In this study, we found that treatment with DNA damage agents leads to down-regulation of ΔNp63α and induces apoptosis in FaDu and HaCat cells carrying mutant p53. Further study shows that DNA damage reduces steady-state mRNA level of ΔNp63α, but has little effect on its protein stability. In addition, knockdown of endogenous ΔNp63α directly induces apoptosis and sensitizes cells to DNA damage, while exogenous expression of ΔNp63α partially confers cellular resistance to DNA damage. Together, these data suggest that DNA damage down-regulates ΔNp63α, which may directly contribute to DNA damage-induced apoptosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transcription factor p63, a member of the p53 family, shares the high degree of sequence similarity with p53. Due to transcription from two distinct promoters, the p63 gene encodes two isoforms, TAp63 and ΔNp63. Whereas TAp63 acts as a tumor suppressor, ΔNp63 functions as an oncogene and is often overexpressed in squamous cell carcinomas. Thus, therapeutic agents targeting ΔNp63 might be used to manage tumors that overexpress ΔNp63. Here, we found that arsenic trioxide, a front-line agent for acute promyelocytic leukemia, inhibits ΔNp63, but not TAp63, expression in time- and dose-dependent manners. In addition, we found that arsenic trioxide decreases the stability of ΔNp63 protein via a proteasome-dependent pathway but has little effect on the level of ΔNp63 transcript. Furthermore, we found that arsenic trioxide activates the Pirh2 promoter, and consequently induces Pirh2 expression. Consistent with this, we found that knockdown of Pirh2 inhibits, whereas ectopic expression of Pirh2 enhances, arsenic-induced degradation of ΔNp63 protein. Importantly, we found that knockdown of ΔNp63 sensitizes, whereas ectopic expression of ΔNp63 inhibits, growth suppression induced by arsenic. Together, these data suggest that arsenic degrades ΔNp63 protein at least in part via Pirh2-dependent proteolysis and inhibition of ΔNp63 expression facilitates tumor cells to arsenic-induced death.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The homolog of p53 gene, p63, encodes multiple p63 protein isoforms. TAp63 proteins contain an N-terminal transactivation domain similar to that of p53 and function as tumor suppressors; whereas ΔNp63 isoforms, which lack the intact N-terminal transactivation domain, are associated with human tumorigenesis. Accumulating evidence demonstrating the important roles of p63 in development and cancer development, the regulation of p63 proteins, however, is not fully understood. In this study, we show that peptidyl-prolyl isomerase Pin1 directly binds to and stabilizes TAp63α and ΔNp63α via inhibiting the proteasomal degradation mediated by E3 ligase WWP1. We further show that Pin1 specifically interacts with T538P which is adjacent to the P550PxY543 motif, and disrupts p63α-WWP1 interaction. In addition, while Pin1 enhances TAp63α-mediated apoptosis, it promotes ΔNp63α-induced cell proliferation. Furthermore, knockdown of Pin1 in FaDu cells inhibits tumor formation in nude mice, which is rescued by simultaneous knockdown of WWP1 or ectopic expression of ΔNp63α. Moreover, overexpression of Pin1 correlates with increased expression of ΔNp63α in human oral squamous cell carcinoma samples. Together, these results suggest that Pin1-mediated modulation of ΔNp63α may have a causative role in tumorigenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The p53-related p63 gene encodes multiple protein isoforms, which are involved in a variety of biological activities. p63 protein stability is mainly regulated by the ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation pathway. Several ubiquitin E3 ligases have been identified and some protein kinases as well as other kinds of proteins are involved in regulation of p63 protein stability. These regulators are responsive to diverse extracellular signaling, resulting in changes of the p63 protein levels and impacting different biological processes.
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