Tamar Grossman

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, Jerusalem District, Israel

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Publications (6)25.86 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In human papillomavirus (HPV) - infected cells, the p53 tumour suppressor is tightly regulated by the HPV-E6/E6AP complex, which promotes it for proteasomal degradation. We previously demonstrated that c-Abl tyrosine kinase protects p53 from HPV-E6/E6AP - mediated ubiquitination and degradation under stress conditions. However, the underlying mechanism was not defined. In this study, we explored the possibility that c-Abl targets E6AP and thereby protects p53. We demonstrated that c-Abl interacts with, and phosphorylates E6AP. We identified that the E3 ligase activity of E6AP is impaired in response to phosphorylation by c-Abl. We mapped the phosphorylation site to tyrosine 636 within the HECT catalytic domain of E6AP, and using substitution mutants we showed that this residue dictates the E3 ligase activity of E6AP, in a substrate-specific manner. Based on the crystal structure of the HECT domain of E6AP, we propose a model whereby tyrosine 636 plays a regulatory role in the oligomerization of E6AP, which is a process implicated in its E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. Our results suggest that c-Abl protects p53 from HPV-E6/E6AP-mediated degradation by phosphorylating E6AP and impairing its E3 ligase activity, thus providing a molecular explanation for the stress-induced protection of p53 in HPV-infected cells.
    Biochemistry 04/2013; 52(18):3119. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The promyelocytic leukemia (PML) tumor suppressor is essential for the formation of PML nuclear bodies (NBs). PML and PML-NBs have been implicated in the regulation of growth inhibition, senescence and apoptosis. PML is activated in response to stress signals and is downregulated in certain human cancers. However, the factors mediating PML stability are incompletely understood. Here we demonstrate that a catalytically active form of the mammalian E3 ligase E6AP (HPV E6-associated protein) acts to reduce the half-life of the PML protein by promoting its degradation in the proteasome. E6AP mediates the ubiquitination of PML in an in vitro ubiquitination assay. E6AP and PML interact at physiological levels and colocalize in PML-NBs. Importantly, PML protein expression is elevated in multiple organs and cell types from E6AP null mice and in lymphoid cells is associated with increased number and intensity of PML-NBs. This PML elevation is enhanced in response to DNA damage. Our results identify E6AP as an important regulator of PML and PML-NBs.
    Cell death and differentiation 04/2009; 16(8):1156-66. · 8.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Upon exposure to DNA damage the p53 tumor suppressor is accumulated and activated to stall cellular growth. For this to occur, p53 must be relieved from its major inhibitors, Mdm2 (Hdm2 in humans) and Mdmx (Mdm4; Hdmx in humans). A key mechanism controlling this relief is the post-translational modifications of p53 and its inhibitors. We have previously demonstrated that the stress-activated tyrosine kinase, c-Abl, contributes to the relief of p53 from Hdm2. Because Hdmx is the major inhibitor of p53 activity, the additional possibility that c-Abl protects p53 through targeting Hdmx was explored in this study. c-Abl was found to interact with and to phosphorylate Hdmx. This phosphorylation was enhanced in response to DNA damage. Importantly, we mapped the sites of phosphorylation to the p53 binding domain of Hdmx. One of these phosphorylations, on tyrosine 99, inhibited Hdmx interaction with p53. This inhibition is consistent with the predicted role of this residue in the interaction with p53 based on the crystal structure of the interaction site. Our results show that c-Abl not only targets Hdm2, but also Hdmx, which together contribute to p53 activation in response to DNA damage.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2009; 284(6):4031-4039. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: P53 is renowned as a cellular tumor suppressor poised to instigate remedial responses to various stress insults that threaten DNA integrity. P53 levels and activities are kept under tight regulation involving a complex network of activators and inhibitors, which determine the type and extent of p53 growth inhibitory signaling. Within this complexity, the p53-Mdm2 negative auto-regulatory loop serves as a major route through which intra- and extra-cellular stress signals are channeled to appropriate p53 responses. Mdm2 inhibits p53 transcriptional activities and through its E3 ligase activity promotes p53 proteasomal degradation either within the nucleus or following nuclear export. Upon exposure to stress signals these actions of Mdm2 have to be moderated, or even interrupted, in order to allow sufficient p53 to accumulate in an active form. Multiple mechanisms involving a variety of factors have been demonstrated to mediate this interruption. C-Abl is a critical factor that under physiological conditions is required for the maximal and efficient accumulation of active p53 in response to DNA damage. C-Abl protects p53 by antagonizing the inhibitory effect of Mdm2, an action that requires a direct interplay between c-Abl and Mdm2. In addition, c-Abl protects p53 from other inhibitors of p53, such as the HPV-E6/E6AP complex, that inhibits and degrades p53 in HPV-infected cells. Surprisingly, the oncogenic form of c-Abl, the Bcr-Abl fusion protein in CML cells, also promotes the accumulation of wt p53. However, in contrast to the activation of p53 by c-Abl, its oncogenic form, Bcr-Abl, counteracts the growth inhibitory activities of p53 by modulating the p53-Mdm2 loop. Thus, it appears that by modulating the p53-Mdm2 loop, c-Abl and its oncogenic forms critically determine the type and extent of the cellular response to DNA damage.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 07/2005; 331(3):737-49. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The predominant sand fly species collected inside houses in Kfar Adumim, an Israeli village in the Judean Desert that is a focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis, was Phlebotomus papatasi, which was also caught attempting to bite humans. Phlebotomus sergenti, which is rarely seen inside houses, constituted the predominant sand fly species in caves near the village. Leishmania isolates from Ph. sergenti and humans typed as Leishmania tropica. Sand fly and human isolates produced similar small nodular cutaneous lesions in hamsters. Isolates produced excreted factor (EF) of subserotypes A(9) or A(9)B(2), characteristic of L. tropica and reacted with L. tropica-specific monoclonal antibodies. Isoenzyme analysis consigned the strains to the L. tropica zymodemes MON-137 and MON-275. Molecular genetic analyses confirmed the strains were L. tropica and intraspecific microheterogeneity was observed. Genomic fingerprinting using a mini-satellite probe separated the L. tropica strains into two clusters that were not entirely congruent with geographic distribution. These results support the heterogeneous nature of L. tropica and incriminate Ph. sergenti as its vector in this Judean Desert focus.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 05/2004; 70(4):364-72. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The p53 protein is kept labile under normal conditions. This regulation is governed largely by its major negative regulator, Mdm2. In response to stress however, p53 accumulates and becomes activated. For this to occur, the inhibitory effects of Mdm2 have to be neutralized. Here we investigated the role of the promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) in the activation of p53 in response to stress. We found that PML is critical for the accumulation of p53 in response to DNA damage under physiological conditions. PML protects p53 from Mdm2-mediated ubiquitination and degradation, and from inhibition of apoptosis. PML neutralizes the inhibitory effects of Mdm2 by prolonging the stress-induced phosphorylation of p53 on serine 20, a site of the checkpoint kinase 2 (Chk2). PML recruits Chk2 and p53 into the PML nuclear bodies and enhances p53/Chk2 interaction. Our results provide a novel mechanistic explanation for the cooperation between PML and p53 in response to DNA damage.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2003; 278(35):33134-41. · 4.65 Impact Factor