The tumor suppressor p53 is a potent transcription factor of which the ability to mediate transcription is inhibited through an interaction with the oncoprotein mouse double minute 2 (Mdm2). The present study has tested the hypothesis that Mdm2 inhibits the p53 response in normally growing cells by binding to chromatin-associated p53. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation, we show that Mdm2 localizes with p53 at its responsive elements on the waf1 and mdm2 genes in human cell lines expressing p53, but not in cell lines lacking p53 expression, indicating that Mdm2 is recruited to regions of DNA in a p53-dependent manner. Interestingly, our results show a decrease of Mdm2 protein associated with p53-responsive elements on the waf1 and mdm2 genes when p53-induced transcription is activated either by DNA damage or through controlled overexpression of p53. Rapid activation of p53 transcriptional activity before increasing p53 protein levels was observed with addition of either small-molecule inhibitors to disrupt the p53-Mdm2 interaction or small interfering RNA to mdm2. These findings indicate Mdm2 transiently localizes with p53 at responsive elements and suggest that latent p53 results from the recruitment of Mdm2 to chromatin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research