The tumor suppressor p53 is a nuclear phosphoprotein with characteristics of a transcription factor. It displays sequence-specific DNA binding, contains a potent transactivation domain, and has been implicated as both a transcriptional activator and a repressor. Transcription of the human hsp70 gene is stimulated by adenovirus E1 a protein. This E1a transactivation of the hsp70 promoter is mediated by CCAAT binding factor (CBF). It is demonstrated here that p53 both represses transcription from the human hsp70 promoter and also interacts with CBF. Thus, the repression of the hsp70 promoter by p53 may be mediated by direct protein-protein interaction with CBF. These results suggest that protein-protein interaction between p53 and specific transcription factors may be an additional mechanism by which p53 regulates gene expression.
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