A Critical Role for Noncoding 5S rRNA in Regulating Mdmx Stability.

Both p53 and Mdmx are ubiquitinated and degraded by the same E3 ligase Mdm2; interestingly, however, while p53 is rapidly degraded by Mdm2, Mdmx is a stable protein in most cancer cells. Thus, the mechanism by which Mdmx is degraded by Mdm2 needs further elucidation. Here, we identified the noncoding ...
5S rRNA as a major component of Mdmx-associated complexes from human cells. We show that 5S rRNA acts as a natural inhibitor of Mdmx degradation by Mdm2. RNAi-mediated knockdown of endogenous 5S rRNA, while not affecting p53 levels, significantly induces Mdmx degradation and, subsequently, activates p53-dependent growth arrest. Notably, 5S rRNA binds the RING domain of Mdmx and blocks its ubiquitination by Mdm2, whereas Mdm2-mediated p53 ubiquitination remains intact. These results provide insights into the differential effects on p53 and Mdmx by Mdm2 in vivo and reveal a critical role for noncoding 5S rRNA in modulating the p53-Mdmx axis.
Mol. Cell
Date: Sep. 16, 2011
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