CSA and CSB proteins interact with p53 and regulate its Mdm2-dependent ubiquitination.

Mutations in Cockayne syndrome (CS) A and B genes (CSA and CSB) result in a rare genetic disease that affects the development and homeostasis of a wide range of tissues and organs. We previously correlated the degenerative phenotype of patients to the enhanced apoptotic response, exhibited by CS cells, which ...
is associated with the exceptional induction of p53 protein, upon a variety of stress stimuli. Here we showed that the elevated and persistent levels of p53 displayed by CS cells are due to the insufficient ubiquitination of the p53 protein. We further demonstrated that CSA and CSB proteins associate in a unique complex with p53 and Mdm2; this interaction greatly stimulates the ubiquitination of p53 in an Mdm2-dependent manner. Tandem affinity purification and immunoprecipitations combined with mass spectrometry studies indicate that CSA and CSB associate within a Cullin Ring Ubiquitin Ligase complex responsible, under certain circumstances, for p53 ubiquitination. This study identifies CSA and CSB as the key elements of a regulatory mechanism that equilibrate beneficial and detrimental effects of p53 activity upon cellular stress. The deregulation of p53, in absence of either of the CS proteins, can potentially explain the early onset degeneration of tissues and organs observed in CS patients.
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Date: Nov. 01, 2011
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