MDM4 enhances p53 stability by promoting an active conformation of the protein upon DNA damage.

Stabilization of p53 protein is an important step in the activation of its function. p53 levels are regulated by ubiquitin-dependent and -independent degradation pathways. MDM4 (MDMX) is an important regulator of p53, able to both stimulate and antagonize p53 degradation. Both of these activities have been attributed to the ability ...
of MDM4 to potentiate or antagonize the function of MDM2, the main ubiquitin ligase of p53, depending on their relative levels. Here, we have investigated the stabilizing function of endogenous MDM4 using genetic models of knockout MEFs and RNA interference in human non-transformed cell lines. Our data demonstrate that MDM4 is able to stabilize p53, protecting it from proteasome-mediated degradation in a MDM2- and ubiquitin-independent manner. Upon DNA damage, MDM4 is associated to p53 independently of MDM2 and promotes a conformational change of the protein toward an active form. This correlates with a decreased association of p53 to the proteasome and increased protein levels. The association between MDM4 and p53 is evidenced in the cytoplasmic compartment, supporting the role of cytoplasmic stabilization of p53 during its activation. This work demonstrates that the ability of MDM4 to enhance p53 stability is actually a specific property of MDM4 accomplished upon DNA damage. In addition, these data support the hypothesis of distinct functions of MDM4 under different growth conditions.
Mesh Terms:
Animals, Cell Line, Cells, Cultured, DNA Damage, Humans, Immunoprecipitation, Mice, Protein Binding, Protein Stability, Proto-Oncogene Proteins, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53, Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
Cell Cycle
Date: Feb. 15, 2012
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