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J Biol Chem. 2000 Sep 8;275(36):28039-44.

Hdmx stabilizes Mdm2 and p53.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis and Center for Biomedical Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, P.O. Box 9503, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.


The Mdm2 protein is a key regulator of p53 activity and stability. Upon binding, Mdm2 inhibits the transcription regulatory activity of p53 and promotes its rapid degradation. In this study we investigated the effect of the human Mdm2 homologue Hdmx on p53 stability. We found that Hdmx does not target p53 for degradation, although, like Mdm2, it inhibits p53-mediated transcription activation. On the contrary, Hdmx was found to counteract the degradation of p53 by Mdm2, and to stabilize both p53 and Mdm2. The RING finger of Hdmx was found to be necessary and sufficient for this stabilization, and it probably involves hetero-oligomerization with the RING finger of Mdm2, which may lead to inhibition of Mdm2's ubiquitin ligase activity. However, Hdmx does not relieve the inhibition by Mdm2 of transcription activation by p53, probably due to the formation of a trimeric complex consisting of Hdmx, Mdm2, and p53. We propose a model in which Hdmx secures a pool of largely inactive p53, which, upon the induction of stress, can be quickly activated.

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