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Nature. 2000 Jun 22;405(6789):974-8.

Compromised HOXA5 function can limit p53 expression in human breast tumours.

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  • 1Breast Cancer Program, Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, Baltimore, Maryland 21231, USA.

Abstract

Expression of the p53 gene protects cells against malignant transformation. Whereas control of p53 degradation has been a subject of intense scrutiny, little is known about the factors that regulate p53 synthesis. Here we show that p53 messenger RNA levels are low in a large proportion of breast tumours. Seeking potential regulators of p53 transcription, we found consensus HOX binding sites in the p53 promoterS. Transient transfection of Hox/HOXA5 activated the p53 promoter. Expression of HOXA5 in epithelial cancer cells expressing wild-type p53, but not in isogenic variants lacking the p53 gene, led to apoptotic cell death. Moreover, breast cancer cell lines and patient tumours display a coordinate loss of p53 and HOXA5 mRNA and protein expression. The HOXA5 promoter region was methylated in 16 out of 20 p53-negative breast tumour specimens. We conclude that loss of expression of p53 in human breast cancer may be primarily due to lack of expression of HOXA5.

PMID:
10879542
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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