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EMBO J. 2007 Jul 25;26(14):3410-22. Epub 2007 Jun 28.

CDIP, a novel pro-apoptotic gene, regulates TNFalpha-mediated apoptosis in a p53-dependent manner.

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  • 1Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.


We have identified a novel pro-apoptotic p53 target gene named CDIP (Cell Death Involved p53-target). Inhibition of CDIP abrogates p53-mediated apoptotic responses, demonstrating that CDIP is an important p53 apoptotic effector. CDIP itself potently induces apoptosis that is associated with caspase-8 cleavage, implicating the extrinsic cell death pathway in apoptosis mediated by CDIP. siRNA-directed knockdown of caspase-8 results in a severe impairment of CDIP-dependent cell death. In investigating the potential involvement of extrinsic cell death pathway in CDIP-mediated apoptosis, we found that TNF-alpha expression tightly correlates with CDIP expression, and that inhibition of TNF-alpha signaling attenuates CDIP-dependent apoptosis. We also demonstrate that TNF-alpha is upregulated in response to p53 and p53 inducing genotoxic stress, in a CDIP-dependent manner. Consistently, knockdown of TNF-alpha impairs p53-mediated stress-induced apoptosis. Together, these findings support a novel p53 --> CDIP --> TNF-alpha apoptotic pathway that directs apoptosis after exposure of cells to genotoxic stress. Thus, CDIP provides a new link between p53-mediated intrinsic and death receptor-mediated extrinsic apoptotic signaling, providing a novel target for cancer therapeutics aimed at maximizing the p53 apoptotic response of cancer cells to drug therapy.

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