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Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan;39(2):440-53. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkq796. Epub 2010 Sep 10.

p53 activates the PANK1/miRNA-107 gene leading to downregulation of CDK6 and p130 cell cycle proteins.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.


The tumor suppressor p53 is a central regulator of cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis by acting as a transcription factor to regulate numerous genes. We identified all human p53-regulated mRNAs by microarray analyses and searched for protein-coding genes which contain intronic miRNAs. Among others, this analysis yielded the panthothenate kinase 1 (PANK1) gene and its intronic miRNA-107. We showed that miRNA-107 and PANK1 are coregulated by p53 in different cell systems. The PANK1 protein, which catalyzes the rate-limiting step of coenzyme A biosynthesis, is also upregulated by p53. We observed that p53 directly activates PANK1 and miRNA-107 transcription through a binding site in the PANK1 promoter. Furthermore, p53 is recruited to the PANK1 promoter after DNA damage. In order to get more insight into miRNA-107 function we investigated its potential target genes. Cell-cycle regulators are significantly enriched among predicted miRNA-107 targets. We found miRNA-107-dependent regulation of two important regulators of G(1)/S progression, CDK6 and the RB-related 2 gene RBL2 (p130). CDK6 and p130 proteins are downregulated upon miRNA-107 expression. Our results uncover a novel miRNA-dependent signaling pathway which leads to downregulation of cell cycle proteins in the absence of transcriptional repression.

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