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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Feb 29;97(5):2105-10.

Pw1/Peg3 is a potential cell death mediator and cooperates with Siah1a in p53-mediated apoptosis.

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  • 1The Derald H. Ruttenberg Cancer Center, The Brookdale Center for Molecular and Developmental Biology, The Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY 10029, USA.


Induction of wild-type p53 in mouse fibroblasts causes cell cycle arrest at the G(1) phase, whereas coexpression of p53 and the protooncogene c-myc induces apoptosis. Although p53 transcriptional activity generally is required for both pathways, the molecular components mediating p53-dependent apoptosis are not well understood. To identify factors that could mediate p53-induced cell death, we used a comparative RNA differential display procedure. We have identified Pw1/Peg3 as a gene product induced during p53/c-myc-mediated apoptosis. Pw1/Peg3 is not induced during p53-mediated G(1) growth arrest nor by c-myc alone. Although it is not clear whether the induction of Pw1/Peg3 depends on p53 activity, we show that Pw1/Peg3 interacts with a p53-inducible gene product Siah1a. We demonstrate that coexpression of Pw1/Peg3 with Siah1a induces apoptosis independently of p53 whereas expression of Pw1/Peg3 or Siah1a separately has no effect on cell death. These data suggest that Siah1a and Pw1/Peg3 cooperate in the p53-mediated cell death pathway. Furthermore, we show that inhibiting Pw1/Peg3 activity blocks p53-induced apoptosis. The observation that Pw1/Peg3 is necessary for the p53 apoptotic response suggests a pivotal role for this gene in determining cell death versus survival.

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