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Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Aug;20(15):5602-18.

MCG10, a novel p53 target gene that encodes a KH domain RNA-binding protein, is capable of inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in G(2)-M.

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Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia 30912, USA.


p53, a tumor suppressor, inhibits cell proliferation by inducing cellular genes involved in the regulation of the cell cycle. MCG10, a novel cellular p53 target gene, was identified in a cDNA subtraction assay with mRNA isolated from a p53-producing cell line. MCG10 can be induced by wild-type but not mutant p53 and by DNA damage via two potential p53-responsive elements in the promoter of the MCG10 gene. The MCG10 gene contains 10 exons and is located at chromosome 3p21, a region highly susceptible to aberrant chromosomal rearrangements and deletions in human neoplasia. The MCG10 gene locus encodes at least two alternatively spliced transcripts, MCG10 and MCG10as. The MCG10 and MCG10as proteins contain two domains homologous to the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K homology (KH) domain. By generating cell lines that inducibly express either wild-type or mutated forms of MCG10 and MCG10as, we found that MCG10 and MCG10as can suppress cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in G(2)-M. In addition, we found that MCG10 and MCG10as, through their KH domains, can bind poly(C) and that their RNA-binding activity is necessary for inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Furthermore, we found that the level of the poly(C) binding MCG10 protein is increased in cells treated with the DNA-damaging agent camptothecin in a p53-dependent manner. These results suggest that the MCG10 RNA-binding protein is a potential mediator of p53 tumor suppression.

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