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Oncogene. 2000 Aug 3;19(33):3717-26.

Activation of the insulin-like growth factor II transcription by aflatoxin B1 induced p53 mutant 249 is caused by activation of transcription complexes; implications for a gain-of-function during the formation of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Bioscience Research Division, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Yusong, Taejon.


Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) induced mutation of the p53 gene at codon 249 (p53mt249) is critical during the formation of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) following hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. p53mt249 markedly increases insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) transcription largely from promoter 4, accumulating the fetal form of IGF-II. Modulation of the transcription factor binding to IGF-II P4 by wild-type p53 and p53mt249 was identified. Wild-type p53 inhibited binding of transcription factors Sp1 and TBP on the P4 promoter, while p53mt249 enhanced the formation of transcriptional complexes through enhanced DNA-protein (Sp1 or TBP) and protein-protein (Sp1 and TBP) interactions. p53mt249 stimulates transcription factor Sp1 phosphorylation which might be a cause of increased transcription factor binding on the P4 promoter while wild-type p53 does not. Transfection of hepatocytes with p53mt249 impaired induction of apoptosis by the HBV-X protein and TNF-alpha. Therefore, the blocking of apoptosis through enhanced production of IGF-II should provide a favorable opportunity for the selection of transformed hepatocytes. These results explain the molecular basis for the genesis of HCC by p53mt249 which was found to be induced by a potent mutagen, AFB1.

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