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J Biol Chem. 2000 Dec 22;275(51):39927-34.

Definition of the p53 functional domains necessary for inducing apoptosis.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia 30912, USA.

Abstract

The p53 protein contains several functional domains necessary for inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. The C-terminal basic domain within residues 364-393 and the proline-rich domain within residues 64-91 are required for apoptotic activity. In addition, activation domain 2 within residues 43-63 is necessary for apoptotic activity when the N-terminal activation domain 1 within residues 1-42 is deleted (DeltaAD1) or mutated (AD1(-)). Here we have discovered that an activation domain 2 mutation at residues 53-54 (AD2(-)) abrogates the apoptotic activity but has no significant effect on cell cycle arrest. We have also found that p53-(DeltaAD2), which lacks activation domain 2, is inert in inducing apoptosis. p53-(AD2(-)DeltaBD), which is defective in activation domain 2 and lacks the C-terminal basic domain, p53-(DeltaAD2DeltaBD), which lacks both activation domain 2 and the C-terminal basic domain, and p53-(DeltaPRDDeltaBD), which lacks both the proline-rich domain and the C-terminal basic domain, are also inert in inducing apoptosis. All four mutants are still capable of inducing cell cycle arrest, albeit to a lesser extent than wild-type p53. Interestingly, we have found that deletion of the N-terminal activation domain 1 alleviates the requirement of the C-terminal basic domain for apoptotic activity. Thus, we have generated a small but potent p53-(DeltaAD1DeltaBD) molecule. Furthermore, we have determined that at least two of the three domains (activation domain 1, activation domain 2, and the proline-rich domain), are required for inducing cell cycle arrest. Taken together, our results suggest that activation domain 2 and the proline-rich domain form an activation domain for inducing pro-apoptotic genes or inhibiting anti-apoptotic genes. The C-terminal basic domain is required for maintaining this activation domain competent for transactivation or transrepression.

PMID:
10982799
DOI:
10.1074/jbc.M005676200
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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