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Oncogene. 2000 Dec 14;19(54):6203-8.

DNA damage-induced phosphorylation of p53 at serine 20 correlates with p21 and Mdm-2 induction in vivo.

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Department of Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, TX 77030, USA.


We investigated the induction and physiological role of Ser20 phosphorylation of p53 in response to DNA damage caused by ionizing radiation (IR) or ultraviolet radiation (UV). A polyclonal antibody that specifically recognizes a p53 peptide containing phosphorylated Ser20 was generated and used to detect p53 phosphorylation at Ser20. Western blot analyses of p53 in four cell lines with this antibody revealed that the p53 protein was phosphorylated at Ser20 to a different extent after treatment with IR or UV. The phosphorylation of Ser20 of wild-type p53 correlated with enhanced induction of the p53 downstream target genes p21WAF1/Cip1 (p21) and mdm-2. These results suggest that DNA damage-induced phosphorylation of p53 at Ser20 enhances the transactivation function of p53 for p21 and mdm-2 in vivo.

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