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J Biol Chem. 2002 Dec 13;277(50):47976-9. Epub 2002 Oct 17.

Role of Pin1 in the regulation of p53 stability and p21 transactivation, and cell cycle checkpoints in response to DNA damage.

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Cancer Biology Program, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


DNA damage leads to stabilization and accumulation of p53, which plays a pivotal role in transcriptional activation of p21 and cell cycle arrest. The increase in p53 stability depends critically on its phosphorylation on serine/threonine residues, including those preceding a proline (Ser(P)/Thr-Pro). The Ser(P)/Thr-Pro moiety exists in the two distinct cis and trans conformations and their conversion is catalyzed specifically by the prolyl isomerase Pin1. Pin1 regulates the conformation and function of certain phosphorylated proteins and plays an important role in cell cycle regulation, oncogenesis, and Alzheimer's disease. However, nothing is known about the role of Pin1 in DNA damage. Here we found that DNA damage enhanced the interaction between Pin1 and p53, which depended on the WW domain in Pin1 and Ser(33/46)-Pro motifs in p53. Furthermore, Pin1 regulates the stability of p53 and its transcriptional activity toward the p21 promoter. As a result, p53 and p21 barely increased after DNA damage in Pin1 knock-out embryonic fibroblasts or in neoplastic cells depleted of Pin1. Moreover, Pin1 null cells displayed significant defects in cell cycle checkpoints induced by DNA damage. These results demonstrate a new role of Pin1 in regulating p53 function during DNA damage.

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