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J Biol Chem. 2003 May 23;278(21):18720-9. Epub 2003 Feb 11.

Oligomerization of the human ARF tumor suppressor and its response to oxidative stress.

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  • 1Department of Surgery and Molecular Oncology, the University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY, Scotland, United Kingdom.


The tumor suppressor ARF plays an important role as an inhibitor of the Mdm2-mediated degradation of p53. Here we demonstrate that human ARF (p14ARF) can form homo-oligomers. The stability of the oligomers is favored by oxidizing agents in a reversible fashion and involves all three cysteine residues in p14ARF. Furthermore, the effect of p14ARF in clonogenic assays is moderately but reproducibly increased by the mutation of its cysteine residues. We also observed that altering the amino terminus of p14ARF resulted in the appearance of remarkably stable oligomers. This indicates that the amino terminus of p14ARF interferes with the ability of the protein to form multimeric complexes. These observations suggest that p14ARF activity may be linked to its oligomerization status and sensitive to the redox status of the cell.

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