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Cancer Res. 2004 Nov 15;64(22):8256-61.

Physical and functional interactions between the Wwox tumor suppressor protein and the AP-2gamma transcription factor.

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Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


The WWOX gene encodes a tumor suppressor WW domain-containing protein, Wwox. Alterations of WWOX have been demonstrated in multiple types of cancer, and introduction of Wwox into Wwox-negative tumor cells has resulted in tumor suppression and apoptosis. The Wwox protein contains two WW domains that typically bind proline-rich motifs and mediate protein-protein interactions. Recently, we have described functional cross-talk between the Wwox protein and the p53 homologue, p73. To further explore the biological function of Wwox, we investigated other interacting candidates. In this report, we demonstrate a physical and functional association between AP-2gamma transcription factor and the Wwox protein. AP-2gamma at 20q13.2 encodes a transcription factor and is frequently amplified in breast carcinoma. We show that Wwox binds to the PPPY motif of AP-2gamma via its first WW domain. Alterations of tyrosine 33 in the first WW domain of Wwox or the proline-rich motif in AP-2gamma dramatically reduce this interaction. In addition, our results demonstrate that Wwox expression triggers redistribution of nuclear AP-2gamma to the cytoplasm, hence suppressing its transactivating function. Our results suggest that Wwox tumor suppressor protein inhibits AP-2gamma oncogenic activity by sequestering it in the cytoplasm.

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