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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Jun 15;89(12):5206-10.

Negative regulation of Rb expression by the p53 gene product.

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Department of Virology, University of Tokyo, Japan.


Mutation of the p53 gene is one of the most frequent genetic changes found in human cancers. Recent experiments indicated that p53 might contain a transcription-activating domain, which functions when directed to a promoter. This study shows that wild-type p53 suppresses transcription of the retinoblastoma (Rb) gene. From deletion and mutagenesis experiments, a cis-acting element (GGAAGTGA) susceptible to regulation by p53 was mapped within the Rb promoter. This element overlaps the basal transcription unit of the Rb promoter, suggesting that p53 suppresses Rb transcription through inhibition of the basal promoter activity. The N-terminal acidic and C-terminal basic domains of p53 were both required for this suppression. These findings indicate that p53 can act as a transcriptional regulator in vivo.

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