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Cell Death Differ. 2005 Dec;12(12):1564-77. Epub 2005 Sep 30.

TAp73/Delta Np73 influences apoptotic response, chemosensitivity and prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Internal Medicine IV, Hepatology and Gastroenterology, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 410, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


We investigated the mechanisms by which TAp73 beta and dominant-negative p73 (Delta Np73) regulate apoptosis. TAp73 beta transactivated the CD95 gene via the p53-binding site in the first intron. In addition, TAp73 beta induced expression of proapoptotic Bcl-2 family members and led to apoptosis via the mitochondrial pathway. Endogenous TAp73 was upregulated in response to DNA damage by chemotherapeutic drugs. On the contrary, DeltaNp73 conferred resistance to chemotherapy. Inhibition of CD95 gene transactivation was one mechanism by which DeltaNp73 functionally inactivated the tumor suppressor action of p53 and TAp73 beta. Concomitantly, DeltaNp73 inhibited apoptosis emanating from mitochondria. Thus, DeltaNp73 expression in tumors selects against both the death receptor and the mitochondrial apoptosis activity of TAp73 beta. The importance of these data is evidenced by our finding that upregulation of DeltaNp73 in hepatocellular carcinoma patients correlates with reduced survival. Our data indicate that Delta Np73 is an important gene in hepatocarcinogenesis and a relevant prognostic factor.

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