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FEBS Lett. 2006 Feb 20;580(5):1235-8. Epub 2006 Jan 20.

Interaction of metallothionein with tumor suppressor p53 protein.

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Department of Pathology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ont., Canada N6A 5C1.


Previous reports have shown that metallothionein (MT) may modulate p53 activity through zinc exchange. However, little is known on a direct interaction between MT and p53 in cells. The results demonstrate an interaction between MT and p53 can occur in vitro. The complex between MT and p53 was observed in breast cancer epithelial cells with both wild and inactive type of p53. Furthermore, it was shown that wt-p53 was preferentially associated with Apo-MT. Our data suggest that co-expression of MT and p53 and their complex formation in tumor cells may be involved in regulation of apoptosis in these cells.

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