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Cancer Cell. 2006 Sep;10(3):191-202.

Gain of function of mutant p53: the mutant p53/NF-Y protein complex reveals an aberrant transcriptional mechanism of cell cycle regulation.

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Experimental Oncology Department, Istituto Regina Elena, Via delle Messi D'Oro 156, 00158 Rome, Italy.


This article investigates the mechanistic aspects of mutant p53 "gain of function" in response to DNA damage. We show that mutant forms of p53 protein interact with NF-Y. The expression of cyclin A, cyclin B1, cdk1, and cdc25C, as well as the cdk1-associated kinase activities, is upregulated after DNA damage, provoking a mutant p53/NF-Y-dependent increase in DNA synthesis. Mutant p53 binds NF-Y target promoters and, upon DNA damage, recruits p300, leading to histone acetylation. The recruitment of mutant p53 to the CCAAT sites is severely impaired upon abrogation of NF-YA expression. Endogenous NF-Y, mutant p53, and p300 proteins form a triple complex upon DNA damage. We demonstrate that aberrant transcriptional regulation underlies the ability of mutant p53 proteins to act as oncogenic factors.

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