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Genes Cancer. 2012 Mar;3(3-4):199-208. doi: 10.1177/1947601912454734.

The Regulation of Multiple p53 Stress Responses is Mediated through MDM2.

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Cancer Institute of New Jersey, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.


The MDM2 oncogene is a key negative regulator of the p53 tumor suppressor protein. MDM2 and p53 form an autoregulatory feedback loop to tightly control the proper cellular responses to various stress signals in order to prevent mutations and tumor formation. The levels and function of the MDM2 protein, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, are regulated by a wide variety of extracellular and intracellular stress signals through distinct signaling pathways and mechanisms. These signals regulate the E3 ubiquitin ligase activity of MDM2, the ability of MDM2 to interact with p53 and a number of other proteins, and the cellular localization of MDM2, which in turn impact significantly upon p53 function. This review provides an overview of the regulation of MDM2 activities by the signals and factors that regulate the MDM2 protein, including genotoxic stress signals, oncogenic activation, cell cycle transition, ribosomal stress, chronic stress, neurohormones, and microRNAs. Disruption of the proper regulation of the MDM2-p53 negative feedback loop impacts significantly upon the frequency of tumorigenesis in a host. A better understanding of the complex regulation of MDM2 and its impact upon p53 function in cells under different conditions will help to develop novel and more effective strategies for cancer therapy and prevention.


MDM2; p53; stress; ubiquitination

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