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Cell Death Dis. 2012 Dec 13;3:e442. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2012.180.

PRAP1 is a novel executor of p53-dependent mechanisms in cell survival after DNA damage.

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Department of Physiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.


p53 has a crucial role in governing cellular mechanisms in response to a broad range of genotoxic stresses. During DNA damage, p53 can either promote cell survival by activating senescence or cell-cycle arrest and DNA repair to maintain genomic integrity for cell survival or direct cells to undergo apoptosis to eliminate extensively damaged cells. The ability of p53 to execute these two opposing cell fates depends on distinct signaling pathways downstream of p53. In this study, we showed that under DNA damage conditions induced by chemotherapeutic drugs, gamma irradiation and hydrogen peroxide, p53 upregulates a novel protein, proline-rich acidic protein 1 (PRAP1). We identified functional p53-response elements within intron 1 of PRAP1 gene and showed that these regions interact directly with p53 using ChIP assays, indicating that PRAP1 is a novel p53 target gene. The induction of PRAP1 expression by p53 may promote resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs such as 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), as knockdown of PRAP1 increases apoptosis in cancer cells after 5-FU treatment. PRAP1 appears to protect cells from apoptosis by inducing cell-cycle arrest, suggesting that the induction of PRAP1 expression by p53 in response to DNA-damaging agents contributes to cancer cell survival. Our findings provide a greater insight into the mechanisms underlying the pro-survival role of p53 in response to cytotoxic treatments.

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