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Nat Med. 1997 Jun;3(6):632-8.

Restoration of the growth suppression function of mutant p53 by a synthetic peptide derived from the p53 C-terminal domain.

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Microbiology & Tumor Biology Center, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


We demonstrate here that synthetic 22-mer peptide 46, corresponding to the carboxy-terminal amino acid residues 361-382 of p53, can activate specific DNA binding of wild-type p53 in vitro and can restore the transcriptional transactivating function of at least some mutant p53 proteins in living cells. Introduction of peptide 46 in Saos-2 cells carrying a Tet-regulatable His-273 mutant p53 construct caused growth inhibition and apoptosis in the presence of mutant p53 but not in its absence, confirming that the effect of the peptide is mediated by reactivation of mutant p53. Moreover, peptide 46 caused apoptosis in mutant as well as wild-type p53-carrying human tumor cell lines of different origin, whereas p53 null tumor cells were not affected. These findings raise possibilities for developing drugs that restore the tumor suppressor function of mutant p53 proteins, thus selectively eliminating tumor cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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