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Oncogene. 1998 Nov 12;17(19):2543-7.

Mdm2 association with p53 targets its ubiquitination.

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Ruttenberg Cancer Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.


Key to p53 ability to mediate its multiple cellular functions lies in its stability. In the present study we have elucidated the mechanism by which Mdm2 regulates p53 degradation. Using in vitro and in vivo ubiquitination assays we demonstrate that Mdm2 association with p53 targets p53 ubiquitination. Exposure of cells to UV-irradiation inhibits this targeting. Mdm2 which is deficient in p53 binding failed to target p53 ubiquitination, suggesting that the association is essential for Mdm2 targeting ability. While mdm2-p53 complex is found in non-stressed cells, the amount of p53-bound mdm2 is decreased after UV-irradiation, further pointing to the relationship between mdm2 binding and p53 level. Similar to Swiss 3T3 cells, the dissociation of mdm2-p53 complex was also found in UV-treated Scid cells, lacking functional DNA-PK, suggesting that DNA-PK is not sufficient for dissociating mdm2 from p53. Together our studies point to the role of Mdm2, as one of p53-associated proteins, in targeting p53 ubiquitination.

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