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Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Mar;28(6):1988-98. doi: 10.1128/MCB.01442-07. Epub 2008 Jan 22.

Chromatin-bound p53 anchors activated Smads and the mSin3A corepressor to confer transforming-growth-factor-beta-mediated transcription repression.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Unit 1000, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030, USA.


In hepatic cells, Smad and SnoN proteins converge with p53 to repress transcription of AFP, an oncodevelopmental tumor marker aberrantly reactivated in hepatoma cells. Using p53- and SnoN-depleted hepatoma cell clones, we define a mechanism for repression mediated by this novel transcriptional partnership. We find that p53 anchors activated Smads and the corepressor mSin3A to the AFP distal promoter. Sequential chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses and molecular modeling indicate that p53 and Smad proteins simultaneously occupy overlapping p53 and Smad regulatory elements to establish repression of AFP transcription. In addition to its well-known function in antagonizing transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) responses, we find that SnoN actively participates in AFP repression by positively regulating mSin3A protein levels. We propose that activation of TGF-beta signaling restores a dynamic interplay between p53 and TGF-beta effectors that cooperate to effectively target mSin3A to tumor marker AFP and reestablish transcription repression.

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