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EMBO J. 2003 Apr 1;22(7):1567-78.

p53 activates ICAM-1 (CD54) expression in an NF-kappaB-independent manner.

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Department of Histology-Embryology, Molecular Carcinogenesis Group, Medical School, University of Athens, 11527 Athens.


Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) is a crucial receptor in the cell-cell interaction, a process central to the reaction to all forms of injury. Its expression is upregulated in response to a variety of inflammatory/immune mediators, including cellular stresses. The NF-kappaB signalling pathway is known to be important for activation of ICAM-1 transcription. Here we demonstrate that ICAM-1 induction represents a new cellular response to p53 activation and that NF-kappaB inhibition does not prevent the effect of p53 on ICAM-1 expression after DNA damage. Induction of ICAM-1 is abolished after treatment with the specific p53 inhibitor pifithrin-alpha and is abrogated in p53-deficient cell lines. Furthermore, we map two functional p53-responsive elements to the introns of the ICAM-1 gene, and show that they confer inducibility to p53 in a fashion similar to other p53 target genes. These results support an NF-kappaB-independent role for p53 in ICAM-1 regulation that may link p53 to ICAM-1 function in various physiological and pathological settings.

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