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Mol Endocrinol. 2002 Aug;16(8):1793-809.

Estrogen up-regulation of p53 gene expression in MCF-7 breast cancer cells is mediated by calmodulin kinase IV-dependent activation of a nuclear factor kappaB/CCAAT-binding transcription factor-1 complex.

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Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-4466, USA.


This study investigates the mechanism of hormonal regulation of p53 gene expression in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. 17beta-Estradiol (E2) induced a 2-fold increase in p53 mRNA levels and a 2- to 3-fold increase in p53 protein. Analysis of the p53 gene promoter has identified a minimal E2-responsive region at -106 to -40, and mutation/deletion analysis of the promoter showed that motifs that bind CCAAT-binding transcription factor-1 (CTF-1) and nuclear factor kappaB (NFkappaB) proteins are required for hormone responsiveness. The p65 subunit of NFkappaB was identified in both nuclear and cytosolic fractions of untreated MCF-7 cells; however, formation of the nuclear NFkappaB complex was E2 independent. Hormonal activation of constructs containing p53 promoter inserts (-106 to -40) and the GAL4-p65 fusion proteins was inhibited by the intracellular Ca2+ ion chelator EGTA-AM and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK) inhibitor KN-93. Constitutively active CaMKIV but not CaMKI activated p65, and treatment of MCF-7 cells with E2 induced phosphorylation of CaMKIV but not CaMKI. The results indicate that hormonal activation of p53 though nongenomic pathways was CaMKIV-dependent and involved cooperative p65-CTF-1 interactions.

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