Allosteric regulation of the thermostability and DNA binding activity of human p53 by specific interacting proteins. CRC Cell Transformation Group

S Hansen, T R Hupp, D P Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Conformational stability is a prerequisite for the physiological activity of the tumor suppressor protein p53. p53 protein can be allosterically activated for DNA binding by phosphorylation or through noncovalent interaction with proteins such as DnaK, the Escherichia coli homologue of the heat shock protein Hsp70. We present in vitro evidence for a rapid temperature-dependent change in the conformation and tetrameric nature of wild-type p53 upon incubation at 37 degrees C, which correlates with a permanent loss in DNA binding activity. We show that p53 is allosterically regulated for stabilization of the wild-type conformation and DNA binding activity at 37 degrees C by binding of two classes of ligands to regulatory sites on the N and C terminus of the molecule through which an intrinsic instability of p53 is neutralized. Deletion of the domain conferring instability at the C terminus is sufficient to confer enhanced stability to the total protein. DnaK binding to the C terminus can profoundly protect p53 at 37 degrees C from a temperature-dependent loss of the DNA binding activity but does not renature or activate denatured p53. In contrast, another activator of the DNA binding activity of latent p53, the monoclonal antibody PAb421, which also interacts with the C terminus of the protein, is not able to protect p53 from thermal denaturation. Two monoclonal antibodies to the N terminus of p53, PAb1801 and DO-1, do not activate the latent DNA binding function of p53 but can protect the p53 wild-type conformation at 37 degrees C. Thus, activation of the DNA binding function of p53 is not synonymous with protection from thermal denaturation, and therefore, both of these pathways may be used in cells to control the physiological activity of p53. The protection of p53 conformation from heat denaturation by interacting proteins suggests a novel mechanism by which p53 function could be regulated in vivo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3917-24
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 1996

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Allosteric Regulation
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cell Line
  • DNA
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drug Stability
  • Escherichia coli
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Mice
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Spodoptera
  • Thermodynamics
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53


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