Dephosphorylation of p53 at Ser20 after cellular exposure to low levels of non-ionizing radiation

A L Craig, J P Blaydes, L R Burch, A M Thompson, T R Hupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Induction of the transactivation function of p53 after cellular irradiation was studied under conditions in which upstream signaling events modulating p53 activation were uncoupled from those regulating stabilization. This investigation prompted the discovery of a novel radiation-responsive kinase pathway targeting Ser20 that results in the masking of the DO-1 epitope in undamaged cells. Unmasking of the DO-1 epitope via dephosphorylation occurs in response to low doses of non-ionizing radiation. Our data show that phosphorylation at Ser20 reduces binding of the mdm2 protein, suggesting that a function of the Ser20-kinase pathway may be to produce a stable pool of inactive p53 in undamaged cells which can be readily activated after cellular injury. Phospho-specific monoclonal antibodies were used to determine whether the Ser20 signaling pathway is coupled to the Ser15 and Ser392 radiation-responsive kinase pathways. These results demonstrated that: (1) dephosphorylation at Ser20 is co-ordinated with an increased steady-state phosphorylation at Ser392 after irradiation, without p53 protein stabilization, and (2) stabilization of p53 protein can occur without Ser15 phosphorylation at higher doses of radiation. These data show that the Ser20 and Ser392 phosphorylation sites are both targeted by an integrated network of signaling pathways which is acutely sensitive to radiation injury.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6305-12
Number of pages8
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 1999

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Epitopes
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phosphoserine
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2
  • Serine
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Ultraviolet Rays


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