MDM2 chaperones the p53 tumor suppressor

Bartosz Wawrzynow, Alicja Zylicz, Maura Wallace, Ted Hupp, Maciej Zylicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The murine double minute (mdm2) gene encodes an E3 ubiquitin ligase that plays a key role in the degradation of p53 tumor suppressor protein. Nevertheless recent data highlight other p53-independent functions of MDM2. Given that MDM2 protein binds ATP, can interact with the Hsp90 chaperone, plays a role in the modulation of transcription factors and protection and activation of DNA polymerases, and is involved in ribosome assembly and nascent p53 protein biosynthesis, we have evaluated and found MDM2 protein to possess an intrinsic molecular chaperone activity. MDM2 can substitute for the Hsp90 molecular chaperone in promoting binding of p53 to the p21-derived promoter sequence. This reaction is driven by recycling of MDM2 from the p53 complex, triggered by binding of ATP to MDM2. The ATP binding mutant MDM2 protein (K454A) lacks the chaperone activity both in vivo and in vitro. Mdm2 cotransfected in the H1299 cell line with wild-type p53 stimulates efficient p53 folding in vivo but at the same time accelerates the degradation of p53. MDM2 in which one of the Zn(2+) coordinating residues is mutated (C478S or C464A) blocks degradation but enhances folding of p53. This is the first demonstration that MDM2 possesses an intrinsic molecular chaperone activity, indicating that the ATP binding function of MDM2 can mediate its chaperone function toward the p53 tumor suppressor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32603-12
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2007

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Folding
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53


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