Drosophila p53 binds a damage response element at the reaper locus

Cell. 2000 Mar 31;101(1):103-13. doi: 10.1016/S0092-8674(00)80627-3.


The tumor suppressor gene p53 regulates multiple cellular responses to DNA damage, but the transcriptional targets that specify these responses are incompletely understood. We describe a Drosophila p53 homolog and demonstrate that it can activate transcription from a promoter containing binding sites for human p53. Dominant-negative forms of Drosophila p53 inhibit both transactivation in cultured cells and radiation-induced apoptosis in developing tissues. The cis-regulatory region of the proapoptotic gene reaper contains a radiation-inducible enhancer that includes a consensus p53 binding site. Drosophila p53 can activate transcription from this site in yeast and a multimer of this site is sufficient for radiation induction in vivo. These results indicate that reaper is a direct transcriptional target of Drosophila p53 following DNA damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / radiation effects
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Humans
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptides / genetics*
  • Response Elements
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Trans-Activators
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • rpr protein, Drosophila
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AC008200
  • GENBANK/AF224713
  • GENBANK/AF224714