Identification of a tumor-derived p53 mutant with novel transactivating selectivity

Oncogene. 2000 Jun 22;19(27):3095-100. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1203663.


MDM2 is a p53-responsive molecule that when overexpressed, can alter growth control pathways via p53-dependent and independent mechanisms. We have identified a mutant p53 containing line that expresses high levels of transcripts that are regulated by the p53-responsive promoter of the MDM2 gene. Analysis of cloned product obtained from these tumor cells revealed that they harbor a mutant p53 protein (possessing an Arg to Gln substitution at codon 213) that is a potent transactivator of MDM2 expression. Consistent with this activity, the R213Q mutant was found to have the ability to interact with DNA sequences located within the MDM2 promoter. In contrast to previously described tumor-derived p53 mutants which retain MDM2 transactivation function and possess partial growth suppressive activity, the R213Q mutant is severely compromised in its ability to induce p53-regulated transcripts that encode for proteins involved in cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. The R213Q mutant can also be expressed at high levels in stably transfected cells and cells that harbor this mutant possess elevated levels of MDM2 protein. The R213Q mutant was also found to be able to up-regulate MDM2 during a genotoxic stress response. R213Q is the first described tumor-derived p53 mutant that is deficient at up-regulating both cell cycle arrest and apoptotic factors, but is highly proficient at inducing the growth-promoting molecule MDM2.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Nuclear Proteins*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2
  • Trans-Activators / genetics*
  • Trans-Activators / physiology
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2