Utilizing the technique of differential display of mRNA, we have identified p53-responsive genes that are transcriptionally up- or down-regulated as cells enter growth arrest. One gene that was down-regulated, pong16, was found to be identical to stathmin/Op18, a protein involved in the regulation of microtubule dynamics. Evidence that p53 is directly or indirectly involved in negative regulation of stathmin/Op18 expression includes the following: (i) p53-mediated growth inhibition is associated with repression of stathmin/Op18 expression following serum stimulation, (ii) reporter gene assays revealed p53-mediated repression of stathmin/Op18 promoter activity and (iii) constitutive over-expression of stathmin/Op18 bypasses a p53-mediated G(2)/M arrest in the cell cycle. These results suggest that p53-mediated negative regulation of stathmin/Op18 plays an important role in cell-cycle control.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.