p73 is not mutated in meningiomas as determined with a functional yeast assay but p73 expression increases with tumor grade

Brain Pathol. 2001 Jul;11(3):296-305. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3639.2001.tb00400.x.


The p53 gene is normally wild type in meningiomas. Since all three members of the p53 gene family recognize the same DNA sequence, tumors containing wild type p53 could decrease transactivation of p53 target genes by mutating either p63 or p73. In meningiomas the most likely target is p73, because loss of heterozygosity of the chromosomal band containing p73 is the commonest genetic lesion in these tumors. To screen p73 for mutations we have developed a functional assay which tests the ability of p73 to activate transcription from a p53-responsive promoter in yeast. The assay correctly identified p73 mutants with mutations equivalent to hotspot mutations in p53, demonstrating that the assay can detect transcriptionally inactive p73. No mutations in p73 were identified in meningiomas. p73 RNA level was higher in more advanced tumors, but there was no correlation between the expression level of p73 and p21, a known p53 target gene. The yeast assay was also used to measure the intrinsic sensitivity of the p73 protein to mutagenesis. Like p53, p73 is exceptionally easy to inactivate as a transcription factor by point mutation. Taken together, these results indicate that p53 and p73 serve very different functions in tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Codon / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Cyclins / biosynthesis
  • Cyclins / genetics
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Meningioma / genetics*
  • Meningioma / metabolism
  • Meningioma / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics*
  • Nuclear Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology
  • RNA Splicing
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Neoplasm / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / physiology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / physiology
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins


  • CDKN1A protein, human
  • Codon
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Cyclins
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Neoplasm
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • TP73 protein, human
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins