The p53 tumor suppressor gene is regulated in vivo by nuclear factor 1-C2 in the mouse mammary gland during pregnancy

Oncogene. 2003 Sep 4;22(38):6061-70. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1206884.


The p53 tumor suppressor protein plays an important role in preventing cancer development by arresting or killing potential tumor cells. Downregulated p53 levels, or mutations within the p53 gene, leading to the loss of p53 activity, are found in many breast carcinomas. Here we demonstrate that the p53 gene is transcriptionally upregulated in the normal mouse mammary gland at midpregnancy. We show that the specific isoform nuclear factor 1-C2 (NF1-C2) plays an important role in this activation. Functional mutation of the NF1-binding site in the mouse p53 promoter resulted in a reduction of the gene expression to less than 30% in mammary epithelial cells. By the use of two powerful techniques, chromatin immunoprecipitation and oligonucleotide decoy, we verify the importance of NF1-C2 in p53 gene activation in vivo. These findings demonstrate a broader role for NF1-C2 in the mammary gland at midpregnancy, beyond its earlier reported activation of milk protein genes. We also demonstrate that NF1-A1 proteins are produced in the mouse mammary gland. However, due to their lower affinity to the NF1-binding site, these proteins are not involved in the transcriptional upregulation of p53 at midpregnancy. This paper constitutes the first report demonstrating the importance of NF1 proteins in the p53 gene activation in the mouse mammary gland. It is also the first time that p53 gene activation is coupled to a specific, endogenously expressed NF1 isoform.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Genetic Techniques
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / cytology
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / growth & development
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • NFI Transcription Factors
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Oligonucleotides / genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Animal / metabolism*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism
  • Y-Box-Binding Protein 1


  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • NFI Transcription Factors
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Oligonucleotides
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Y-Box-Binding Protein 1
  • YBX1 protein, human