Human mucin 1 oncoprotein represses transcription of the p53 tumor suppressor gene

Cancer Res. 2007 Feb 15;67(4):1853-8. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-06-3063.


The mucin 1 (MUC1) heterodimeric protein is aberrantly overexpressed in human breast cancers and induces transformation. The MUC1 COOH-terminal subunit (MUC1-C) is targeted to the nucleus of transformed cells, where it interacts with p53 and regulates p53-mediated transcription. The present studies show that MUC1 represses activation of the p53 gene and that MUC1-C occupies the PE21 element in the p53 proximal promoter. Previous work has shown that the Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) transcription factor represses p53 transcription by binding to the PE21 element. Our results show that MUC1-C binds constitutively to KLF4, occupies PE21 with KLF4, and enhances the KLF4 occupancy of PE21. The results also show that MUC1-C increases the recruitment of histone deacetylases 1/3, deacetylation of core histones, and repression of p53 transcription. These findings indicate that overexpression of MUC1, as found in human breast cancer cells, is of functional importance to repression of the p53 gene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Down-Regulation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Genes, p53*
  • Humans
  • Kruppel-Like Factor 4
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Mucin-1
  • Mucins / genetics*
  • Mucins / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / biosynthesis
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • KLF4 protein, human
  • Kruppel-Like Factor 4
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • MUC1 protein, human
  • Mucin-1
  • Mucins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • TP53 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53