Methylation of specific lysine residues in the C terminus of p53 is thought to govern p53-dependent transcription following genotoxic and oncogenic stress. In particular, Set7/9 (KMT7)-mediated monomethylation of human p53 at lysine 372 (p53K372me1) was suggested to be essential for p53 activation in human cell lines. This finding was confirmed in a Set7/9 knockout mouse model (Kurash et al., 2008). In an independent knockout mouse strain deficient in Set7/9, we have investigated its involvement in p53 regulation and find that cells from these mice are normal in their ability to induce p53-dependent transcription following genotoxic and oncogenic insults. Most importantly, we detect no impairment in canonical p53 functions in these mice, indicating that Set7/9-mediated methylation of p53 does not seem to represent a major regulatory event and does not appreciably control p53 activity in vivo.
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