Distinct p53 genomic binding patterns in normal and cancer-derived human cells

Cell Cycle. 2011 Dec 15;10(24):4237-49. doi: 10.4161/cc.10.24.18383. Epub 2011 Dec 15.


We report here genome-wide analysis of the tumor suppressor p53 binding sites in normal human cells. 743 high-confidence ChIP-seq peaks representing putative genomic binding sites were identified in normal IMR90 fibroblasts using a reference chromatin sample. More than 40% were located within 2 kb of a transcription start site (TSS), a distribution similar to that documented for individually studied, functional p53 binding sites and, to date, not observed by previous p53 genome-wide studies. Nearly half of the high-confidence binding sites in the IMR90 cells reside in CpG islands, in marked contrast to sites reported in cancer-derived cells. The distinct genomic features of the IMR90 binding sites do not reflect a distinct preference for specific sequences, since the de novo developed p53 motif based on our study is similar to those reported by genome-wide studies of cancer cells. More likely, the different chromatin landscape in normal, compared with cancer-derived cells, influences p53 binding via modulating availability of the sites. We compared the IMR90 ChIPseq peaks to the recently published IMR90 methylome and demonstrated that they are enriched at hypomethylated DNA. Our study represents the first genome-wide, de novo mapping of p53 binding sites in normal human cells and reveals that p53 binding sites reside in distinct genomic landscapes in normal and cancer-derived human cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation
  • CpG Islands / genetics
  • DNA / genetics*
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA Methylation / genetics
  • Fibroblasts
  • Genomics / methods
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE31558