BAG2 promotes tumorigenesis through enhancing mutant p53 protein levels and function

Elife. 2015 Aug 13;4:e08401. doi: 10.7554/eLife.08401.


Tumor suppressor p53 is the most frequently mutated gene in tumors. Many mutant p53 (mutp53) proteins promote tumorigenesis through the gain-of-function (GOF) mechanism. Mutp53 proteins often accumulate to high levels in tumors, which is critical for mutp53 GOF. Its underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we found that BAG2, a protein of Bcl-2 associated athanogene (BAG) family, promotes mutp53 accumulation and GOF in tumors. Mechanistically, BAG2 binds to mutp53 and translocates to the nucleus to inhibit the MDM2-mutp53 interaction, and MDM2-mediated ubiquitination and degradation of mutp53. Thus, BAG2 promotes mutp53 accumulation and GOF in tumor growth, metastasis and chemoresistance. BAG2 is frequently overexpressed in tumors. BAG2 overexpression is associated with poor prognosis in patients and mutp53 accumulation in tumors. These findings revealed a novel and important mechanism for mutp53 accumulation and GOF in tumors, and also uncovered an important role of BAG2 in tumorigenesis through promoting mutp53 accumulation and GOF.

Keywords: BAG2; cell biology; human; human biology; medicine; mouse; mutant p53; tumorigenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Mice, Nude
  • Molecular Chaperones / metabolism*
  • Mutant Proteins / genetics
  • Mutant Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Proteolysis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2 / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitination


  • BAG2 protein, human
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Mutant Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • MDM2 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2