CITED2 affects leukemic cell survival by interfering with p53 activation

Cell Death Dis. 2017 Oct 26;8(10):e3132. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2017.548.


CITED2 (CBP/p300-interacting-transactivator-with-an-ED-rich-tail 2) is a regulator of the acetyltransferase CBP/p300 and elevated CITED2 levels are shown in a number of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). To study the in vivo role of CITED2 in AML maintenance, AML cells were transduced with a lentiviral construct for RNAi-mediated knockdown of CITED2. Mice transplanted with CITED2-knockdown AML cells (n=4) had a significantly longer survival compared to mice transplanted with control AML cells (P<0.02). In vitro, the reduction of CITED2 resulted in increased p53-mediated apoptosis and CDKN1A expression, whereas BCL2 levels were reduced. The activation of p53 upon CITED2 knockdown is not a direct consequence of increased CBP/p300-activity towards p53, since no increased formation of CBP/p300/p53 complexes was demonstrated and inhibition of CBP/p300-activity could not rescue the phenotype of CITED2-deficient cells. Instead, loss of CITED2 had an inhibitory effect on the AKT-signaling pathway, which was indicated by decreased levels of phosphorylated AKT and altered expression of the AKT-pathway regulators PHLDA3 and SOX4. Notably, simultaneous upregulation of BCL2 or downregulation of the p53-target gene PHLDA3 rescued the apoptotic phenotype in CITED2-knockdown cells. Furthermore, knockdown of CITED2 led to a decreased interaction of p53 with its inhibitor MDM2, which results in increased amounts of total p53 protein. In summary, our data indicate that CITED2 functions in pathways regulating p53 activity and therefore represents an interesting target for AML therapy, since de novo AML cases are characterized by an inactivation of the p53 pathway or deregulation of apoptosis-related genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / genetics
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / metabolism*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics*
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Trans-Activators / genetics*
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*


  • CITED2 protein, human
  • Cited2 protein, mouse
  • Repressor Proteins
  • TP53 protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53