Synergistic activation of transcription by CBP and p53

Nature. 1997 Jun 19;387(6635):819-23. doi: 10.1038/42972.


The tumour suppressor p53 is a transcriptional regulator whose ability to inhibit cell growth is dependent upon its transactivation function. Here we demonstrate that the transcription factor CBP, which is also implicated in cell proliferation and differentiation, acts as a p53 coactivator and potentiates its transcriptional activity. The amino-terminal activation domain of p53 interacts with the carboxy-terminal portion of the CBP protein both in vitro and in vivo. In transfected SaoS-2 cells, CBP potentiates activation of the mdm-2 gene by p53 and, reciprocally, p53 potentiates activation of a Gal4-responsive target gene by a Gal4(1-147)-CBP(1678-2441) fusion protein. A double point mutation that destroys the transactivation function of p53 also abolishes its binding to CBP and its synergistic function with CBP. The ability of p53 to interact physically and functionally with a coactivator (CBP) that has histone acetyltransferase activity and with components (TAFs) of the general transcription machinery indicates that it may have different functions in a multistep activation pathway.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenovirus E1A Proteins / metabolism
  • CREB-Binding Protein
  • Cell Line
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Point Mutation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcriptional Activation*
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / chemistry
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*


  • Adenovirus E1A Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • CREB-Binding Protein
  • CREBBP protein, human