p53 binds and represses the HBV enhancer: an adjacent enhancer element can reverse the transcription effect of p53.
Ori A. Zauberman A. Doitsh G. Paran N. Oren M. Shaul Y.
Department of Molecular Genetics, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.
The transcription program of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) genome is regulated by an enhancer element that binds multiple ubiquitous and liver-enriched transcription activators. HBV transcription and replication are repressed in the presence of p53. Here we describe a novel molecular mechanism that is responsible for this repression. The p53 protein binds to a defined region within the HBV enhancer in a sequence-specific manner, and this, surprisingly, results in p53-dependent transcriptional repression in the context of the whole HBV enhancer. This unusual behavior of the HBV enhancer can be reconstituted by replacing its p53-binding region with the p53-binding domain of the mdm2 promoter. Remarkably, mutation of the EP element of the enhancer reversed the effect of p53 from repression to transcriptional stimulation. Furthermore, EP-dependent modulation of p53 activity can be demonstrated in the context of the mdm2 promoter, suggesting that EP is not only required but is also sufficient to convert p53 activity from positive to negative. Our results imply that the transcriptional effect of DNA-bound p53 can be dramatically modulated by the DNA context and by adjacent DNA-protein interactions.
A homologue of Drosophila aurora kinase is oncogenic and amplified in human colorectal cancers.
Bischoff JR. Anderson L. Zhu Y. Mossie K. Ng L. Souza B. Schryver B. Flanagan P. Clairvoyant F. Ginther C. Chan CS. Novotny M. Slamon DJ. Plowman GD.
SUGEN, Inc., Redwood City, California 94063, USA.
Genetic and biochemical studies in lower eukaryotes have identified several proteins that ensure accurate segregation of chromosomes. These include the Drosophila aurora and yeast Ipl1 kinases that are required for centrosome maturation and chromosome segregation. We have identified two human homologues of these genes, termed aurora1 and aurora2, that encode cell-cycle-regulated serine/threonine kinases. Here we demonstrate that the aurora2 gene maps to chromosome 20q13, a region amplified in a variety of human cancers, including a significant number of colorectal malignancies. We propose that aurora2 may be a target of this amplicon since its DNA is amplified and its RNA overexpressed, in more than 50% of primary colorectal cancers. Furthermore, overexpression of aurora2 transforms rodent fibroblasts. These observations implicate aurora2 as a potential oncogene in many colon, breast and other solid tumors, and identify centrosome-associated proteins as novel targets for cancer therapy.