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Accession IconGSE8660

C-terminal diversity within the p53 family accounts for differences in DNA binding and transcriptional activity

Organism Icon Homo sapiens, Mus musculus
Sample Icon 5 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge Icon Affymetrix Mouse Genome 430 2.0 Array (mouse4302), Affymetrix Human Genome U133A 2.0 Array (hgu133a2)

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The p53 family is known as a family of transcription factors with functions in tumor suppression and development. Whereas the central DNA binding domain is highly conserved among the three family members p53, p63 and p73, the C-terminal domains (CTDs) are diverse and subject to alternative splicing and post-translational modification. Here we demonstrate that the CTDs strongly influence DNA binding and transcriptional activity. While p53 and the p73 isoform p73gamma have basic CTDs and form weak sequence-specific protein-DNA complexes, the major p73 isoforms alpha, beta and delta have neutral CTDs and bind DNA strongly. A basic CTD has been previously shown to enable sliding along the DNA backbone and to facilitate the search for binding sites in the complex genome. Our experiments, however, reveal that a basic CTD also reduces protein-DNA complex stability, intranuclear mobility, promoter occupancy in vivo, transgene activation and induction of cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. A basic CTD in p53 and p73gamma therefore provides both positive and negative regulatory functions presumably to enable rapid switching of protein activity in response to stress. In contrast, most p73 isoforms exhibit constitutive DNA binding activity consistent with a predominant role in developmental control.
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