The p53 tumor suppressor protein has a well-established role in cell-fate decision-making processes. However, recent discoveries indicate that p53 has a non-tumor-suppressive role. Here we identify guanidinoacetate methyltransferase (GAMT), an enzyme involved in creatine synthesis, as a p53 target gene and a key downstream effector of adaptive response to nutrient stress. We show that GAMT is not only involved in p53-dependent apoptosis in response to genotoxic stress but is important for apoptosis induced by glucose deprivation. Additionally, p53→GAMT upregulates fatty acid oxidation (FAO) induced by glucose starvation, utilizing this pathway as an alternate ATP-generating energy source. These results highlight that p53-dependent regulation of GAMT allows cells to maintain energy levels sufficient to undergo apoptosis or survival under conditions of nutrient stress. The p53→GAMT pathway represents a new link between cellular stress responses and processes of creatine synthesis and FAO, demonstrating a further role of p53 in cellular metabolism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology