Simultaneous phosphorylation of p53 at serine 15 and 20 induces apoptosis in human glioma cells by increasing expression of pro-apoptotic genes

Toshiyuki Amano, Akira Nakamizo, Sandip K. Mishra, Joy Gumin, Naoki Shinojima, Raymond Sawaya, Frederick F. Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding the mechanism underlying p53's ability to induce cell cycle arrest versus apoptosis is critical to treating human gliomas, 70% of which contain wild-type p53. Although N-terminal phosphorylation results in activation of p53, the role of N-terminal phosphorylation, particularly at serines 15 and 20, in p53's ability to induce cell cycle arrest versus apoptosis remains controversial. Here we test the hypothesis that phosphorylation of serine 15 and/or 20 is causally related to p53-mediated apoptosis in human gliomas. Introduction of p53 plasmids containing alanine mutations at serine 15 or/and serine 20 (which block phosphorylation) or aspartate mutations (which mimic phosphorylation) at the same sites, implicated simultaneous phosphorylation of both sites in the induction of apoptosis. When a double phosphorylation-mimicking adenoviral p53 vector (Ad-p53-15D20D) was compared with an unphosphorylated p53 vector (Ad-p53), treatment with Ad-p53 resulted in G1-arrest, whereas Ad-p53-15D20D induced apoptosis. These effects occurred independent of phosphorylation of other N-terminal serine (i.e., serines 6, 9, 33, 37, 46) indicating that phosphorylation of S15 and S20 is sufficient for inducing apoptosis. Mechanistically, Ad-p53 was capable only of increasing the expression of p21/CIP, whereas Ad-p53-15D20D increased the binding to and expression of the pro-apoptotic genes Fas, Puma and PIG3. However, Ad-p53-15D20D did not alter the expression of Noxa, Bid, IGFBP3, PERP and Killer/DR5, suggesting that phosphorylation of S15 and S20 resulted in the expression of specific pro-apoptotic gene. In conclusion, simultaneous phosphorylation of S15 and S20 is causally associated with apoptosis, resulting in increased expression of specific p53-responsive pro-apoptotic genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-371
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Volume92
Issue number3 SPEC. ISS.
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research

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