Author(s): Mayo LD, Donner DB, Mayo LD, Donner DB
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Abstract The Mdm2 oncoprotein promotes cell survival and cell cycle progression by inhibiting the p53 tumor suppressor protein. To regulate p53, Mdm2 must gain nuclear entry, and the mechanism that induces this is now identified. Mitogen-induced activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) and its downstream target, the Akt/PKB serine-threonine kinase, results in phosphorylation of Mdm2 on serine 166 and serine 186. Phosphorylation on these sites is necessary for translocation of Mdm2 from the cytoplasm into the nucleus. Pharmacological blockade of PI3-kinase/Akt signaling or expression of dominant-negative PI3-kinase or Akt inhibits nuclear entry of Mdm2, increases cellular levels of p53, and augments p53 transcriptional activity. Expression of constitutively active Akt promotes nuclear entry of Mdm2, diminishes cellular levels of p53, and decreases p53 transcriptional activity. Mutation of the Akt phosphorylation sites in Mdm2 produces a mutant protein that is unable to enter the nucleus and increases p53 activity. The demonstration that PI3-kinase/Akt signaling affects Mdm2 localization provides insight into how this pathway, which is inappropriately activated in many malignancies, affects the function of p53.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Molecular Biology: Open Access