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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mouse p53 represses the rat brain creatine kinase gene but activates the rat muscle creatine kinase gene.

The creatine kinases (CK) regenerate ATP for cellular reactions with a high energy expenditure. While muscle CK (CKM) is expressed almost exclusively in adult skeletal and cardiac muscle, brain CK (CKB) expression is more widespread and is highest in brain glial cells. CKB expression is also high in human lung tumor cells, many of which contain mutations in p53 alleles. We have recently detected high levels of CKB mRNA in HeLa cells and, in this study, have tested whether this may be due to the extremely low amounts of p53 protein present in HeLa cells. Transient transfection experiments showed that wild-type mouse p53 severely repressed the rat CKB promoter in HeLa but not CV-1 monkey kidney cells, suggesting that, in HeLa but not CV-1 cells, p53 either associates with a required corepressor or undergoes a posttranslational modification necessary for CKB repression. Conversely, mouse wild-type p53 strongly activated the rat CKM promoter in CV-1 cells but not in HeLa cells, suggesting that, in CV-1 cells, p53 may associate with a required coactivator or is modified in a manner necessary for CKM activation. The DNA sequences required for p53- mediated modulations were found to be within bp -195 to +5 of the CKB promoter and within bp -168 to -97 of the CKM promoter. Moreover, a 112-bp fragment from the proximal rat CKM promoter (bp -168 to -57), which contained five degenerate p53-binding elements, was capable of conferring p53-mediated activation on a heterologous promoter in CV-1 cells. Also, this novel p53 sequence, when situated in the native 168-bp rat CKM promoter, conferred p53- mediated activation equal to or greater than that of the originally characterized far-upstream (bp -3160) mouse CKM p53 element. Therefore, CKB and CKM may be among the few cellular genes which could be targets of p53 in vivo. In addition, we analyzed a series of missense mutants with alterations in conserved region II of p53. Mutations affected p53 transrepression and transactivation activities differently, indicating that these activities in p53 are separable. The ability of p53 mutants to transactivate correlated well with their ability to inhibit transformation of rat embryonic fibroblasts by adenovirus E1a and activated Ras.[1]


  1. Mouse p53 represses the rat brain creatine kinase gene but activates the rat muscle creatine kinase gene. Zhao, J., Schmieg, F.I., Simmons, D.T., Molloy, G.R. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1994) [Pubmed]
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