Arch Biochem Biophys 2018 10 7;655:26-36. Epub 2018 Aug 7.
Center for Translational Research and Molecular Biology of Cancer, Maria Skłodowska-Curie Institute Oncology Center, Gliwice Branch, 44-101, Gliwice, Poland. Electronic address:
The p53 protein is an inducer of apoptosis, acting as a transcriptional regulator of apoptotic genes. In a previous study, we found that actinomycin D and nutlin-3a (A + N) synergistically activate p53. To better understand the molecular consequences of this synergism, we incubated arrays of antibodies against apoptotic proteins with extracts of A549 cells in which p53 had been activated. We found that strong activation of p53, marked by serine 46 and 392 phosphorylation, was associated with inactivating phosphorylation of proapoptotic BAD protein on serine 136. Investigation of the source of this phosphorylation revealed that activation of p53 was associated with accumulation of PIM2, a survival kinase. The accumulation of PIM2 following treatment with A + N was suppressed in p53-knockdown cells. Others discovered that PIM2 was activated by cooperatively acting p53 molecules. Our results are consistent with this finding. Moreover, we found that in A549 cells, the treatment with A + N stimulated in p53-dependent fashion the expression of other high cooperativity p53 target genes, DRAXIN and H19. Activation of antiapoptotic H19 can mechanistically explain relatively low rate of apoptosis of A549 cells exposed to A + N. We conclude that PIM2, DRAXIN and H19 are efficiently stimulated by strongly activated p53 molecules, probably acting cooperatively.