Regulation of p53 activity through lysine methylation

Sergei Chuikov, Julia K. Kurash, Jonathan R. Wilson, Bing Xiao, Neil Justin, Gleb S. Ivanov, Kristine McKinney, Paul Tempst, Carol Prives, Steven J. Gamblin, Nickolai A. Barlev & Danny Reinberg


NATURE, VOL 432, 18 NOVEMBER 2004, 353–360


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p53 is a tumour suppressor that regulates the cellular response to genotoxic stresses. p53 is a short-lived protein and its activity is regulated mostly by stabilization via different post-translational modifications. Here we report a novel mechanism of p53 regulation through lysine methylation by Set9 methyltransferase. Set9 specifically methylates p53 at one residue within the carboxyl-terminus regulatory region. Methylated p53 is restricted to the nucleus and the modification positively affects its stability. Set9 regulates the expression of p53 target genes in a manner dependent on the p53-methylation site. The crystal structure of a ternary complex of Set9 with a p53 peptide and the cofactor product S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine (AdoHcy) provides the molecular basis for recognition of p53 by this lysine methyltransferase.


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