Wild-type and mutant p53 differentially regulate transcription of the insulin-like growth factor I receptor gene

Haim Werner, Eddy Karnieli, Frank J. Rauscher, Derek LeRoith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGF-I-R) plays a critical role in transformation events. It is highly overexpressed in most malignant tissues where it functions as an anti-apoptotic agent by enhancing cell survival. Tumor suppressor p53 is a nuclear transcription factor that blocks cell cycle progression and induces apoptosis. p53 is the most frequently mutated gene in human cancer. Cotransfection of Saos-2 (osteosarcoma-derived cells) and RD (rhabdomyosarcoma-derived cells) cells with IGF-I-R promoter constructs driving luciferase reporter genes and with wild-type p53 expression vectors suppressed promoter activity in a dose-dependent manner. This effect of p53 is mediated at the level of transcription and it involves interaction with TBP, the TATA box-binding component of TFIID. On the other hand, three tumor-derived mutant forms of p53 (mut 143, mut 248, and mut 273) stimulated the activity of the IGF-I-R promoter and increased the levels of IGF-I-R/luciferase fusion mRNA. These results suggest that wild-type p53 has the potential to suppress the IGF-I-R promoter in the postmitotic, fully differentiated cell, thus resulting in low levels of receptor gene expression in adult tissues. Mutant versions of p53 protein, usually associated with malignant states, can derepress the IGF-I-R promoter, with ensuing mitogenic activation by locally produced or circulating IGFs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8318-8323
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
StatePublished - 6 Aug 1996


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