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Small-Molecule Activation of p53 Blocks Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1α and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Expression In Vivo and Leads to Tumor Cell Apoptosis in Normoxia and Hypoxia▿

By Jun Yang, Afshan Ahmed, Evon Poon, Nina Perusinghe, Alexis de Haven Brandon, Gary Box, Melanie Valenti, Suzanne Eccles, Kasper Rouschop, Brad Wouters and Margaret Ashcroft


The p53 tumor suppressor protein negatively regulates hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α). Here, we show that induction of p53 by the small-molecule RITA (reactivation of p53 and induction of tumor cell apoptosis) [2,5-bis(5-hydroxymethyl-2-thienyl) furan] (NSC-652287) inhibits HIF-1α and vascular endothelial growth factor expression in vivo and induces significant tumor cell apoptosis in normoxia and hypoxia in p53-positive cells. RITA has been proposed to stabilize p53 by inhibiting the p53-HDM2 interaction. However, induction of p53 alone was insufficient to block HIF-1α induced in hypoxia and has previously been shown to require additional stimuli, such as DNA damage. Here, we identify a new mechanism of action for RITA: RITA activates a DNA damage response, resulting in phosphorylation of p53 and γH2AX in vivo. Unlike other DNA damage response-inducing agents, RITA treatment of cells induced a p53-dependent increase in phosphorylation of the α subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2, requiring PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase activity, and led to the subsequent downregulation of HIF-1α and p53 target proteins, including HDM2 and p21. Through the identification of a new mechanism of action for RITA, our study uncovers a novel link between the DNA damage response-p53 pathway and the protein translational machinery

Topics: Articles
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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