Acetylation of p53 at carboxyl-terminal lysine residues enhances its transcriptional activity associated with cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Here we demonstrate that p53 acetylation at Lys-320/Lys-373/ Lys-382 is also required for its transcription-independent functions in BAX activation, reactive oxygen species production, and apoptosis in response to the histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid and LAQ824. Knock-out of p53 markedly reduced HDACiinduced apoptosis. Unexpectedly, expression of transactivation-deficient p53 variants sensitized p53-null cells to HDACimediated BAX-dependent apoptosis, whereas knockdown of endogenous mutant p53 in cancer cells reduced HDACi-mediated cytotoxicity. Evaluation of the mechanisms controlling this response led to the discovery of a novel interaction between p53 and Ku70. The association between these two proteins was acetylation-independent, but acetylation of p53 could prevent and disrupt the Ku70-BAX complex and enhance apoptosis. These results suggest a new mechanism of acetylated p53 transcription-independent regulation of apoptosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology