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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24889

Title: Characterization of the E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Pirh2
Authors: Tai, Elizabeth
Advisor: Benchimol, Samuel
Department: Medical Biophysics
Keywords: p53
E3 ubiquitin ligase
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2010
Abstract: The p53 tumour suppressor gene is inactivated by mutation in over 50% of all human cancers. The p53 protein is activated and stabilized through several post-translational modifications in response to various stresses and promotes cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Thus, regulation of p53 is critical for normal cellular function. Pirh2 is a p53-regulated gene recently identified in our laboratory which encodes an E3 RING-finger ubiquitin ligase that binds to p53 and negatively regulates p53 by targeting it for ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. Pirh2 is similar to another well-characterized E3 RING finger ubiquitin ligase, Mdm2, which also participates in a similar negative feedback loop with p53. At least seven E3 ubiquitin ligases are known to target p53 for degradation and the reason for this functional redundancy is unclear. The purpose of this study is to characterize Pirh2 activity. This study has two aims the first is to identify additional interacting proteins for Pirh2, and the second is to delineate Pirh2 regulation of p53. Using several tandem affinity purification strategies and a GST-pull down approach, we have identified PKC delta as a candidate interacting protein. The second aim is to further characterize Pirh2 regulation of p53. Splenocytes and thymocytes from Pirh2-/- mice demonstrate a subtle increase in total p53 levels after irradiation when compared to wild-type controls. Phosphoserine 15 p53 levels are significantly higher in splenocytes and thymocytes from Pirh2 -/- mice relative to wild-type counterparts. Cells stably transfected with Pirh2 have decreased levels of phosphoserine 15 p53 and decreased induction of p21 relative to vector control and Mdm2 expressing cells. The stability of the p53 protein is primarily regulated through ubiquitin mediated proteolysis, and there are multiple ubiquitin ligases targeting p53 for degradation. Here we are able to address the question of functional redundancy by indicating that Pirh2 can target serine 15 phosphorylated p53 which is reported to not be regulated by Mdm2.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24889
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Medical Biophysics - Doctoral theses

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