Mutant p53 Gains Its Function via c-Myc Activation upon CDK4 Phosphorylation at Serine 249 and Consequent PIN1 Binding.
Mol Cell. 2017 Dec 21;68(6):1134-1146.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2017.11.006. Epub 2017 Dec 7.
TP53 missense mutations significantly influence the development and progression of various human cancers via their gain of new functions (GOF) through different mechanisms. Here we report a unique mechanism underlying the GOF of p53-R249S (p53-RS), a p53 mutant frequently detected in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) that is highly related to hepatitis B infection and aflatoxin B1. A CDK inhibitor blocks p53-RS's nuclear translocation in HCC, whereas CDK4 interacts with p53-RS in the G1/S phase of the cells, phosphorylates it, and enhances its nuclear localization. This is coupled with binding of a peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase NIMA-interacting 1 (PIN1) to p53-RS, but not the p53 form with mutations of four serines/threonines previously shown to be crucial for PIN1 binding. As a result, p53-RS interacts with c-Myc and enhances c-Myc-dependent rDNA transcription key for ribosomal biogenesis. These results unveil a CDK4-PIN1-p53-RS-c-Myc pathway as a novel mechanism for the GOF of p53-RS in HCC.