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Title: New microRNAS regulating the P53 signaling pathway
Other Titles: New microRNAs regulating the p53 pathway
Authors: Bisso, Andrea
Supervisore/Tutore: Del Sal, Giannino
Issue Date: 19-Apr-2010
Publisher: Università degli studi di Trieste
A vast body of evidence from clinical and basic research studies has demonstrated that the p53 pathway acts as an essential barrier in preventing cancer onset and development.
A vast body of evidence from clinical and basic research studies has demonstrated that the p53 pathway acts as an essential barrier in preventing cancer onset and development. p53 receives and integrates a wide variety of cytotoxic and genotoxic stress signals from upstream sensors translating them into different cellular outcomes, ranging from apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, se-nescence, DNA repair or other tumor-suppressive responses. p53 exerts its role mainly at the transcriptional level and its timely activation/inactivation in response to stress depends on a complex repertoire of post-translational modifications and interactions with proteins. The crucial role of the p53 pathway in tumor suppression is highlighted by the fact that almost all tumors select for its functional inactivation, either by directly mutating the p53 gene or by altering the expression and functions of key p53 regulators and effectors. Therefore, identification of cellular factors that modulate this pathway and that could be altered in cancer cells, thus allowing to eva-de p53 control, is crucial for understanding cancer development and for designing novel effecti-ve therapeutic approaches.
In this context, the aberrant expression or function of microRNAs (miRNAs) might be highly relevant. microRNAs are small non coding RNAs that finely regulate gene expression by binding the 3’UTR of their target mRNAs, thus altering their translation, stability and localization. It has been shown that several miRNAs modulate critical cellular processes deregulated in cancer, ac-ting either as oncogenes or tumor suppressors.

On this basis, the aim of this thesis has been the identification and characterization of novel miRNAs able to modulate p53 functions by altering either upstream regulators (i.e. stress-activated kinases) or cofactors of p53.
With this purpose we initially selected a panel of twenty-one candidate oncogenic miRNAs from the literature. First, we tested these miRNAs in a functional screening for their ability to modula-te p53-dependent functions in response to cisplatin (apoptosis) and nutlin-3 (cell cycle arrest). Second, miRNAs were also screened for their ability to impair p53 transcriptional activity through a reporter-based assay. We identified five candidate miRNAs from the first approach, and three from the second. miR-26a was identified through both approaches, suggesting that it might repersent a critical modulator of p53 functions. We demonstrated that miR-26a overe-xpression is able to dampen p53 transcriptional activity towards several p53 target promoters (Bax, Pig3 and p21). Moreover, we have shown that miR-26a strongly reduces p53-dependent apoptosis upon DNA damage in different cell lines, to a similar extent as obtained by RNAi-mediated p53 knock-down.
At the molecular level, we observed that miR-26a impairs p53 activation by targeting multiple stress-activated kinases that phosphorylate p53, such as ATM, HIPK2 and PKCδ. Accordingly, miR-26a reduces p53 phosphorylation on Ser15 and Ser46 upon DNA damage. As a consequen-ce, miR-26a overexpression allows cells to proliferate in the presence of oncogenic stress, bypassing the induction of senescence (OIS) driven by RASV12 oncogene similar to what obtai-ned by knockdown of either p53 or its activationg kinase ATM.
Considering our data and the reports describing miR-26a overexpression in several tumors (e.g. glioblastomas), we speculate that aberrant expression of miR-26a might represent an oncogenic process by preventing activation of the p53 pathway and thus relieving a primary barrier against transformation. For all these reasons, the perspective to block miR-26a expression/functions could represent a new important way to tackle tumors.
Ciclo di dottorato: XXI Ciclo
metadata.dc.subject.classification: MEDICINA MOLECOLARE
Keywords: P53microRNAOncogene induced senescenceApoptosisCancerTransformationATMHIPK2PRKCδTP53INP1
Type: Doctoral
Language: en
Settore scientifico-disciplinare: BIO/11 BIOLOGIA MOLECOLARE
NBN: urn:nbn:it:units-8915
Appears in Collections:Scienze biologiche

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