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Identification of NEEP21, encoding neuron-enriched endosomal protein of 21 kDa, as a transcriptional target of tumor suppressor p53

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NEEP21, also designated D4S234E or NSG1, is an endosomal protein expressed in neuronal cells under normal conditions. Here, we report that NEEP21 is a direct transcriptional target gene of the tumor suppressor p53. NEEP21 expression is inducible in non-neuronal human cancer cell lines by exposure to adriamycin, hydrogen peroxide, UV and γ-ray in a p53-dependent manner. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay indicated that a potential p53-binding site (p53BS) is located in intron 1 of the NEEP21 gene. A reporter assay confirmed that p53BS has p53-responsive activity. The heterologous luciferase gene containing p53BS is also transactivated by p73-β and p63-γ. The introduction of the NEEP21 gene into various cancer cell lines suppressed cell growth. Infection with an adenovirus vector containing NEEP21 induced apoptotic cell death via caspase-3 activation in many cancer cell lines. The expression of NEEP21 mRNA was remarkably induced by γ-ray irradiation in the spleen of p53+/+ mice but not in that of p53−/− mice. These results suggest that NEEP21 may play a critical role in apoptosis as a mediator of p53.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Cancer Medicine and Biophysics Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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  • The International Journal of Oncology provides an international forum for the publication of the latest, cutting-edge research in the broad area of oncology and cancer treatment. The journal accepts original high quality works and reviews on all aspects of oncology research including carcinogenesis, metastasis, epidemiology, chemotherapy and viral oncology. Through fair and efficient peer review, the journal is dedicated to publishing top tier research in the field, offering authors rapid publication as well as high standards of copy-editing and production. The International Journal of Oncology is published on a monthly basis in both print and early online.
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