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Department of Biological Sciences

The Reisman lab published a new study in Gene Reports

The p53 tumor suppressor gene is one of the most frequently mutated genes identified in human cancers. The protein it encodes, p53, is responsible for a cell-cycle checkpoint that, when activated, leads to either cell-cycle arrest or apoptosis in response to DNA damage. p53 is highly regulated in cells. The Wrap53α mRNA is especially important for p53 regulation, as it can stabilize the p53 mRNA and induce its translation, thereby increasing the levels of active p53 protein in the cell. While the levels of Wrap53α mRNA transcripts increase in response to DNA damaging agents, the mechanism inducing the Wrap53 gene in response to DNA damage remains unknown. In their new study titled "The WRAP53α gene undergoes p53 tumor suppressor-dependent transcriptional regulation in response to DNA damage", Anne Hucks Moxley and Dr. David Reisman demonstrate that WRAP53α is induced at the transcriptional level in response to DNA damage. They further identified potential p53 binding sites on the WRAP53α promoter and present evidence that the p53 protein itself binds to and activates the WRAP53α gene in response to DNA damage as part of an apparent positive feedback loop. Great work!

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