p63 is an alternative p53 repressor in melanoma that confers chemoresistance and a poor prognosis.
581 - 603
J Exp Med
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The role of apoptosis in melanoma pathogenesis and chemoresistance is poorly characterized. Mutations in TP53 occur infrequently, yet the TP53 apoptotic pathway is often abrogated. This may result from alterations in TP53 family members, including the TP53 homologue TP63. Here we demonstrate that TP63 has an antiapoptotic role in melanoma and is responsible for mediating chemoresistance. Although p63 was not expressed in primary melanocytes, up-regulation of p63 mRNA and protein was observed in melanoma cell lines and clinical samples, providing the first evidence of significant p63 expression in this lineage. Upon genotoxic stress, endogenous p63 isoforms were stabilized in both nuclear and mitochondrial subcellular compartments. Our data provide evidence of a physiological interaction between p63 with p53 whereby translocation of p63 to the mitochondria occurred through a codependent process with p53, whereas accumulation of p53 in the nucleus was prevented by p63. Using RNA interference technology, both isoforms of p63 (TA and ΔNp63) were demonstrated to confer chemoresistance, revealing a novel oncogenic role for p63 in melanoma cells. Furthermore, expression of p63 in both primary and metastatic melanoma clinical samples significantly correlated with melanoma-specific deaths in these patients. Ultimately, these observations provide a possible explanation for abrogation of the p53-mediated apoptotic pathway in melanoma, implicating novel approaches aimed at sensitizing melanoma to therapeutic agents.
AuthorsMatin, RN; Chikh, A; Chong, SLP; Mesher, D; Graf, M; Sanza', P; Senatore, V; Scatolini, M; Moretti, F; Leigh, IM; Proby, CM; Costanzo, A; Chiorino, G; Cerio, R; Harwood, CA; Bergamaschi, D
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