The p53 tumour suppressor is regulated mainly by Mdm2, an E3 ubiquitin ligase that promotes the ubiquitylation and proteasome-mediated degradation of p53. Many agents that induce p53 are inhibitors of transcription, suggesting that the p53 pathway can detect a signal(s) arising from transcriptional malfunction. Mdm2 associates with TAFII250, a component of the general transcription factor TFIID. Inactivation of TAFII250 in ts13 cells, which express a temperature-sensitive mutant of TAFII250, leads to the induction of p53 and cell cycle arrest. In the present study, we show that TAFII250 stimulates the ubiquitylation and degradation of p53 in a manner that is dependent upon Mdm2 and requires its acidic domain. Mechanistically, TAFII250 downregulates Mdm2 auto-ubiquitylation, leading to Mdm2 stabilization, and promotes p53-Mdm2 association through a recently defined second binding site in the acidic domain of Mdm2. These data provide a novel route through which TAFII250 can directly influence p53 levels and are consistent with the idea that the maintenance of p53 turnover is coupled to the integrity of RNA polymerase II transcription.
- Transcription factors