, Volume 37, Issue 5-7, pp 239-251
Date: 20 Jul 2006

DNA damage, p14ARF, Nucleophosmin (NPM/B23), and cancer

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Abstract

The p53/p14ARF/mdm2 stress response pathway plays a central role in mediating cellular responses to oncogene activation, genome instability, and therapy-induced DNA damage. Abrogation of the pathway occurs in most if not all cancers, and may be essential for tumor development. The high frequency with which the pathway is disabled in cancer and the fact that the pathway appears to be incompatible with tumor cell growth, has made it an important point of focus in cancer research and therapeutics development. Recently, Nucleophosmin (NPM, B23, NO38 and numatrin), a multifunctional nucleolar protein, has emerged as a p14ARF binding protein and regulator of p53. While complex formation between ARF and NPM retains ARF in the nucleolus and prevents ARF from activating p53, DNA damaging treatments promote a transient subnuclear redistribution of ARF to the nucleoplasm, where it interacts with mdm2 and promotes p53 activation. The results add support to a recently proposed model in which the nucleolus serves as a p53-uspstream sensor of stress, and where ARF links nucleolar stress signals to nucleoplasmic effectors of the stress response. A better understanding of ARF’s nucleolar interactions could further elucidate the regulation of the p53 pathway and suggest new therapeutic approaches to restore p53 function.