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β-Actin facilitates etoposide-induced p53 nuclear import


As a tumor suppressor, p53 preserves genomic integrity in eukaryotes. However, limited evidence is available for the p53 shuttling between the cytoplasm and nucleus. Previous studies have shown that β-actin polymerization negatively regulates p53 nuclear import through its interaction with p53. In this study, we found that DNA damage induces both β-actin and p53 accumulation in the nucleus. β-actin knockdown impaired the nuclear transport of p53. Additionally, β-actin could interact with p53 which was enhanced in response to genotoxic stress. Furthermore, N terminal deletion mutants of p53 shows reduced levels of association with β-actin. We further identified Ser15, Thr18 and Ser20 of p53 are critical to the β-actin: p53 interaction, which upon mutation into alanine abrogates the binding. Taken together, this study reveals that β-actin regulates the nuclear import of p53 through protein–protein interaction.

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phosphorylated histone H2AX


the Murine Double Minute 2 oncogene


mortalin 2




fetal bovine serum


4′,6′-diamidino-2 phenylindole


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This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of the Jilin Province Department of Science and Technology under Grant Number 20180520104JH; National Nature Science Foundation of China under Grant Number 31801182; and Natural Science Foundation of Changchun Normal University under Grant Numbers 2015-001 and 2016-001.

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Correspondence to Xiuzhen Ni.

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Corresponding editor: Kundan Sengupta

Communicated by Kundan Sengupta.

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Qi, W., Li, J., Pei, X. et al. β-Actin facilitates etoposide-induced p53 nuclear import. J Biosci 45, 34 (2020).

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  • β-actin
  • p53
  • interaction
  • DNA damage
  • nuclear localization