The mouse p53 gene generates two alternative splice products encoding p53 protein and a naturally occurring protein (p53as) with changes at the C-terminus. In p53as the negative regulatory region for DNA binding and PAb421 antibody binding site are replaced, and p53as is constitutively active for sequence-specific DNA binding. Using the technique of randomized synthetic oligonucleotide in cyclic amplification and selection of targets, we have found that p53as and p53 proteins have the same DNA binding specificities but that these specificities frequently diverge from the consensus of two copies of PuPuPuCATGPyPyPy. The importance of tetranucleotide CATG was confirmed but there was a less rigorous requirement for patterns of flanking or intervening sequences. In particular, the three purines upstream and three pyrimidines downstream of CATG are not required for p53 or p53as binding, 29 or more intervening nucleotides are tolerated, and one CATG is sufficient where adjacent nucleotides contain a region of homology with certain previously reported non-consensus p53 binding sequences. These results suggested further definition of the non-consensus motifs, and database searches with these uncovered additional candidate genes for p53 protein binding. We conclude that p53as and perhaps other activated forms of p53 exert their effects on the same genes and that differential activities of p53 protein forms are not due to inherently different sequence selectivities of DNA binding.
ASJC Scopus subject areas