MDMX promotes proteasomal turnover of p21 at G1 and early S phases independently of, but in cooperation with, MDM2

Yetao Jin, Shelya X. Zeng, Xiao Xin Sun, Hunjoo Lee, Christine Blattner, Zhixiong Xiao, Hua Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


We have shown previously that MDM2 promotes the degradation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 through a ubiquitin-independent proteolytic pathway. Here we report that the MDM2 analog, MDMX, also displays a similar activity. MDMX directly bound to p21 and mediated its proteasomal degradation. Although the MDMX effect was independent of MDM2, they synergistically promoted p21 degradation when coexpressed in cells. This degradation appears to be mediated by the 26S proteasome, as MDMX and p21 bound to S2, one of the subunits of the 19S component of the 26S proteasome, in vivo. Conversely, knockdown of MDMX induced the level of endogenous p21 proteins that no longer cofractionated with 26S proteasome, resulting in G1 arrest. The level of p21 was low at early S phase but markedly induced by knocking down either MDMX or MDM2 in human cells. Ablation of p21 rescued the G1 arrest caused by double depletion of MDM2 and MDMX in p53-null cells. These results demonstrate that MDMX and MDM2 independently and cooperatively regulate the proteasome-mediated degradation of p21 at the G1 and early S phases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1218-1229
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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