MDM2, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, is a potent inhibitor of the p53 tumor suppressor and is elevated in many human cancers that retain wild-type p53. MDM2 SNP309G is a functional polymorphism that results in elevated levels of MDM2 (due to enhanced SP1 binding to the MDM2 promoter) thus decreasing p53 activity. Mdm2 SNP309G/G mice are more prone to spontaneous tumor formation than Mdm2 SNP309T/T mice, providing direct evidence for the impact of this SNP in tumor development. We asked whether environmental factors impact SNP309G function and show that SNP309G cooperates with ionizing radiation to exacerbate tumor development. Surprisingly, ultraviolet B light or Benzo(a)pyrene exposure of skin shows that SNP309G allele actually protects against squamous cell carcinoma susceptibility. These contrasting differences led us to interrogate the mechanism by which Mdm2 SNP309 regulates tumor susceptibility in a tissue-specific manner. Although basal Mdm2 levels were significantly higher in most tissues in Mdm2 SNP309G/G mice compared with Mdm2 SNP309T/T mice, they were significantly lower in Mdm2 SNP309G/G keratinocytes, the cell-type susceptible to squamous cell carcinoma. The assessment of potential transcriptional regulators in ENCODE ChIP-seq database identified transcriptional repressor E2F6 as a possible negative regulator of MDM2 expression. Our data show that E2F6 suppresses Mdm2 expression in cells harboring the SNP309G allele but not the SNP309T allele. Thus, Mdm2 SNP309G exhibits tissue-specific regulation and differentially impacts cancer risk.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research
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