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||P53 is Activated without RPL11 Upregulation in Diamond-Blackfan Anemia
||Du HY, Elghetany MT, Alter BP, Shimamura A
||NOV 18 2011
||Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) is an autosomal dominantly inherited bone marrow failure syndrome characterized by red cell aplasia, physical anomalies, and cancer predisposition. DBA is caused by mutations resulting in haploinsufficiency of genes encoding ribosomal proteins. p53 is activated in the erythroid lineage following reduction of ribosomal protein expression; however the mechanism whereby ribosomal stress results in p53 activation in DBA remains unclear. RPL11 has been proposed to play a central role in p53 activation following ribosomal stress. Reduced expression of individual small ribosomal subunit proteins in a tumor cell line resulted in increased translation of RPL11. Excess free RPL11 can bind and inactivate HDM2, an E3 ubiquitin ligase targeting p53 for degradation. The recent demonstration that cellular responses to ribosomal perturbations vary widely between different tissues raised the question of whether RPL11 upregulation contributes to p53 activation following ribosomal stress in hematopoietic progenitors. To address this question, we modeled DBA in human CD34+ cells. Since RPS19 is the most commonly mutated gene in DBA, we used lentiviral vectors expressing short hairpin RNAs to knock down RPS19 expression in primary human CD34+ cells. RPS19 protein levels were reduced to about 50% of control levels in a manner reflecting the haploinsufficient state in DBA. RPS19 depletion resulted in elevated p53 protein levels and increased mRNA levels of p21, a transcriptional target of p53. Total p53 mRNA levels and p53 mRNA translational activity remained unchanged consistent with a post-transcriptional mechanism for p53 activation. Although total RPL11 mRNA levels were not diminished following RPS19 depletion, RPL11 protein levels were significantly decreased consistent with post-transcriptional downregulation. Depletion of RPS19 in human CD34+ cells did not affect polysome loading of RPL11 mRNA. Reduction of additional ribosomal proteins also accompanied RPS19 knockdown consistent with coordinate regulation of multiple ribosomal protein levels. Corticosteroids, which improve anemia in the majority of DBA patients, did not prevent p53 activation, nor did this improve RPS19 or RPL11 protein levels. Expression of p53 was also assessed in bone marrow biopsy slides from 26 DBA patients with the following genotypes: RPS19 (18), RPS24 (2), RPS26 (2), RPS10 (1), RPS17 (1), RPS7 (1), and RPL11 (1). p53 was over-expressed in all but one patient (RPS26), and was clearly over-expressed in the DBA patient harboring the RPL11 mutation. In summary, we find that p53 activation in DBA does not require upregulation of RPL11 translation or elevated RPL11 protein levels. p53 activation persists in DBA caused by RPL11 deficiency. Corticosteroids do not improve ribosomal protein levels nor do they prevent p53 activation.