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CHIP-dependent p53 regulation occurs specifically during cellular senescence

Free Radical Biology and Medicine
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2010.10.701
  • Chip Ligase
  • Degradation
  • P53
  • Replicative Senescence
  • Ubiquitin–Proteasome System
  • Aging
  • Free Radicals
  • Biology


Abstract p53 regulates several biological processes, including senescence. Its protein stability is regulated by ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation, mainly mediated by Mdm2. However, other E3 ligases have been identified, such as the chaperone-associated ligase CHIP, although their precise function regarding p53 degradation remains elusive. Interestingly, CHIP deficiency has been recently shown to result in accelerated aging in mice, although the molecular basis of this phenotype was not completely understood. In this study, we explore the role of CHIP in regulating p53 in senescence. We demonstrate that in senescent human fibroblasts, CHIP is up-regulated concomitant with a significant down-regulation of p53. Moreover, CHIP partially translocates to the nucleus and acquires higher ubiquitination levels in senescent cells. Notably, CHIP overexpression in young cells, to levels similar to those recorded during senescence, leads to p53 degradation to below its basal levels. In addition, whereas CHIP silencing has no effect on p53 stability in young cells, a considerable p53 accumulation occurs in their senescent counterparts. Finally, we have observed an attenuation of the CHIP-associated molecular folding–refolding machinery during senescence, and supportively, inhibition of Hsp90 activity leads to rapid p53 degradation only in senescent cells. Taking these results together, we conclude that CHIP-dependent p53 regulation occurs specifically during senescence.

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