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BTG4 is A Novel p53 Target Gene That Inhibits Cell Growth and Induces Apoptosis

Authors
  • Zhang, Na1, 2
  • Jiang, Tinghui1, 2
  • Wang, Yitao1, 2
  • Hu, Lanyue1, 2
  • Bu, Youquan1, 2
  • 1 (L.H.)
  • 2 Molecular Medicine and Cancer Research Center, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China
Type
Published Article
Journal
Genes
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Feb 19, 2020
Volume
11
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/genes11020217
PMID: 32093041
PMCID: PMC7074044
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

BTG4 is the last cloned and poorly studied member of BTG/Tob family. Studies have suggested that BTG4 is critical for the degradation of maternal mRNAs in mice during the process of maternal-to-zygotic transition, and downregulated in cancers, such as gastric cancer. However, the regulatory mechanism of BTG4 and its function in cancers remain elusive. In this study, we have for the first time identified the promoter region of the human BTG4 gene. Serial luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that the core promoter of BTG4 is mainly located within the 388 bp region near its transcription initiation site. Transcription factor binding site analysis revealed that the BTG4 promoter contains binding sites for canonical transcription factors, such as Sp1, whereas its first intron contains two overlapped consensus p53 binding sites. However, overexpression of Sp1 has negligible effects on BTG4 promoter activity, and site-directed mutagenesis assay further suggested that Sp1 is not a critical transcription factor for the transcriptional regulation of BTG4. Of note, luciferase assay revealed that one of the intronic p53 binding sites is highly responsive to p53. Both exogenous p53 overexpression and adriamycin-mediated endogenous p53 activation result in the transcriptional upregulation of BTG4. In addition, BTG4 is downregulated in lung and colorectal cancers, and overexpression of BTG4 inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis in cancer cells. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that BTG4 is a novel p53-regulated gene and probably functions as a tumor suppressor in lung and colorectal cancers.

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