Stephen Jones Lab Publications


Phosphorylation of p53 serine 18 upregulates apoptosis to suppress Myc-induced tumorigenesis

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cell Biology; Department of Medicine, Division of Endocronology and Metabolism

Publication Date


Document Type



Amino Acid Sequence; Animals; Animals, Genetically Modified; Apoptosis; Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins; Cell Cycle Proteins; Cell Transformation, Neoplastic; DNA Damage; DNA-Binding Proteins; Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic; Lymphoma, B-Cell; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Oncogenes; Phosphorylation; Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases; Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc; Serine; Signal Transduction; Tumor Suppressor Protein p53; Tumor Suppressor Proteins; Up-Regulation


Cell Biology


ATM and p53 are critical regulators of the cellular DNA damage response and function as potent tumor suppressors. In cells undergoing ionizing radiation, ATM is activated by double-strand DNA breaks and phosphorylates the NH(2) terminus of p53 at serine residue 18. We have previously generated mice bearing an amino acid substitution at this position (p53S18A) and documented a role for p53 phosphorylation in DNA damage-induced apoptosis. In this present study, we have crossed E mu myc transgenic mice with our p53S18A mice to explore a role for ATM-p53 signaling in response to oncogene-induced tumorigenesis. Similar to DNA damage induced by ionizing radiation, expression of c-Myc in pre-B cells induces p53 serine 18 phosphorylation and Puma expression to promote apoptosis. E mu myc transgenic mice develop B-cell lymphoma more rapidly when heterozygous or homozygous for p53S18A alleles. However, E mu myc-induced tumorigenesis in p53S18A mice is slower than that observed in E mu myc mice deficient for either p53 or ATM, indicating that both p53-induced apoptosis and p53-induced growth arrest contribute to the suppression of B-cell lymphoma formation in E mu myc mice. These findings further reveal that oncogene expression and DNA damage activate the same ATM-p53 signaling cascade in vivo to regulate apoptosis and tumorigenesis.

DOI of Published Version



Mol Cancer Res. 2010 Feb;8(2):216-22. Epub 2010 Feb 9. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Molecular cancer research : MCR

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed