TIP60 Up-Regulates ΔNp63α to Promote Cellular Proliferation

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An estimated 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are reported in the United States at an associated cost of $4.8 billion. ΔNp63α, a proto-oncogene in the p53 family of transcription factors, is overexpressed in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and associated with poor prognosis and survival. ΔNp63α elicits its tumorigenic effects in part by promoting cellular proliferation and cell survival. Despite its importance in SCC, the upstream regulation of ΔNp63α is poorly understood. In this study, we identify TIP60 as a novel upstream regulator of ΔNp63α. Using a combination of overexpression, silencing, stable expression, and pharmacological approaches in multiple cell lines, we showed that TIP60 up-regulates ΔNp63α expression. Utilizing cycloheximide treatment, we showed that TIP60 catalytic activity is required for stabilization of ΔNp63α protein levels. We further showed that TIP60 coexpression inhibits ΔNp63α ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. Stabilization of ΔNp63α protein was further associated with TIP60-mediated acetylation. Finally, we demonstrated that TIP60-mediated regulation of ΔNp63α increases cellular proliferation by promoting G2/M progression through MTS assays and flow cytometry. Taken together, our findings provide evidence that TIP60 may contribute to SCC progression by increasing ΔNp63α protein levels, thereby promoting cellular proliferation.



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