Cai Y, Qiu S, Gao X, Gu SZ, Liu ZJ
The ability to induce apoptosis is the most important tumor-suppression function of p53. Inhibitory member of apoptosis-stimulating protein of p53 family (iASPP) is an apoptotic-specific regulator of p53. iASPP suppresses apoptosis by inhibiting the transactivation function of p53 on the promoters of proapoptotic genes; however, the mechanism whereby iASPP influences apoptosis in tumor cells with mutant or deficient p53 has not been completely defined. In this study, we investigated the role of iASPP in the p63/p73 apoptosis pathway. iASPP inhibited apoptosis independently of p53 in tumor cells, mainly by inhibiting the transcriptional activity of p63/p73 on the promoters of proapoptotic genes. Because p63 and p73 are rarely mutated in human cancers, inhibiting the expression of endogenous iASPP may provide a useful strategy for restoring the apoptotic activity of p63 and p73 in human tumors with p53 loss or mutation. These results represent a promising new strategy for the treatment of cancers with non-wild-type p53.