|Identification of UNC5A as a novel transcriptional target of tumor suppressor p53 and a regulator of apoptosis|
Authors: Yuji Miyamoto, Manabu Futamura, Noriaki Kitamura, Yasuyuki Nakamura, Hideo Baba, Hiroufmi Arakawa
Cancer Medicine and Biophysics Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
UNC5A is an axon-guidance molecule, and plays a critical role in neuronal development and differentiation as a netrin-1 receptor. Emerging evidence suggests that axon guidance molecules including UNC5A regulate apoptosis in non-neuronal cells. Here, we report that UNC5A regulates apoptosis as a downstream target of p53. UNC5A expression was strongly induced by exogenous and endogenous p53. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) revealed that p53 binds to a sequence in the promoter region of the UNC5A gene. Reporter assays showed that this sequence exhibits p53-dependent transcriptional activity. Overexpression of UNC5A significantly suppressed colony formation of two glioblastoma cell lines-U373MG and T98G. UNC5A dramatically induced apoptosis through the activation of caspase-3 in various cancer cell lines, including LS174T (colon cancer), U373MG (glioblastoma), SH-SY5Y (neuroblastoma), and SKNAS (neuroblastoma). Finally, γ irradiation strongly induced the expression of UNC5A mRNA in the spleen and colon of p53+/+ mice, but not in those of p53−/− mice, implying that the transcription of UNC5A in vivo is regulated by p53. These results suggest that UNC5A is a novel transcriptional target of p53 and plays a role in p53-dependent apoptosis.