p53 is critical for tumor suppression but also elicits detrimental effects when aberrantly overexpressed. Thus, multiple regulators, including RNA-binding protein RBM38, are found to tightly control p53 expression. Interestingly, RBM38 is unique in that it can either suppress or enhance p53 mRNA translation via altered interaction with eIF4E potentially mediated by serine-195 (S195) in RBM38. Thus, multiple RBM38/eIF4E knock-in (KI) cell lines were generated to investigate the significance of eIF4E-RBM38 interaction in controlling p53 activity. We showed that KI of RBM38-S195D or -Y192C enhances, whereas KI of RBM38-S195K/R/L weakens, the binding of eIF4E to p53 mRNA and subsequently p53 expression. We also showed that KI of eIF4E-D202K weakens the interaction of eIF4E with RBM38 and thereby enhances p53 expression, suggesting that D202 in eIF4E interacts with S195 in RBM38. Moreover, we generated an Rbm38 S193D KI mouse model in which human-equivalent serine-193 is substituted with aspartic acid. We showed that S193D KI enhances p53-dependent cellular senescence and that S193D KI mice have a shortened life span and are prone to spontaneous tumors, chronic inflammation, and liver steatosis. Together, we provide in vivo evidence that the RBM38-eIF4E loop can be explored to fine-tune p53 expression for therapeutic development.
- Tumor suppression]
ASJC Scopus subject areas