The nucleolus directly regulates p53 export and degradation

Mark T Boyd, Nikolina Vlatković, CARLOS RUBBI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


The correlation between stress-induced nucleolar disruption and abrogation of p53 degradation is evident after a wide variety of cellular stresses. This link may be caused by steps in p53 regulation occurring in nucleoli, as suggested by some biochemical evidence. Alternatively, nucleolar disruption also causes redistribution of nucleolar proteins, potentially altering their interactions with p53 and/or MDM2. This raises the fundamental question of whether the nucleolus controls p53 directly, i.e., as a site where p53 regulatory processes occur, or indirectly, i.e., by determining the cellular localization of p53/MDM2-interacting factors. In this work, transport experiments based on heterokaryons, photobleaching, and micronucleation demonstrate that p53 regulatory events are directly regulated by nucleoli and are dependent on intact nucleolar structure and function. Subcellular fractionation and nucleolar isolation revealed a distribution of ubiquitylated p53 that supports these findings. In addition, our results indicate that p53 is exported by two pathways: one stress sensitive and one stress insensitive, the latter being regulated by activities present in the nucleolus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-703
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2011


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