p53 accumulation, defective cell proliferation, and early embryonic lethality in mice lacking tsg101.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Volume 98, Issue 4, p.1859-64 (2001)


Animals, Cell Division, Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21, Cyclins, DNA-Binding Proteins, Embryo Loss, Embryonic and Fetal Development, Endoderm, Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport, gene expression, Gene Targeting, Mesoderm, MICE, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Nuclear Proteins, Proto-Oncogene Proteins, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2, TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53


Functional inactivation of the tumor susceptibility gene tsg101 in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts results in cellular transformation and the ability to form metastatic tumors in nude mice. The N-terminal region of tsg101 protein is structurally similar to the catalytic domain of ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes, suggesting a potential role of tsg101 in ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation. The C-terminal domain of TSG101 can function as a repressor of transcription. To investigate the physiological function of tsg101, we generated a null mutation of the mouse gene by gene targeting. Homozygous tsg101-/- embryos fail to develop past day 6.5 of embryogenesis (E6.5), are reduced in size, and do not form mesoderm. Mutant embryos show a decrease in cellular proliferation in vivo and in vitro but no increase in apoptosis. Although levels of p53 transcripts were not affected in tsg101-/- embryos, p53 protein accumulated dramatically, implying altered posttranscriptional control of p53. In addition, transcription of the p53 effector, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21(WAF-1/CIP-1), was increased 5- to 10-fold, whereas activation of MDM2 transcription secondary to p53 elevation was not observed. Introduction of a p53 null mutation into tsg101-/- embryos rescued the gastrulation defect and prolonged survival until E8.5. These results demonstrate that tsg101 is essential for the proliferative burst before the onset of gastrulation and establish a functional connection between tsg101 and the p53 pathway in vivo.