Regulation of PML-dependent transcriptional repression by pRB and low penetrance pRB mutants

Weizhao Fang, Takahiro Mori, David Cobrinik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The retinoblastoma protein (pRB) is thought to suppress tumorigenesis, in part, through interactions with E2F transcription factors. However, certain low penetrance pRB mutants substantially reduce tumor incidence despite having a minimal ability to bind E2F. These low penetrance mutants retain the ability to induce a senescence-like state, suggesting that they may suppress tumorigenesis through a senescence-associated process. Here, we identify a novel pRB function that is associated with senescence and which is retained by non-E2F binding low penetrance pRB mutants. It was found that pRB and these mutants substantially increased the production of PML nuclear bodies (NBs). In keeping with the role of PML in transcriptional repression, pRB also promoted PML-dependent transcriptional repression by the c-Myc antagonist Mad1. In a series of pRB-p130 chimeric proteins, the ability to increase NB production correlated with the ability to induce a senescence-like phenotype. However, neither NB formation nor PML function were required for pRB to induce the senescence-like response. Together, these observations indicate that a pRB-induced increase in PML NB formation is coordinated with, but separable from, the pRB-induced senescence program. The data further suggest that PML may contribute to an E2F-independent tumor suppressor function of pRB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5557-5565
Number of pages9
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Mad
  • PML
  • Senescence
  • Transcriptional repression
  • pRB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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