Research Papers:

Transcription factor Yin Yang 2 is a novel regulator of the p53/p21 axis

Vivi Kasim, Yu-Dan Xie, Hui-Min Wang, Can Huang, Xue-Song Yan, Wei-Qi Nian, Xiao-Dong Zheng, Makoto Miyagishi and Shou-Rong Wu _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:54694-54707. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.18005

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Vivi Kasim1,2, Yu-Dan Xie1, Hui-Min Wang1, Can Huang1, Xue-Song Yan1, Wei-Qi Nian3, Xiao-Dong Zheng3, Makoto Miyagishi4 and Shou-Rong Wu1,2

1The Key Laboratory of Biorheological Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, College of Bioengineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China

2The 111 Project Laboratory of Biomechanics and Tissue Repair, College of Bioengineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China

3Chongqing Cancer Institute, Chongqing, China

4Molecular Composite Medicine Research Group, Biomedical Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Japan

Correspondence to:

Shou-Rong Wu, email: [email protected]

Vivi Kasim, email: [email protected]

Keywords: cell cycle, tumor suppressor, p53, p21, Yin Yang 2 (YY2)

Received: March 22, 2017     Accepted: May 08, 2017     Published: May 19, 2017


Yin Yang 2 (YY2) is a multifunctional zinc-finger transcription factor that belongs to YY family. Unlike the well-characterized YY1, our understanding regarding the biological functions of YY2 is still very limited. Here we found for the first time that in contrast to YY1, which had been reported to be oncogenic, the expression level of YY2 in tumor cells and/or tissues was downregulated compared with its expression level in the normal ones. We also demonstrated that YY2 exerts biological function contrary to YY1 in cell proliferation. We elucidated that YY2 positively enhances p21 expression, and concomitantly, its silencing promotes cells to enter G2/M phase and enhances cell proliferation. Furthermore, we found that YY2 regulation on p21 occurs p53-dependently. Finally, we identified a novel YY2 binding site in the promoter region of tumor suppressor p53. We found that YY2 binds to the p53 promoter and activates its transcriptional activity, and subsequently, regulates cell cycle progression via p53/p21 axis. Taken together, our study not only identifies YY2 as a novel tumor suppressor gene that plays a pivotal role in cell cycle regulation, but also provides new insights regarding the regulatory mechanism of the conventional p53/p21 axis.

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