Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The Brn-3a POU family transcription factor is able to induce the expression of genes encoding anti-apoptotic proteins such as Bcl-2 and Bcl-x and protects neuronal cells from apoptosis. This effect is opposed by the pro-apoptotic p53 protein which completely inhibits the ability of Brn-3a to activate the Bcl-2 and Bcl-x promoters. Here we demonstrate that Brn-3a is able to stimulate p53 expression. Thus, in co-transfection experiments, Brn-3a activates the p53 promoter acting via a region from +22 to +67, located between the most proximal (+1) and the most distal (+105) transcriptional start sites. Similarly, reduction of Brn-3a expression using anti-sense constructs reduces endogenous p53 expression in human neuroblastoma or cervical carcinoma cell lines growing in vitro and as tumours in nude mice whilst increasing Brn-3a levels enhances p53 expression. These results suggest the existence of a negative feedback loop in which elevated Brn-3a expression induces the expression of p53 which, in turn, antagonises the anti-apoptotic activity of Brn-3a.

Original publication




Journal article


Neurosci Lett

Publication Date





1 - 4


Animals, Apoptosis, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, DNA-Binding Proteins, Humans, Mice, Mice, Nude, Neuroblastoma, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Transcription Factor Brn-3, Transcription Factor Brn-3A, Transcription Factors, Transcriptional Activation, Transfection, Tumor Cells, Cultured, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53