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Keywords:

  • accelerated aging;
  • mouse models;
  • p53;
  • SnoN

Summary

We have identified SnoN as a direct activator of p53 to accelerate aging and inhibit tumorigenesis. SnoN has been shown previously to promote proliferation and transformation by antagonizing TGFβ signaling. We show that elimination of this TGFβ antagonistic activity of SnoN in vivo results in accelerated aging and resistance to tumorigenesis. The SnoN knockin mice display a shortened lifespan, decreased reproductivity, osteoporosis, reduced regenerative capacity, and other aging phenotypes, similar to that found in mice expressing an active p53. These activities of SnoN rely on the ability of SnoN to activate p53. SnoN can bind directly to p53 and compete with Mdm2 for binding to p53, preventing p53 ubiquitination and degradation and additionally facilitating p53 acetylation and phosphorylation. SnoN also binds to p53 on the promoter of p53 responsive genes to promote transcription activation. This activation of p53 by SnoN is necessary for its antitumorigenic and progeria activities in vivo because elimination of one copy of p53 reverses the aging phenotypes and accelerates tumorigenesis. Thus, we have revealed a novel function of SnoN in regulating aging and tumorigenesis by directly activating p53.