A gene signature-based approach identifies mTOR as a regulator of p73.

Rosenbluth JM, Mays DJ, Pino MF, Tang LJ, Pietenpol JA
Mol Cell Biol. 2008 28 (19): 5951-64

PMID: 18678646 · PMCID: PMC2547001 · DOI:10.1128/MCB.00305-08

Although genomic technologies have advanced the characterization of gene regulatory networks downstream of transcription factors, the identification of pathways upstream of these transcription factors has been more challenging. In this study we present a gene signature-based approach for connecting signaling pathways to transcription factors, as exemplified by p73. We generated a p73 gene signature by integrating whole-genome chromatin immunoprecipitation and expression profiling. The p73 signature was linked to corresponding signatures produced by drug candidates, using the in silico Connectivity Map resource, to identify drugs that would induce p73 activity. Of the pharmaceutical agents identified, there was enrichment for direct or indirect inhibitors of mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) signaling. Treatment of both primary cells and cancer cell lines with rapamycin, metformin, and pyrvinium resulted in an increase in p73 levels, as did RNA interference-mediated knockdown of mTOR. Further, a subset of genes associated with insulin response or autophagy exhibited mTOR-mediated, p73-dependent expression. Thus, downstream gene signatures can be used to identify upstream regulators of transcription factor activity, and in doing so, we identified a new link between mTOR, p73, and p73-regulated genes associated with autophagy and metabolic pathways.

MeSH Terms (13)

Cell Line Cell Line, Tumor Chromatin Immunoprecipitation DNA-Binding Proteins Genomics Genomics Humans Nuclear Proteins Protein Kinases Signal Transduction TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases Tumor Protein p73 Tumor Suppressor Proteins

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