ATF3 regulates the stability of p53: A link to cancer

Chunhong Yan, Douglas D. Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

60 Scopus citations


ATF3 is a member of the ATF/CREB family of transcription factors involved in the cellular response to a large variety of stresses including DNA damage. However, neither the signaling leading to nor the biological significance of its induction upon stress is well understood. Although it is generally believed that ATF3 exerts its function in the stress response by regulating transcription, to date, only a limited number of target genes have been identified. We recently reported that ATF3 interacts with the tumor suppressor p53 to increase its stability in the genotoxic response. While providing the cell a general means of responding to diverse adverse environment cues, this mechanism confers ATF3 with an ability to promote tumor suppressor functions. Conversely, dysfunction of ATF3 impairs the p53-mediated cellular response to DNA damage, allowing cells to be readily transformed by oncogenes. Consistent with this notion is the observation of downregulated ATF3 expression in most human cancers. Therefore, our findings indicate that ATF3 intersects with p53-associated pathways ensuring genomic integrity. The ability of ATF3 to stabilize p53-induced pathways thus represents a means of effectively countering DNA damage caused by environmental insult the latter leading to oncogene activation and ultimately malignant transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)926-929
Number of pages4
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • ATF3
  • DNA damage
  • Protein interaction
  • Stress response
  • Tumor suppressor
  • Tumorigenesis
  • p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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