Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)

Analysis of the RNA helicase p68 (Ddx5) as a transcriptional regulator.

PMID 20225156


The DEAD box RNA helicase p68 (Ddx5) has been demonstrated to act as a transcriptional co-activator for a number of highly regulated transcription factors (e.g. estrogen receptor alpha and the tumour suppressor p53) and to be recruited to promoters of genes that are responsive to activation of these transcription factors, suggesting that it may play a role in transcription initiation. We have investigated the function of p68 as a co-activator of the tumour suppressor p53, with a particular emphasis on the importance of p68 in the induction of p53 transcriptional activity by DNA damage. These studies have involved RNAi-mediated suppression of p68 in cells expressing wild-type p53 and determining its effect on the expression of cellular p53 target genes in response to DNA damage. Additionally a significant amount of our research has focused on the study of the role of p68 in transcriptional initiation; this has included an investigation of the recruitment of p68 to the promoters of p53-responsive genes and of the importance of p68 in influencing recruitment of p53. Here we present detailed methods for RNAi knock-down of p68 expression, determination of its effect on expression of p53-responsive genes by quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting, and chromatin immunoprecipitation techniques for determining recruitment of p68 and p53 to p53-responsive promoters.