PloS one

Influence of Human p53 on Plant Development.

PMID 27648563


Mammalian p53 is a super tumor suppressor and plays a key role in guarding genome from DNA damage. However, p53 has not been found in plants which do not bear cancer although they constantly expose to ionizing radiation of ultraviolet light. Here we introduced p53 into the model plant Arabidopsis and examined p53-conferred phenotype in plant. Most strikingly, p53 caused early senescence and fasciation. In plants, fasciation has been shown as a result of the elevated homologous DNA recombination. Consistently, a reporter with overlapping segments of the GUS gene (1445) showed that the frequency of homologous recombination was highly induced in p53-transgenic plants. In contrast to p53, SUPPRESSOR OF NPR1-1 INDUCIBLE 1 (SNI1), as a negative regulator of homologous recombination in plants, is not present in mammals. Comet assay and clonogenic survival assay demonstrated that SNI1 inhibited DNA damage repair caused by either ionizing radiation or hydroxyurea in human osteosarcoma U2OS cancer cells. RAD51D is a recombinase in homologous recombination and functions downstream of SNI1 in plants. Interestingly, p53 rendered the sni1 mutants madly branching of inflorescence, a phenotype of fasciation, whereas rad51d mutant fully suppressed the p53-induced phenotype, indicating that human p53 action in plant is mediated by the SNI1-RAD51D signaling pathway. The reciprocal species-swap tests of p53 and SNI1 in human and Arabidopsis manifest that these species-specific proteins play a common role in homologous recombination across kingdoms of animals and plants.