Adenosine deaminase, a key enzyme in DNA precursors control, is a new p73 target

Apollonia Tullo, Giuseppe Mastropasqua, Jean Christophe Bourdon, Paola Centonze, Monica Gostissa, Antonio Costanzo, Massimo Levrero, Giannino Del Sal, Cecilia Saccone, Elisabetta Sbisà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The discovery of the p73 and p63 genes, homologous to p53 tumor suppressor has uncovered a family of transcription factors and widened the scenario of cell cycle control and apoptosis. We have identified a putative p53-responsive element in the human adenosine deaminase (ADA) gene, an important enzyme involved in nucleotide metabolism, the deficit of which causes the inhibition of DNA synthesis and repair. Here, we demonstrate that the ectopic expression of p73 isoforms leads to the ADA gene upregulation, showing for the first time a correlation between p73 and ADA. We found that p73 promotes ADA gene expression following a dNTP unbalance generated by ADA enzyme deficiency and 2′deoxyadenosine accumulation. The abrogation of p73 transcriptional activity by the specific dominant-negative p73DD abolishes ADA induction. By contrast, the ADA gene does not appear to be a functional p53 target in the physiological conditions we tested. On the whole, our results contribute to the emerging picture that p73 could play a different role from p53 in normal growth and development by inducing alternative target genes, which are not shared by p53.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8738-8748
Number of pages11
Issue number54
Publication statusPublished - Nov 27 2003


  • Adenosine deaminase
  • p53
  • p53 family
  • p73
  • Purine metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics

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    Tullo, A., Mastropasqua, G., Bourdon, J. C., Centonze, P., Gostissa, M., Costanzo, A., Levrero, M., Del Sal, G., Saccone, C., & Sbisà, E. (2003). Adenosine deaminase, a key enzyme in DNA precursors control, is a new p73 target. Oncogene, 22(54), 8738-8748.