SLC25A1, or CIC, is a novel transcriptional target of mutant p53 and a negative tumor prognostic marker

Vamsi K. Kolukula, Geetaram Sahu, Anton Wellstein, Olga C. Rodriguez, Anju Preet, Vito Iacobazzi, Gabriella D'Orazi, Chris Albanese, Ferdinando Palmieri, Maria Laura Avantaggiati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mutations of the p53 gene hallmark many human cancers. Several p53 mutant proteins acquire the capability to promote cancer progression and metastasis, a phenomenon defined as Gain of Oncogenic Function (GOF). The downstream targets by which GOF p53 mutants perturb cellular programs relevant to oncogenesis are only partially known. We have previously demonstrated that SLC25A1 (CIC) promotes tumorigenesis, while its inhibition blunts tumor growth. We now report that CIC is a direct transcriptional target of several p53 mutants. We identify a novel interaction between mutant p53 (mutp53) and the transcription factor FOXO-1 which is responsible for regulation of CIC expression levels. Tumor cells harboring mutp53 display higher CIC levels relative to p53 null or wild-type tumors, and inhibition of CIC activity blunts mutp53-driven tumor growth, partially overcoming GOF activity. CIC inhibition also enhances the chemotherapeutic potential of platinum-based agents. Finally, we found that elevated CIC levels predict poor survival outcome in tumors hallmarked by high frequency of p53 mutations. Our results identify CIC as a novel target of mutp53 and imply that the employment of CIC inhibitors may improve survival rates and reduce chemo-resistance in tumors harboring these types of mutations, which are among the most intractable forms of cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1212-1225
Number of pages14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Cancer
  • CIC
  • Citrate
  • FOXO-1
  • Marker
  • Mutant
  • P53 mutations
  • Prognosis
  • Prognostic
  • SLC25A1
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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