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Your Environment. Your Health.

Grasp Protein Aids Protective Function of p53 in Skin

Mark Leid, Ph.D.
Oregon State University
NIEHS Grants P01ES000040, P30ES000210

Research funded in part by the NIEHS revealed that the Grp1-associated scaffold protein, or Grasp, helps the P53 tumor suppressor gene function correctly in skin. Finding ways to maintain or increase the effectiveness of Grasp could offer an important new avenue for human cancer therapies.

The researchers created mice that lacked the Grasp gene and compared how these mice and normal mice reacted to the mild environmental stress of ultraviolet light, similar to moderate sun exposure. The mice lacking Grasp began to develop cellular abnormalities much more rapidly than ordinary mice. Significantly, mutated skin cells did not die as they should have. In normal mice, the same moderate light exposure caused a rapid increase in expression of the Grasp gene, allowing the p53 protein to stay in the nucleus and normal protective mechanisms to do their work. Overall, these results suggest that a physiological role of Grasp may be to regulate skin homeostasis after UVB exposure, potentially by influencing p53-mediated apoptotic responses in skin.

Citation: Venkataraman A, Coleman DJ, Nevrivy DJ, Long T, Kioussi C, Indra AK, Leid M. 2014. Grp1-associated scaffold protein regulates skin homeostasis after ultraviolet irradiation. Photochem Photobiol Sci 13(3):531-540.

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