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This article has been peer-reviewed. It is the author's final published version in Nature Communications, Volume 10, Issue 1, December 2019, Article number 5800.

The published version is available at Copyright © Cai


p53 acetylation is indispensable for its transcriptional activity and tumor suppressive function. However, the identity of reader protein(s) for p53 acetylation remains elusive. PBRM1, the second most highly mutated tumor suppressor gene in kidney cancer, encodes PBRM1. Here, we identify PBRM1 as a reader for p53 acetylation on lysine 382 (K382Ac) through its bromodomain 4 (BD4). Notably, mutations on key residues of BD4 disrupt recognition of p53 K382Ac. The mutation in BD4 also reduces p53 binding to promoters of target genes such as CDKN1A (p21). Consequently, the PBRM1 BD4 mutant fails to fully support p53 transcriptional activity and is defective as a tumor suppressor. We also find that expressions of PBRM1 and p21 correlate with each other in human kidney cancer samples. Our findings uncover a tumor suppressive mechanism of PBRM1 in kidney cancer and provide a mechanistic insight into the crosstalk between p53 and SWI/SNF complexes.

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