The EDD (E3 identified by differential display) gene, first identified as a progestin-induced gene in T-47D breast cancer cells, encodes an E3 ubiquitin ligase with a HECT domain. It was reported that EDD is involved in the G(2)/M progression through ubiquitination of phospho-katanin p60. Previous study has also shown that EDD can act as a transcription cofactor independently of its E3 ligase activity. In this study, we uncover a new role for EDD during cell cycle progression in an E3 ligase-independent manner. We demonstrate that EDD can physically interact with p53 and that this interaction blocks the phosphorylation of p53 by ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM). Silencing of EDD induces phosphorylation of p53 at Ser(15) and activates p53 target genes in fibroblasts and some transformed cells without activation of DNA damage response. The G(1)/S arrest induced by EDD depletion depends on p53. On the other hand, overexpression of EDD inhibits p53-Ser(15) phosphorylation and suppresses the induction of p53 target genes during DNA damage, and this effect does not require its E3 ligase activity. Thus, through binding to p53, EDD actively inhibits p53 phosphorylation by ATM and plays a role in ensuring smooth G(1)/S progression.
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