MicroRNA501-5p induces p53 proteasome degradation through the activation of the mTOR/MDM2 pathway in ADPKD cells

Lucia de Stephanis, Alessandra Mangolini, Miriam Servello, Peter C Harris, Lucio Dell'Atti, Paolo Pinton, Gianluca Aguiari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Cell proliferation and apoptosis are typical hallmarks of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) and cause the development of kidney cysts that lead to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Many factors, impaired by polycystin complex loss of function, may promote these biological processes, including cAMP, mTOR, and EGFR signaling pathways. In addition, microRNAs (miRs) may also regulate the ADPKD related signaling network and their dysregulation contributes to disease progression. However, the role of miRs in ADPKD pathogenesis has not been fully understood, but also the function of p53 is quite obscure, especially its regulatory contribution on cell proliferation and apoptosis. Here, we describe for the first time that miR501-5p, upregulated in ADPKD cells and tissues, induces the activation of mTOR kinase by PTEN and TSC1 gene repression. The increased activity of mTOR kinase enhances the expression of E3 ubiquitin ligase MDM2 that in turn promotes p53 ubiquitination, leading to its degradation by proteasome machinery in a network involving p70S6K. Moreover, the overexpression of miR501-5p stimulates cell proliferation in kidney cells by the inhibition of p53 function in a mechanism driven by mTOR signaling. In fact, the downregulation of this miR as well as the pharmacological treatment with proteasome and mTOR inhibitors in ADPKD cells reduces cell growth by the activation of apoptosis. Consequently, the stimulation of cell death in ADPKD cells may occur through the inhibition of mTOR/MDM2 signaling and the restoring of p53 function. The data presented here confirm that the impaired mTOR signaling plays an important role in ADPKD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6911-6924
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • MDM2 and proteasome
  • miR501-5p
  • mTOR signaling
  • p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'MicroRNA501-5p induces p53 proteasome degradation through the activation of the mTOR/MDM2 pathway in ADPKD cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this