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Murine double minute (MDM)-2 is an intracellular molecule with diverse biological functions. It was first described to limit p53-mediated cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, hence, gain of function mutations are associated with malignancies. This generated a rationale for MDM2 being a potential therapeutic target in cancer therapy. Meanwhile, several additional functions and pathogenic roles of MDM2 have been identified that either enforce therapeutic MDM2 blockade or raise caution about potential side effects. MDM2 is also required for organ development and tissue homeostasis because unopposed p53 activation leads to p53-overactivation-dependent cell death, referred to as podoptosis. Podoptosis is caspase-independent and, therefore, different from apoptosis. The mitogenic role of MDM2 is also needed for wound healing upon tissue injury, while MDM2 inhibition impairs re-epithelialization upon epithelial damage. In addition, MDM2 has p53-independent transcription factor-like effects in nuclear factor-kappa beta (NFκB) activation. Therefore, MDM2 promotes tissue inflammation and MDM2 inhibition has potent anti-inflammatory effects in tissue injury. Here we review the biology of MDM2 in the context of tissue development, homeostasis, and injury and discuss how the divergent roles of MDM2 could be used for certain therapeutic purposes. MDM2 blockade had mostly anti-inflammatory and anti-mitotic effects that can be of additive therapeutic efficacy in inflammatory and hyperproliferative disorders such as certain cancers or lymphoproliferative autoimmunity, such as systemic lupus erythematosus or crescentic glomerulonephritis.

Citation

Martrez Ebrahim, Shrikant R Mulay, Hans-Joachim Anders, Dana Thomasova. MDM2 beyond cancer: podoptosis, development, inflammation, and tissue regeneration. Histology and histopathology. 2015 Nov;30(11):1271-82

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PMID: 26062755

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