The TP53 gene, often referred to as the guardian of the genome, is the most frequently mutated gene in human cancer. This gene encodes the tumor suppressor p53, a master regulator of various processes such as programmed cell death, growth arrest and senescence. However, there is increasing evidence that highlights the role of p53 in tumor suppression with regards to maintaining metabolic homeostasis. Our lab has identified a polymorphic variant of p53 that encodes a serine residue instead of a proline at amino acid 47 (hereafter S47). This variant is most prevalent in African and African-American individuals, and mice and humans carrying this variant have increased cancer risk and impaired response to therapy. Using both mouse models and human cells, we have found that S47 cells have significantly altered metabolism compared to the WT counterpart. Specifically, S47 mice have increased weight and increased lean content compared to WT mice. These mice also show increased fitness in treadmill studies. Analyses of cell metabolism in S47 murine and human cells indicate that S47 cells show increased glycolysis and glycolytic flux, along with increased oxygen consumption rate on a Seahorse analyzer. The combined data support the premise that the S47 variant confers increased cancer risk but also increased metabolic fitness; the latter may explain the high rate of this variant in certain regions of Africa. By clearly elucidating the roles of WT p53 and the S47 variant in the context of metabolism, we hope to uncover new therapeutic avenues and ultimately enable more personalized medicine approaches for individuals who carry this variant.

Citation Format: Keerthana Gnanapradeepan, Subhasree Basu, Che-Pei Kung, Thibaut Barnoud, Madeline Good, William Quinn, Joyce Lee, Kathryn Wellen, Zachary Schug, Joseph Baur, Donna George, Maureen Murphy. The African-specific S47 variant of the p53 tumor suppressor gene alters cell metabolism [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2019; 2019 Mar 29-Apr 3; Atlanta, GA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2019;79(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 3483.