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Cell Growth & Differentiation Vol. 11, 467-474, September 2000
© 2000 American Association for Cancer Research


Articles

Aberrant Regulation and Function of Wild-Type p53 in Radioresistant Melanoma Cells1

Kapaettu Satyamoorthy, Nabil H. Chehab, Matthew J. F. Waterman, Marcus C. Lien, Wafik S. El-Deiry, Meenhard Herlyn and Thanos D. Halazonetis2

The Wistar Institute [K. S., N. H. C., M. J. F. W., M. C. L., M. H., T. D. H.], and Departments of Genetics and Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Pennsylvania [W. S. E.], Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4268

Abstract

Sporadic human tumors and the hereditary cancer predisposition syndrome Li-Fraumeni are frequently associated with mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene that compromise its ability to function as a DNA damage checkpoint. A subset of Li-Fraumeni patients with wild-type p53 alleles have mutations in chk2/hcds1, one of the genes signaling the presence of DNA damage to the p53 protein. This suggests that p53 may be kept inactive in human cancer by mutations targeting DNA damage signaling pathways. Melanoma cells are highly radioresistant, yet they express wild-type p53 protein, raising the possibility of defects in the pathways that activate p53 in response to DNA damage. We have described a chk2/hcds1-independent DNA damage signaling pathway that targets Ser-376 within the COOH terminus of p53 for dephosphorylation and leads to increased p53 functional activity. We now report that in several human melanoma cell lines that express wild-type p53, the phosphorylation state of Ser-376 was not regulated by DNA damage. In these cell lines, neither the endogenous wild-type p53 protein nor high levels of ectopic wild-type p53 led to cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. Thus, defective activation of p53 in response to DNA damage may underlie the radioresistance of human melanoma cells.




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Molecular Cancer Research Cell Growth & Differentiation
Copyright © 2000 by the American Association of Cancer Research.