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Mol Cell Biol. Dec 1987; 7(12): 4453–4463.
PMCID: PMC368129

Modulation of p53 protein expression during cellular transformation with simian virus 40.


We analyzed the relation of metabolic stabilization of the p53 protein during cellular transformation by simian virus 40 (SV40) to (i) expression of the transformed phenotype and (ii) expression of the large tumor antigen (large T). Analysis of SV40-tsA28-mutant-transformed rat cells (tsA28.3 cells) showed that both p53 complexed to large T and free p53 (W. Deppert and M. Haug, Mol. Cell. Biol. 6:2233-2240, 1986) were metabolically stable when the cells were cultured at 32 degrees C and expressed large T and the transformed phenotype. At the nonpermissive temperature (39 degrees C), large-T expression is shut off in these cells and they revert to the normal phenotype. In such cells, p53 was metabolically unstable, like p53 in untransformed cells. To determine whether metabolic stabilization of p53 is directly controlled by large T, we next analyzed the metabolic stability of complexed and free p53 in SV40 abortively infected normal BALB/c mouse 3T3 cells. We found that neither p53 in complex with large T nor free p53 was metabolically stable. However, both forms of p53 were stabilized in SV40-transformed cells which had been developed in parallel from SV40 abortively infected cultures. Our results indicate that neither formation of a complex of p53 with large T nor large-T expression as such is sufficient for a significant metabolic stabilization of p53. Therefore, we suggest that metabolic stabilization of p53 during cellular transformation with SV40 is mediated by a cellular process and probably is the consequence of the large-T-induced transformed phenotype.

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Selected References

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