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Mol Med. 1999 Jan;5(1):21-34.

Ubiquitous induction of p53 in tumor cells by antisense inhibition of MDM2 expression.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology, Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The MDM2 oncogene functions as a negative feedback regulator of the p53 tumor suppressor. Abnormal expression of MDM2 in tumors may attenuate the p53-mediated growth arrest and apoptosis response, resulting in increased cell proliferation and resistance to chemotherapy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We have developed phosphorothioate antisense oligodeoxynucleotides optimized for inhibition of MDM2 expression and investigated the role of MDM2 in a large panel of tumor cell lines.

RESULTS:

Inhibition of MDM2 expression in 15 tumor types containing wild-type p53 results in a significant induction of nuclear p53 accumulation. The increase in p53 level is due to prolonged half-life and is associated with an increase in p53 transcriptional activity, growth inhibition, or apoptosis. Inhibition of MDM2 expression is also sufficient to induce nuclear p53 accumulation in several cell lines with cytoplasmic p53.

CONCLUSIONS:

The MDM2 negative feedback loop is important for maintenance of p53 at a low level by promoting p53 degradation. Nuclear export and degradation by MDM2 may contribute to the p53 nuclear exclusion phenotype. Inhibition of MDM2 expression can effectively activate p53 in most tumor types, including those without MDM2 overexpression, and may have broad anti-tumor potential.

PMID:
10072445
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2230374
Free PMC Article
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