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Int J Oncol. 2003 Jan;22(1):81-6.

Restoration of p53 gene function in 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbor 13-acetate-resistant human leukemia K562/TPA cells.

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  • 1Pharmacology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan.


The human leukemia K562 cell line does not express wild-type p53 protein. Due to the loss of one p53 allele and an insertion mutation in exon 5 of the other allele resulting in a frameshift mutation, K562 cells express a truncated p53 protein of 148 amino acids. A human leukemia phorbol ester-resistant subline, K562/TPA, is cross-resistant to some anticancer agents. A remarkable difference in cell cycle progression at G1/S phase was observed in the synchronised K562/TPA cells as compared with K562 cells. Southern blot and DNA sequence analysis revealed no mutation in exon 5 of the p53 gene in K562/TPA cells. p21Cip1 expression was also restored in K562/TPA cells confirming that the reversal of this p53 gene mutation restored wild-type p53 function in these cells. This is a unique report describing reversal of p53 gene mutation by drugs. This was associated with the expression of wild-type p53 mRNA and protein in K562/TPA cells. The K562/TPA cell line may provide a very useful tool for the investigation of the relationship between p53 status and chemosensitization.

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