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Cancer Biol Ther. 2003 Jul-Aug;2(4):406-15.

Global genechip profiling to identify genes responsive to p53-induced growth arrest and apoptosis in human lung carcinoma cells.

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  • 1Departments of Molecular Sciences and Technologies; Pfizer Global Research and Development; Ann Arbor Laboratories; Ann Arbor, Michigan USA.


To identify critical genes that mediate p53-induced growth arrest and apoptosis at a global level, we profiled a human lung carcinoma cell model in which cells undergo growth arrest and apoptosis in a p53 and DNA damage-dependent manner. Profiling of the Affymetrix human HG-U1333 GeneChip, covering the entire human transcriptome, revealed about 3, 000 unique genes either induced or repressed during p53-induced growth arrest or apoptosis, respectively. A total of 1, 057 genes, including many well-known p53 targets, responded to both conditions. A mini apoptotic protein database was generated from 3, 033 unique apoptosis responsive genes. Analysis of this database yielded 23 proteins with a pro-apoptotic BH3 domain and three with anti-apoptotic BIR2/BIR3 domains, including well-known p53 targets: Bax, Puma, Noxa and survivin. In addition, 14 mitochondrial proteins were identified that contain a pro-apoptotic AVPI-like motif, and 15 proteins were identified that contain a DAVPI-like domain with the potential of being cleaved by caspases during apoptosis to release the AVPI motif. Many of the genes we identified with these domains do contain p53-binding sites either in the promoter or in the first three introns, suggesting a high probability of being direct p53 targets. Pathway analysis revealed that p53 might control the Wnt pathway through transcriptional regulation of some of its components. Thus, global chip profiling coupled with bioinformatics analysis is a powerful tool in identification of genes critical for p53-induced apoptosis. Further characterization of these genes will lead to a better understanding of the mechanism of p53 action and p53 regulation of other signaling pathways. It will also provide novel cancer drug targets for further validation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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