Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2010 Jul 23;285(30):23105-14. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.124990. Epub 2010 May 20.

Persistent p21 expression after Nutlin-3a removal is associated with senescence-like arrest in 4N cells.

Author information

  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.


Nutlin-3a is a preclinical drug that stabilizes p53 by blocking the interaction between p53 and MDM2. In our previous study, Nutlin-3a promoted a tetraploid G(1) arrest in two p53 wild-type cell lines (HCT116 and U2OS), and both cell lines underwent endoreduplication after Nutlin-3a removal. Endoreduplication gave rise to stable tetraploid clones resistant to therapy-induced apoptosis. Prior knowledge of whether cells are susceptible to Nutlin-induced endoreduplication and therapy resistance could help direct Nutlin-3a-based therapies. In the present study, Nutlin-3a promoted a tetraploid G(1) arrest in multiple p53 wild-type cell lines. However, some cell lines underwent endoreduplication to relatively high extents after Nutlin-3a removal whereas other cell lines did not. The resistance to endoreduplication observed in some cell lines was associated with a prolonged 4N arrest after Nutlin-3a removal. Knockdown of either p53 or p21 immediately after Nutlin-3a removal could drive endoreduplication in otherwise resistant 4N cells. Finally, 4N-arrested cells retained persistent p21 expression; expressed senescence-associated beta-galactosidase; displayed an enlarged, flattened phenotype; and underwent a proliferation block that lasted at least 2 weeks after Nutlin-3a removal. These findings demonstrate that transient Nutlin-3a treatment can promote an apparently permanent proliferative block in 4N cells of certain cell lines associated with persistent p21 expression and resistance to endoreduplication.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk