Send to

Choose Destination
Oncogene. 1999 Feb 4;18(5):1177-84.

C-myc overexpression and p53 loss cooperate to promote genomic instability.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, USA.


p53 monitors genomic integrity at the G1 and G2/M cell cycle checkpoints. Cells lacking p53 may show gene amplification as well as the polyploidy or aneuploidy typical of many tumors. The pathways through which this develops, however, are not well defined. We demonstrate here that the combination of p53 inactivation and c-myc overexpression in diploid cells markedly accelerates the spontaneous development of tetraploidy. This is not seen with either N-myc or L-myc. Tetraploidy is accompanied by significantly higher levels of cyclin B and its associated cdc2 kinase activity. Mitotic spindle poisons accelerate the appearance of tetraploidy in cells either lacking functional p53 or overexpressing c-myc whereas the combination is additive. Restoration of p53 function in cells overexpressing c-myc causing rapid apoptosis, indicating that cells yet to become tetraploid have nonetheless suffered irreversible genomic and/or mitotic spindle damage. In the face of normal p53 function, such damage would either be repaired or trigger apoptotis. We propose that loss of p53 and overexpression of c-myc permits the emergence and survival of cells with increasingly severe damage and the eventual development of tetraploidy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center