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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1999 Mar 5;65(2):167-75.

Hydrogen peroxide induces nuclear translocation of p53 and apoptosis in cells of oligodendroglia origin.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel.


The observation that apoptosis is an inherent pathway in oligodendrocytes development coupled with the notion that wild-type p53 is expressed in these cells, prompted us to investigate the interrelationship between the two phenomena. Using a permanent oligodendroglia-like cell line (OLN 93), we examined the role of p53 protein in apoptosis following a DNA insult induced by a brief exposure to H2O2. A marked translocation of p53 from the cytosolic to the nuclear compartment was notable by 20 min, following a 5 min treatment with 1 mM H2O2 as identified by cell immunostaining. By 48 h following H2O2 addition, nearly 60% of the cells exhibited p53 in the nuclei. At this time, a large proportion of the cells underwent apoptosis as identified by DAPI nuclear staining. The genotoxic-induced p53 relocalization appeared to be cell cycle phase specific; thus OLN 93 cultures enriched for cells in the G0/G1 stage by serum starvation, and abundant in nuclear-associated p53, were more susceptible to H2O2-induced apoptosis than their untreated counterparts and than double thymidine block, G1/S enriched, cultures. Analysis of the expression of p53 downstream genes indicated that p21 and mdm2 were upregulated following p53 nuclear translocation. From the kinetics of protein accumulation, it appears that mdm2 enhancement accelerated the exit of p53 from the nucleus to the cytosol. Our results suggest that following stress, oligodendroglia-like cells are induced to undergo p53-dependent apoptosis, an event that coincides with p53 nuclear translocation and is cell-cycle related.

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