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J Biomed Sci. 1999 Jul-Aug;6(4):285-92.

The tumor suppressor p53 can reduce stable transfection in the presence of irradiation.

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Northeastern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre, Sudbury, Canada.


The tumor suppressor p53 is believed to play an essential role in maintaining genome stability. Although it is currently unknown how p53 is involved in this important biological safeguard, several previous publications indicate that p53 can help to maintain genome integrity through the recombination-mediated DNA repair process. The integration of linearized plasmid DNA into the host chromosome utilizes the same repair process, and the frequency can be measured by clonogenic assays in which cells that were stably transfected by plasmid integration can be scored by their colony-forming abilities. To gain insight into whether p53 has a direct role in plasmid integration into the host chromosome, we determined the frequency of stable transfection with CHO cells expressing either wild-type or mutant p53 in the presence and absence of irradiation. We found that low-dose irradiation ( approximately 50 to 100 cGy) increased stable transfection frequencies in CHO cells regardless of their p53 status. However, the increase of transfection frequency was significantly lower in CHO cells expressing wild-type p53. Our data thus suggest that wild-type p53 can suppress plasmid DNA integration into the host genome. This p53 function may play a direct and significant role in maintaining genome stability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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