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Exp Cell Res. 2000 Aug 1;258(2):310-21.

Genomic convergence and suppression of centrosome hyperamplification in primary p53-/- cells in prolonged culture.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0521, USA.


Chromosome instability, a major property of cancer cells, is believed to promote mutations that establish malignant phenotypes. Centrosome hyperamplification and the consequential increase in the frequency of aberrant mitoses are the major causes of chromosome instability in cancer cells that lack the functional p53 tumor suppressor protein. Here, we examined dynamic changes of chromosome and centrosome behaviors during long-term culturing of primary epithelial cells derived from p53-null mice. The heterogeneity in the number of chromosomes per cell in the early to mid passage cell population diminished in late passage cells, giving rise to distinct subpopulations of cells. Concomitantly, centrosome hyperamplification that was observed at a high frequency in early to mid passage cells was suppressed in late passage cells. These results provide an explanation for the frequent observations that some cancer cell lines and tissues that lack functional p53 show normal centrosome behaviors and altered, yet relatively stable, chromosomes. Moreover, our in vitro findings may provide a model for possible genomic convergence in cultured cells. This may be analogous to the genomic convergence model proposed for in vivo tumor progression in which chromosome instability initially imposed during tumorigenesis becomes suppressed when neoplastic cells have acquired chromosome compositions that promise an optimal growth in a given environment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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