Send to

Choose Destination
Oncogene. 2002 Sep 19;21(42):6498-509.

E2F activity is essential for survival of Myc-overexpressing human cancer cells.

Author information

Department of Cell Cycle and Cancer, Institute of Cancer Biology, Danish Cancer Society, 2100 Copenhagen E., Denmark.


Effective cell cycle completion requires both Myc and E2F activities. However, whether these two activities interact to regulate cell survival remains to be tested. Here we have analysed survival of inducible c-Myc-overexpressing cell lines derived from U2OS human osteosarcoma cells, which carry wild-type pRb and p53 and are deficient for p16 and ARF expression. Induced U2OS-Myc cells neither underwent apoptosis spontaneously nor upon reconstitution of the ARF-p53 axis and/or serum-starvation. However, they died massively when concomitantly exposed to inhibitors of E2F activity, including a constitutively active pRb (RbDeltacdk) mutant, p16, a stable p27 (p27T187A) mutant, a dominant-negative (dn) CDK2, or dnDP-1. Similar apoptotic effect was observed upon down-modulation of endogenous E2Fs through overexpression of E2F binding site oligonucleotides in U2OS-Myc cells, upon expression of RbDeltacdk or dnDP-1 in the Myc-amplified HL-60 (ARF-; p53-) human leukemia cells, and upon co-transfection of Myc and RbDeltacdk in SAOS-2 (ARF+; p53-) human osteosarcoma cells but not in human primary fibroblasts. Consistent with these results, a dnp53 mutant did not abrogate the Myc-induced apoptotic phenotype, which instead strictly depended on caspase-3-like proteases and on Myc transcriptional activity. Our data indicate that in contrast to normal cells, Myc-overexpressing human cancer cells need E2F activity for their survival, regardless of their ARF and p53 status, a notion that may have important implications for antineoplastic treatment strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center