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Biochem Cell Biol. 1992 Oct-Nov;70(10-11):1014-9.

Molecular analysis of different allelic variants of wild-type human p53.

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Institute of Parasitology, McGill University, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Que., Canada.


The p53 tumour suppressor gene is intensively studied because mutations in this gene are the most common genetic alteration so far identified in human cancer. Considerable emphasis has thus been placed on characterizing the biological differences between mutant and wild-type p53 protein. This has led to the realization that in cultured cells, mutant p53 behaves like an oncogene, whereas wild-type p53 is a tumor suppressor gene. The p53 protein is also a target for the tumour virus oncogene products SV40 large T, adenovirus E1B, and human papillomavirus type 16 E6, which are all capable of forming complexes to the p53 protein. Although p53 represents an extremely important cellular regulatory molecule which is well conserved, there exists two allelic variants of wild-type human p53 that differ both in primary and confirmational structure. One variant contains an arginine at amino acid 72 (p53Arg), whereas the other form contains a proline at this residue (p53Pro). The possible implications for more than one allelic variant of wild-type human p53 in the general population is unknown. The present study was undertaken to compare some of the biological features of the different wild-type p53 variants. We present data demonstrating that there was a post-transcriptional selection against accumulation of both variants of wild-type human p53 in 3T3-A31 cells, arguing that both forms are proliferation inhibitory in these cells. Both variants of human p53 were stabilized by SV40 large T, but did not displace mouse p53 from SV40 large T. Neither allelic variant of human p53 was able to reduce significantly SV40-mediated anchorage-independent growth of 3T3-A31 cells.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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