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Oncogene. 2006 Mar 2;25(9):1290-8.

Phosphorylation site mutated RB exerts contrasting effects on apoptotic response to different stimuli.

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Division of Hematology-Oncology and Moores Cancer Center, Department of Medicine, UCSD School of Medicine, Health Sciences Drive, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.


The retinoblastoma tumor-suppressor protein (RB) is an important regulator of cell cycle and apoptosis. RB is phosphorylated by cyclin-dependent protein kinase during cell cycle progression. A phosphorylation site mutated (PSM)-RB has previously been shown to cause G1 arrest and to interfere with S phase progression. In this study, we examined the effect of inducible PSM-RB expression on the apoptotic response to three different death stimuli: doxorubicin (DOXO), staurosporine (STS) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in Rat-16 cells. Induced expression of PSM-RB attenuated caspase activation by DOXO as a result of cell cycle arrest. STS has been shown to cause RB-dependent G1 arrest or apoptosis; however, expression of PSM-RB did not prevent caspase activation by STS. Surprisingly, induced expression of PSM-RB stimulated the apoptotic response to TNF in Rat-16 cells, which mostly undergo necrosis in the absence of PSM-RB. These results show that PSM-RB exerts disparate effects on apoptotic response to different stimuli, and that cell cycle arrest does not always associate with resistance to apoptosis.

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