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Mol Cell Biol. 1993 Jan;13(1):711-9.

Cell cycle analysis of p53-induced cell death in murine erythroleukemia cells.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109-0668.


A temperature-sensitive mutant of murine p53 (p53Val-135) was transfected by electroporation into murine erythroleukemia cells (DP16-1) lacking endogenous expression of p53. While the transfected cells grew normally in the presence of mutant p53 (37.5 degrees C), wild-type p53 (32.5 degrees C) was associated with a rapid loss of cell viability. Genomic DNA extracted at 32.5 degrees C was seen to be fragmented into a characteristic ladder consistent with cell death due to apoptosis. Following synchronization by density arrest, transfected cells released into G1 at 32.5 degrees C were found to lose viability more rapidly than did randomly growing cultures. Following release into G1, cells became irreversibly committed to cell death after 4 h at 32.5 degrees C. Commitment to cell death correlated with the first appearance of fragmented DNA. Synchronized cells allowed to pass out of G1 prior to being placed at 32.5 degrees C continued to cycle until subsequently arrested in G1; loss of viability occurred following G1 arrest. In contrast to cells in G1, cells cultured at 32.5 degrees C for prolonged periods during S phase and G2/M, and then returned to 37.5 degrees C, did not become committed to cell death. G1 arrest at 37.5 degrees C, utilizing either mimosine or isoleucine deprivation, does not lead to rapid cell death. Upon transfer to 32.5 degrees C, these G1 synchronized cell populations quickly lost viability. Cells that were kept density arrested at 32.5 degrees C (G0) lost viability at a much slower rate than did cells released into G1. Taken together, these results indicate that wild-type p53 induces cell death in murine erythroleukemia cells and that this effect occurs predominantly in the G1 phase of actively cycling cells.

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