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Oncogene. 1996 Feb 15;12(4):795-803.

Activation of the endogenous p53 growth inhibitory pathway in HeLa cervical carcinoma cells by expression of the bovine papillomavirus E2 gene.

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Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.


We previously showed that expression of the bovine papillomavirus (BPV) E2 gene results in a dramatic inhibition of the proliferation of several human cervical carcinoma cell lines, including HeLa cells which contain human papillomavirus (HPV) type 18 DNA. We have assessed the status of endogenous G1 cell cycle regulatory proteins, including the tumor suppressor proteins, p53 and p105Rb, in order to investigate growth regulatory pathways in HeLa cells following E2 expression. The p53 tumor suppressor protein is stabilized following the introduction of the E2 gene into HeLa cells. This results in the induction of the p53-responsive gene encoding the cyclin dependent kinase (cdk) inhibitor, p21/WAF1, complex formation between p21/WAF1 and cdk2 and reduction of in vitro cdk2/cyclin E kinase activity. The reduced cdk kinase activity is accompanied by the accumulation of the growth inhibitory hypophosphorylated form of the tumor suppressor protein, p105Rb. The level of the p105Rb-regulated transcription factor, E2F1, is reduced, as is transcription of a variety of E2F1-regulated genes, including B-myb. Thus, the p53 growth inhibitory pathway has evidently not accumulated mutations in HeLa cells but rather appears intact. However, this pathway remains dormant, until it is mobilized by appropriate manipulations, such as the expression of the BPV E2 protein.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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