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Oncogene. 1997 Mar 13;14(10):1207-14.

Suppression of interleukin-1beta converting enzyme (ICE)-induced apoptosis by SV40 large T antigen.

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Cardiovascular Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital-East, Charlestown 02129, USA.


The Interleukin-1beta converting enzyme (ICE) family of proteins, homologs of the C elegans cell death gene product CED-3, play important roles in controlling vertebrate programmed cell death. Because inhibition of apoptosis may be an essential step in tumorigenesis, we investigated the interaction of the simian virus 40 large T antigen (T ag) with the ICE family. COS-1 cells which were transformed by the simian virus 40 do not die when transfected with expression constructs of Ice or Ich-1(L). We found that expression of T ag alone significantly prevents the ICE-induced apoptosis. p53, but not pRb or p107, antagonizes the effect of T ag on the suppression of ICE-induced cell death, but not on ICH-1(L)-mediated cell death. Thus, wild type p53 may potentiate ICE-induced apoptosis. Expression of a temperature sensitive mutant p53Val(135) sensitizes COS-1 cells to apoptosis induced by ICE at permissive but not at non-permissive temperature. While induction of bax, p21(WAF1/CIP), or cyclin D1 gene expression is observed in the COS-1 p53Val(135) cells at the permissive temperature, overexpression of bax, but not p21(WAF1/CIP) or cyclin D1, potentiates ICE-induced COS-1 cell death. Taken together, these results suggest that T ag may modulate the cells' susceptibility to death by suppressing activity of the ICE family through inhibiting p53.

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