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Mol Genet Metab. 1998 Oct;65(2):155-64.

Role of p53 in the regulation of irradiation-induced apoptosis in neuroblastoma cells.

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Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, USA.


Wild-type p53 plays a crucial role in the control of apoptosis following ionizing radiation (IR); conversely, mutant p53 is associated with IR resistance. Although wild-type p53 is expressed in virtually all neuroblastoma tumors, treatment failures secondary to inadequate local control with radiotherapy are a problem in patients with advanced stage disease. This apparent paradox is the focus of our interest. The Shep-1 neuroblastoma cell line is highly resistant to IR. This cell line contains a wild-type p53 gene and is an ideal model for studying the mechanism of IR resistance in this disease. Following high-dose IR, cell fractionation demonstrated that p53 is induced and targeted to the nucleus. The induced p53 is functional as p53-responsive genes (Waf-1 and MDM-2) are appropriately induced following IR. Intriguingly, overexpression of p53 could reverse the inherent IR resistance of Shep-1 cells. Multiple cell lines expressing variable levels of exogenous temperature-sensitive p53 were generated. Pulse induction of p53 alone did not affect Shep-1 cell viability, while induction of p53, followed by IR, resulted in cell death and DNA fragmentation proportional to the dose of IR and the level of p53 expression. These findings demonstrate that p53 overexpression renders Shep-1 cells IR-sensitive and suggest that large quantities of exogenous p53 can overcome the factors inhibiting p53-mediated, IR-induced apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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