Cisplatin treatment of Epstein-Barr virus-immortalized human B lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) results in p53-mediated apoptosis which occurs largely in a population of cells at the G1/S boundary of the cell cycle. Cell cycle progression appears to be required for this apoptosis because arresting cells earlier in G1 inhibited apoptosis despite the accumulation of p53. Overexpression of wild-type p53 also induces apoptosis in an LCL. Therefore six mutant genes derived from Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) cells were assayed for their ability to induce apoptosis when similarly overexpressed. The same genes were analysed in transient transfection assays for their ability to transactivate appropriate reporter plasmids. A correlation between the ability of p53 to transactivate and induce apoptosis was revealed. The only mutant capable of transactivation also induced apoptosis. Further analysis of the BL lines in which p53 had been characterized showed that whereas some lines were essentially resistant to cisplatin, three were rapidly induced to undergo apoptosis. All three have a single p53 allele encoding a mutant which is incapable of transactivation or (for two tested) mediating apoptosis when expressed in an LCL. Cell cycle analysis revealed that this apparently p53-independent apoptosis did not follow G1 arrest but in fact occurred largely in cells distributed in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. These data suggest the existence of a second checkpoint in the G2 or M phase which, in the absence of a functional p53, is the primary point of entry into the apoptosis programme following DNA damage.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|