Effect of p53 and its N-terminally truncated isoform, Δ40p53, on breast cancer migration and invasion

Xiajie Zhang, Kira Groen, Brianna C. Morten, Luiza Steffens Reinhardt, Hamish G. Campbell, Antony W. Braithwaite, Jean-Christophe Bourdon, Kelly A. Avery-Kiejda (Lead / Corresponding author)

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10 Citations (Scopus)
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Breast cancer is the most diagnosed malignancy in women, with over half a million women dying from this disease each year. In our previous studies, ∆40p53, an N-terminally truncated p53 isoform, was found to be upregulated in breast cancers, and a high ∆40p53 : p53α ratio was linked with worse disease-free survival. Although p53α inhibits cancer migration and invasion, little is known about the role of ∆40p53 in regulating these metastasis-related processes and its role in contributing to worse prognosis. The aim of this study was to assess the role of ∆40p53 in breast cancer migration and invasion. A relationship between Δ40p53 and gene expression profiles was identified in oestrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer specimens. To further evaluate the role of Δ40p53 in oestrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer, MCF-7 and ZR75-1 cell lines were transduced to knockdown p53α or Δ40p53 and overexpress Δ40p53. Proliferation, migration and invasion were assessed in the transduced sublines, and gene expression was assessed through RNA-sequencing and validated by reverse-transcription quantitative PCR. Knockdown of both p53α and ∆40p53 resulted in increased proliferation, whereas overexpression of ∆40p53 reduced proliferation rates. p53α knockdown was also associated with increased cell mobility. ∆40p53 overexpression reduced both migratory and invasive properties of the transduced cells. Phenotypic findings are supported by gene expression data, including differential expression of LRG1, HYOU1, UBE2QL1, SERPINA5 and PCDH7. Taken together, these results suggest that, at the basal level, ∆40p53 works similarly to p53α in suppressing cellular mobility and proliferation, although the role of Δ40p53 may be cell context-specific.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-465
Number of pages19
JournalMolecular Oncology
Issue number2
Early online date17 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • breast cancer
  • gene expression
  • migration and invasion
  • p53
  • Δ40p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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