The carboxy-terminal truncated p53 alternative spliced isoforms, p53 beta and p53 gamma, are expressed at disparate levels in cancer and are suggested to influence treatment response and therapy outcome. However, their functional role in cancer remains to be elucidated. We investigated their individual functionality in the p53(null) background of cell lines H1299 and SAOS-2 by stable retroviral transduction or transient transfection. Expression status of p53 beta and p53 gamma protein was found to correlate with increased response to camptothecin and doxorubicin chemotherapy. Decreased DNA synthesis and clonogenicity in p53 beta and p53 gamma congenic H1299 was accompanied by increased p21((CIP1/WAF1)), Bax and Mdm2 proteins. Chemotherapy induced p53 isoform degradation, most prominent for p53 gamma. The proteasome inhibitor bortezomib substantially increased basal p53 gamma protein level, while the level of p53 beta protein was unaffected. Treatment with dicoumarol, a putative blocker of the proteasome-related NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase NQO1, effectively attenuated basal p53 gamma protein level in spite of bortezomib treatment. Although in vitro proliferation and clonogenicity assays indicated a weak suppressive effect by p53 beta and p53 gamma expression, studies of in vivo subcutaneous H1299 tumor growth demonstrated a significantly increased growth by expression of either p53 isoforms. This study suggests that p53 beta and p53 gamma share functionality in chemosensitizing and tumor growth enhancement but comprise distinct regulation at the protein level.
- P53 ISOFORMS
- ACUTE MYELOID-LEUKEMIA