Program in Molecular Medicine; Cancer Center; Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology
Cancer Biology | Cell Biology | Neoplasms
Hepatocellular carcinoma is a highly deadly malignancy, accounting for approximately 800,000 deaths worldwide every year. Mutation of the p53 tumor suppressor gene is a common genetic change in HCC, present in 30% of cases. p53R175H (corresponding to p53R172H in mice) is a hotspot for mutation that demonstrates "prometastatic" gain-of-function in other cancer models. Since the frequency of p53 mutation increases with tumor grade in HCC, we hypothesized that p53R172H is a gain-of-function mutation in HCC that contributes to a decrease in tumor-free survival and an increase in metastasis. In an HCC mouse model, we found that p53R172H/flox mice do not have decreased survival, increased tumor incidence, or increased metastasis, relative to p53flox/flox littermates. Analysis of cell lines derived from both genotypes indicated that there are no differences in anchorage-independent growth and cell migration. However, shRNA-mediated knockdown of mutant p53 in p53R172H-expressing HCC cell lines resulted in decreased cell migration and anchorage-independent growth. Thus, although p53 mutant-expressing cells and tumors do not have enhanced properties relative to their p53 null counterparts, p53R172H-expressing HCC cells depend on this mutant for their transformation. p53 mutants have been previously shown to bind and inhibit the p53 family proteins p63 and p73. Interestingly, we find that the levels of p63 and p73 target genes are similar in p53 mutant and p53 null HCC cells. These data suggest that pathways regulated by these p53 family members are similarly impacted by p53R172H in mutant expressing cells, and by alternate mechanisms in p53 null cells, resulting in equivalent phenotypes. Consistent with this, we find that p53 null HCC cell lines display lower levels of the TA isoforms of p63 and p73 and higher levels of DeltaNp63. Taken together these data point to the importance of p63 and p73 in constraining HCC progression.
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DOI of Published Version
PLoS One. 2015 Apr 17;10(4):e0123816. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123816. eCollection 2015.. Link to article on publisher's site
Ahronian, Leanne G.; Driscoll, David R.; Klimstra, David S.; and Lewis, Brian C., "The p53R172H Mutant Does Not Enhance Hepatocellular Carcinoma Development and Progression" (2015). Open Access Articles. 2491.
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