Journal Article

Inactivate the remaining p53 allele or the alternate p73? Preferential selection of the Arg72 polymorphism in cancers with recessive p53 mutants but not transdominant mutants

Mitsuhiro Tada, Keiji Furuuchi, Masako Kaneda, Joe Matsumoto, Masato Takahashi, Atsuko Hirai, Yasuhide Mitsumoto, Richard D Iggo and Tetsuya Moriuchi

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 22, issue 3, pages 515-517
Published in print March 2001 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online March 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/22.3.515
Inactivate the remaining p53 allele or the alternate p73? Preferential selection of the Arg72 polymorphism in cancers with recessive p53 mutants but not transdominant mutants

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Several reports have noted epidemiological differences in the prevalence or prognostic significance of p53 mutants with arginine (R) or proline (P) at the codon 72 polymorphism (R72/P72) in certain cancer types, but the biological significance of these variants is unclear. The ability of p53 mutants to interact with and inactivate the p53 homolog p73 was recently reported to depend on the conformational state of the p53 protein and the residue at codon 72. Since the conformation of p53 mutants may influence their ability to transdominantly inhibit wild-type p53, we tested whether there was a correlation between the amino acid at codon 72 and the transdominance of p53 alleles found in tumors. The transdominance test was performed using a simple yeast transcription assay, and the amino acid at codon 72 was determined by sequencing. A total of 100 p53 mutants were tested. Compared with the germline frequency (R:P = 427:297), an extreme bias in favor of the R72 allele was observed with recessive mutants (R:P = 50:7, P < 0.0002), whereas no selection for the R72 allele was seen with transdominant mutants (R:P = 23:20). p53 and p73 are known to transactivate overlapping sets of target genes. We interpret the R72 bias with recessive mutants as evidence that decreased activation of p53 target genes provides a selective growth advantage to tumor cells during the stage of tumorigenesis in which a wild-type and mutant p53 allele coexist. We suggest that transdominant p53 mutants achieve this by inactivation of the remaining wild-type p53 allele, whereas recessive p53 mutants achieve it through inactivation of p73.

Journal Article.  2171 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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