Journal Article

DNA double-strand break repair activities in mammary epithelial cells––influence of endogenous p53 variants

Marlen Keimling and Lisa Wiesmüller

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 30, issue 7, pages 1260-1268
Published in print July 2009 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online May 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
DNA double-strand break repair activities in mammary epithelial cells––influence of endogenous p53 variants

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Intriguingly, all 10 breast cancer susceptibility genes known today are directly or indirectly related to DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair suggesting a critical role of DSB repair dysfunction in the etiology of this tumor entity. We and others had previously provided evidence indicating that the breast cancer susceptibility gene product p53 controls DSB repair. Experiments with ectopically expressed proteins showed that oncogenic mutants of p53 deregulate homologous recombination (HR) and possibly also non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). Here, we systematically analyzed the role of different p53 variants endogenously expressed in a series of mammary epithelial cell lines. We provide evidence that endogenous wild-type p53 represses HR, particularly between short homologies that strengthens the idea of a quality control mechanism underlying HR regulation. To a lesser extent, p53 also downregulates microhomology-mediated NHEJ and single-strand annealing. Our data also suggest that repression of NHEJ regulation may require the extreme C-terminus, whereas the oligomerization and core domains are involved in HR regulation. We show that depending on the individual mutation, p53 mutants retain more or less partial DSB repair downregulatory activities when compared with loss of p53. All in all, relative effects on distinct DSB repair pathways and discrimination between HR substrates with perfectly versus imperfectly homologous sequences represent good markers for a p53 defect due to a specific mutation. Thus, advanced DSB repair analysis may serve as a novel assay for the functional classification of p53 mutations.

Journal Article.  6127 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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