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    ABSTRACT: A critical determinant of the efficacy of antineoplastic therapy is the response of malignant cells to DNA damage induced by anticancer agents. The p53 tumor-suppressor gene is a critical component of two distinct cellular responses to DNA damage, the induction of a reversible arrest at the G1/S cell cycle checkpoint, and the activation of apoptosis, a genetic program of autonomous cell death. Expression of the BCR-ABL chimeric gene produced by a balanced translocation in chronic myeloid leukemia, confers resistance to multiple genotoxic anticancer agents. BCR-ABL expression inhibits the apoptotic response to DNA damage without altering either the p53-dependent WAF1/CIP1-mediated G1 arrest or DNA repair. BCR-ABL-mediated inhibition of DNA damage-induced apoptosis is associated with a prolongation of cell cycle arrest at the G2/M restriction point; the delay of G2/M transition may allow time to repair and complete DNA replication and chromosomal segregation, thereby preventing a mitotic catastrophe. The inherent resistance of human cancers to genotoxic agents may result not only by the loss or inactivation of the wild-type p53 gene, but also by genetic alterations such as BCR-ABL that can delay G2/M transition after DNA damage.
    Blood 09/1995; 86(3):1148-58. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have investigated the alterations of p53 and ras genes including H-, K-, and N-ras genes in 22 acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cases and five cell lines carrying t(1;19) by use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis and direct sequencing. The mutations of the p53 gene were found in 2 of 20 t(1;19)-ALL cases at diagnosis (10%), all of 4 cases at relapse (100%), and 4 of the 5 cell lines (80%). Four of the five patients who died had missense mutations at codons 49, 177, 179, and 248. In cases examined sequentially, one had the same point mutation at codon 179 at both diagnosis and relapse, and another had the same p53 gene mutation at codon 240 both in leukemic cells at relapse and in a cell line derived at that time. The other case had no mutation at diagnosis but had the mutation at codon 177 at relapse and cell lines derived from blast cells at diagnosis, suggesting that a small number of leukemic cells with the p53 gene mutation at diagnosis might have escaped PCR-SSCP analysis. In cell lines, SCMC-L9 had three point mutations in the p53 gene at codons 175, 248, and 358, whereas SCMC-L10 had frame shift at codons 209-211. One case had a rare polymorphism at codon 11. We found only one mutation of the N-ras gene that was a 2-bp substitution of GGT(Gly) to GTC(Val) at codon 13 among 22 t(1;19)-ALL cases and five cell lines. This case showed no mutation of the p53 gene and has had a good course. These results suggest that in t(1;19)-ALL, mutations of the p53 and ras genes are infrequent at diagnosis and that p53 gene alterations may be associated with relapse phase or progression of t(1;19)-ALL.
    Blood 06/1995; 85(9):2546-52. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the p53 gene are implicated in the pathogenesis of half of all human tumors. We have developed a simple functional assay for p53 mutation in which human p53 expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae activates transcription of the ADE2 gene. Consequently, yeast colonies containing wild-type p53 are white and colonies containing mutant p53 are red. Since this assay tests the critical biological function of p53, it can distinguish inactivating mutations from functionally silent mutations. By combining this approach with gap repair techniques in which unpurified p53 reverse transcription-PCR products are cloned by homologous recombination in vivo it is possible to screen large numbers of samples and multiple clones per sample for biologically important mutations. This means that mutations can be detected in tumor specimens contaminated with large amounts of normal tissue. In addition, the assay detects temperature-sensitive mutants, which give pink colonies. We show here that this form of p53 functional assay can be used rapidly to detect germline mutations in blood samples, somatic mutations in tumors, and mutations in cell lines.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/1995; 92(9):3963-7. · 9.81 Impact Factor

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