ABSTRACT: We silenced p53 gene expression in ARPE-19, a human retinal pigmented epithelial cell line using RNA interference. The effect of silencing the p53 gene in proliferating ARPE-19 cells was studied. Four short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) targeting different regions of human p53 mRNA were delivered individually into ARPE-19 cells using lentiviral vector to produce stable cell lines. p53 mRNA and protein levels were reduced to varying extents in the four shRNA-transduced ARPE-19 cell lines. The cell line that showed greatest reduction (85-90%) of p53 expression showed decreased p21 promoter activation after DNA damage with camptothecin, etoposide and MMS. Whereas treatment of wild type ARPE-19 cells with camptothecin resulted in apoptosis, silencing p53 expression increased their survival. Cell cycle analyses indicated that irradiation resulted in a G(1) arrest in ARPE-19 cells, and that the arrest was significantly reduced in p53-silenced cells. Thus, p53 plays a central role in the response of ARPE-19 cells to DNA damaging agents that act via different mechanisms. Additionally, ARPE-19 cells with reduced p53 expression behave similar to tumor cell lines with mutated or non-functional p53. The present data demonstrate the utility of lentiviral vectors to create stable isogenic cell lines with reduced expression of a specific gene, thereby permitting the study of the function of a gene, the pathways controlled by it, and the effect of therapeutics on a cell with altered genetic makeup in a pair-wise fashion.
Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 06/2005; 4(5):697-703. · 5.36 Impact Factor