The biological response of MCF7 breast cancer cells to proteosome inhibition or gamma-radiation is unrelated to the level of p53 induction.
Fallis LH., Richards E., O'Connor DJ., Zhong S., Hsieh JK., Packham G., Lu X.
The p53 tumour suppressor is stabilised following exposure to genotoxic agents, such as gamma-radiation. Cell responses to p53 stabilisation include induction of apoptosis and/or cell cycle arrest. Several studies have suggested that gamma-radiation stabilises p53 by blocking ubiquitin mediated proteolysis. Here we have compared the biological activities of p53 stabilized following exposure to gamma-radiation or treatment with the proteosome inhibitor N-acetyl-leucinyl-leucinyl-norleucinal (ALLN) in MCF7 cells with wild type p53. Stabilisation of p53 by ALLN was reversible and was not blocked by caffeine. Although ALLN was a more effective p53 stabilising agent than gamma-radiation, ALLN was not as effective at inducing cell cycle arrest/apoptosis as gamma-radiation. Although p53 stabilised by ALLN and gamma-radiation were both able to bind DNA and activate transcription, ALLN did not increase expression of BAX, which is involved in p53-induced apoptosis. Therefore, p53 stabilised by different agents is not always biologically active to the same extent and additional alterations triggered by gamma-radiation may enable p53 to activate a subset of critical target genes, such as BAX, which are required for p53 responses.