Publications by authors named "Tamara Terzian"

20 Publications

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Frontiers in pigment cell and melanoma research.

Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 2018 11 3;31(6):728-735. Epub 2018 Oct 3.

Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, Colorado.

In this perspective, we identify emerging frontiers in clinical and basic research of melanocyte biology and its associated biomedical disciplines. We describe challenges and opportunities in clinical and basic research of normal and diseased melanocytes that impact current approaches to research in melanoma and the dermatological sciences. We focus on four themes: (1) clinical melanoma research, (2) basic melanoma research, (3) clinical dermatology, and (4) basic pigment cell research, with the goal of outlining current highlights, challenges, and frontiers associated with pigmentation and melanocyte biology. Significantly, this document encapsulates important advances in melanocyte and melanoma research including emerging frontiers in melanoma immunotherapy, medical and surgical oncology, dermatology, vitiligo, albinism, genomics and systems biology, epidemiology, pigment biophysics and chemistry, and evolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pcmr.12728DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6701837PMC
November 2018

Senescence-Like Phenotypes in Human Nevi.

Methods Mol Biol 2017 ;1534:175-184

Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.

Cellular senescence is an irreversible arrest of cell proliferation at the G1 stage of the cell cycle in which cells become refractory to growth stimuli. Senescence is a critical and potent defense mechanism that mammalian cells use to suppress tumors. While there are many ways to induce a senescence response, oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) remains the key to inhibiting progression of cells that have acquired oncogenic mutations. In primary cells in culture, OIS induces a set of measurable phenotypic and behavioral changes, in addition to cell cycle exit. Senescence-associated β-Galactosidase (SA-β-Gal) activity is a main hallmark of senescent cells, along with morphological changes that may depend on the oncogene that is activated, or on the primary cell type. Characteristic cellular changes of senescence include increased size, flattening, multinucleation, and extensive vacuolation. At the molecular level, tumor suppressor genes such as p53 and p16 may play a role in initiation or maintenance of OIS. Activation of a DNA damage response and a senescence-associated secretory phenotype could delineate the onset of senescence. Despite advances in our understanding of how OIS suppresses some tumor types, the in vivo role of OIS in melanocytic nevi and melanoma remains poorly understood and not validated. In an effort to stimulate research in this field, we review in this chapter the known markers of senescence and provide experimental protocols for their identification by immunofluorescent staining in melanocytic nevi and malignant melanoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-6670-7_17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5125895PMC
January 2018

Mutant p53 accumulates in cycling and proliferating cells in the normal tissues of p53 R172H mutant mice.

Oncotarget 2015 Jul;6(20):17968-80

p53 Laboratory, A*STAR, Singapore.

The tumour suppressor p53 is regulated primarily at the protein level. In normal tissues its levels are maintained at a very low level by the action of specific E3 ligases and the ubiquitin proteosome pathway. The mutant p53 protein contributes to transformation, metastasis and drug resistance. High levels of mutant p53 can be found in tumours and the accumulation of mutant p53 has previously been reported in pathologically normal cells in human skin. We show for the first time that similarly elevated levels of mutant p53 can be detected in apparently normal cells in a mutant p53 knock-in mouse model. In fact, in the small intestine, mutant p53 spontaneously accumulates in a manner dependent on gene dosage and cell type. Mutant p53 protein is regulated similarly to wild type p53, which can accumulate rapidly after induction by ionising radiation or Mdm2 inhibitors, however, the clearance of mutant p53 protein is much slower than wild type p53. The accumulation of the protein in the murine small intestine is limited to the cycling, crypt base columnar cells and proliferative zone and is lost as the cells differentiate and exit the cell cycle. Loss of Mdm2 results in even higher levels of p53 expression but p53 is still restricted to proliferating cells in the small intestine. Therefore, the small intestine of these p53 mutant mice is an experimental system in which we can dissect the molecular pathways leading to p53 accumulation, which has important implications for cancer prevention and therapy.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4627229PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.4956DOI Listing
July 2015

Interactions between ultraviolet light and MC1R and OCA2 variants are determinants of childhood nevus and freckle phenotypes.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2014 Dec;23(12):2829-39

Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado. Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado.

Background: Melanocytic nevi (moles) and freckles are well known biomarkers of melanoma risk, and they are influenced by similar UV light exposures and genetic susceptibilities to those that increase melanoma risk. Nevertheless, the selective interactions between UV exposures and nevus and freckling genes remain largely undescribed.

Methods: We conducted a longitudinal study from ages 6 through 10 years in 477 Colorado children who had annual information collected for sun exposure, sun protection behaviors, and full body skin exams. MC1R and HERC2/OCA2 rs12913832 were genotyped and linear mixed models were used to identify main and interaction effects.

Results: All measures of sun exposure (chronic, sunburns, and waterside vacations) contributed to total nevus counts, and cumulative chronic exposure acted as the major driver of nevus development. Waterside vacations strongly increased total nevus counts in children with rs12913832 blue eye color alleles and facial freckling scores in those with MC1R red hair color variants. Sunburns increased the numbers of larger nevi (≥2 mm) in subjects with certain MC1R and rs12913832 genotypes.

Conclusions: Complex interactions between different UV exposure profiles and genotype combinations determine nevus numbers and size, and the degree of facial freckling.

Impact: Our findings emphasize the importance of implementing sun-protective behavior in childhood regardless of genetic make-up, although children with particular genetic variants may benefit from specifically targeted preventive measures to counteract their inherent risk of melanoma. Moreover, we demonstrate, for the first time, that longitudinal studies are a highly powered tool to uncover new gene-environment interactions that increase cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-0633DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4257874PMC
December 2014

A polymorphic p53 response element in KIT ligand influences cancer risk and has undergone natural selection.

Cell 2013 Oct;155(2):410-22

Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Old Road Campus Research Building, Oxford OX3 7DQ, UK.

The ability of p53 to regulate transcription is crucial for tumor suppression and implies that inherited polymorphisms in functional p53-binding sites could influence cancer. Here, we identify a polymorphic p53 responsive element and demonstrate its influence on cancer risk using genome-wide data sets of cancer susceptibility loci, genetic variation, p53 occupancy, and p53-binding sites. We uncover a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in a functional p53-binding site and establish its influence on the ability of p53 to bind to and regulate transcription of the KITLG gene. The SNP resides in KITLG and associates with one of the largest risks identified among cancer genome-wide association studies. We establish that the SNP has undergone positive selection throughout evolution, signifying a selective benefit, but go on to show that similar SNPs are rare in the genome due to negative selection, indicating that polymorphisms in p53-binding sites are primarily detrimental to humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2013.09.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4171736PMC
October 2013

Targeting p53 in melanoma.

Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 2014 Jan 1;27(1):8-10. Epub 2013 Nov 1.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pcmr.12180DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4112749PMC
January 2014

Genetics of ribosomal proteins: "curiouser and curiouser".

PLoS Genet 2013 31;9(1):e1003300. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

University of Colorado Denver, Dermatology Department and Center for Regenerative and Medicine and Stem Cell Biology, Aurora, Colorado, United States of America.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1003300DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3561088PMC
May 2013

Modelling melanoma in mice.

Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 2011 Dec 2;24(6):1158-76. Epub 2011 Nov 2.

Skin Carcinogenesis Laboratory, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Herston, Qld, Australia.

Phenotypic and molecular heterogeneity in human melanoma has impaired efforts to explain many of the clinically important features of melanoma. For example, many of the underlying mechanisms that might predict age-of-onset, time to metastasis and other key elements in melanoma progression remain unknown. Furthermore, melanoma staging used to predict outcome and treatment has not yet moved beyond a basic phenotypic classification. While molecularly targeted therapies show great promise for melanoma patients, establishing accurate animal models that recapitulate human cutaneous melanoma progression remains a priority. We examine the relevance of mice as models for human melanoma progression and for key molecular and histopathologic variants of melanoma. These mice may be used as preclinical models to probe the relationships between causative mutations, disease progression and outcome for molecularly targeted therapeutics. We ask how new mouse models, or more detailed histopathologic and molecular analyses of existing mouse models, may be used to advance our understanding of genotype-phenotype correlations in this tumour type. This necessarily involves a consideration of the utility of mice as models for ultraviolet radiation-induced melanoma, and how this might be improved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-148X.2011.00923.xDOI Listing
December 2011

Multiple stress signals activate mutant p53 in vivo.

Cancer Res 2011 Dec 7;71(23):7168-75. Epub 2011 Oct 7.

Department of Genetics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.

p53 levels are tightly regulated in normal cells, and thus, the wild-type p53 protein is nearly undetectable until stimulated through a variety of stresses. In response to stress, p53 is released from its negative regulators, mainly murine double minute 2 (Mdm2), allowing p53 to be stabilized to activate cell-cycle arrest, senescence, and apoptosis programs. Many of the upstream signals that regulate wild-type p53 are known; however, limited information for the regulation of mutant p53 exists. Previously, we showed that wild-type and mutant p53R172H are regulated in a similar manner in the absence of Mdm2 or p16. In addition, this stabilization of mutant p53 is responsible for the gain-of-function metastatic phenotype observed in the mouse. In this report, we examined the role of oncogenes, DNA damage, and reactive oxygen species, signals that stabilize wild-type p53, on the stabilization of mutant p53 in vivo and the consequences of this expression on tumor formation and survival. These factors stabilized mutant p53 protein which oftentimes contributed to exacerbated tumor phenotypes. These findings, coupled with the fact that patients carry p53 mutations without stabilization of p53, suggest that personalized therapeutic schemes may be needed for individual patients depending on their p53 status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-0459DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3320147PMC
December 2011

Rpl27a mutation in the sooty foot ataxia mouse phenocopies high p53 mouse models.

J Pathol 2011 Aug 14;224(4):540-52. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

Department of Dermatology, UC Denver, Aurora, CO, USA.

Ribosomal stress is an important, yet poorly understood, mechanism that results in activation of the p53 tumour suppressor. We present a mutation in the ribosomal protein Rpl27a gene (sooty foot ataxia mice), isolated through a sensitized N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis screen for p53 pathway defects, that shares striking phenotypic similarities with high p53 mouse models, including cerebellar ataxia, pancytopenia and epidermal hyperpigmentation. This phenocopy is rescued in a haploinsufficient p53 background. A detailed examination of the bone marrow in these mice identified reduced numbers of haematopoietic stem cells and a p53-dependent c-Kit down-regulation. These studies suggest that reduced Rpl27a increases p53 activity in vivo, further evident with a delay in tumorigenesis in mutant mice. Taken together, these data demonstrate that Rpl27a plays a crucial role in multiple tissues and that disruption of this ribosomal protein affects both development and transformation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.2891DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3632393PMC
August 2011

Restoring expression of wild-type p53 suppresses tumor growth but does not cause tumor regression in mice with a p53 missense mutation.

J Clin Invest 2011 Mar;121(3):893-904

Department of Genetics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.

The transcription factor p53 is a tumor suppressor. As such, the P53 gene is frequently altered in human cancers. However, over 80% of the P53 mutations found in human cancers are missense mutations that lead to expression of mutant proteins that not only lack p53 transcriptional activity but exhibit new functions as well. Recent studies show that restoration of p53 expression leads to tumor regression in mice carrying p53 deletions. However, the therapeutic efficacy of restoring p53 expression in tumors containing p53 missense mutations has not been evaluated. Here we demonstrate that restoring wild-type p53 expression halted tumor growth in mice inheriting a p53(R172H) missense mutation that is equivalent to a P53 missense mutation detected in approximately 6% of human cancers. However, it did not lead to tumor regression, as was observed in mice lacking p53. We further showed that the dominant-negative effect of the mutant p53 encoded by p53(R172H) dampened the activity of the restored wild-type p53. We therefore conclude that in a mutant p53 background, p53 restoration has the therapeutic potential to suppress tumor progression. Our findings support using p53 restoration as a strategy to treat human cancers with P53 missense mutations and provide direction for optimizing p53 restoration in cancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI44504DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3049366PMC
March 2011

Building p53.

Genes Dev 2010 Oct;24(20):2229-32

Department of Dermatology/Stem Cell Biology, University of Colorado at Denver, Aurora, Colorado 80045, USA.

The intricacies of p53 regulation just got more complex. While much is known about the transcriptional regulation of p53 target genes, Chen and Kastan (pp. 2146-2156) uncovered a new mechanism regarding the making of the p53 protein itself. In the October 1, 2010, issue of Genes & Development, they introduced us to a novel mechanism of p53 translational control, by which a 5'-3' cap-independent, poly(A)-independent, RNA-RNA interaction enhances p53 translation by binding the ribosomal protein RPL26 following DNA damage. Oligonucleotides designed against this 5'-3' untranslated region (UTR) duplex disrupted the binding of RPL26 to p53 mRNA and reduced p53 synthesis and, therefore, function. This study reveals an alternate mechanism of translational control to regulate p53 levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gad.1988510DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2956201PMC
October 2010

p53 prevents progression of nevi to melanoma predominantly through cell cycle regulation.

Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 2010 Dec;23(6):781-94

Department of Dermatology and Charles C Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology, UC Denver, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.

p53 is the central member of a critical tumor suppressor pathway in virtually all tumor types, where it is silenced mainly by missense mutations. In melanoma, p53 predominantly remains wild type, thus its role has been neglected. To study the effect of p53 on melanocyte function and melanomagenesis, we crossed the ‘high-p53’Mdm4+/− mouse to the well-established TP-ras0/+ murine melanoma progression model. After treatment with the carcinogen dimethylbenzanthracene (DMBA), TP-ras0/+ mice on the Mdm4+/− background developed fewer tumors with a delay in the age of onset of melanomas compared to TP-ras0/+ mice. Furthermore, we observed a dramatic decrease in tumor growth, lack of metastasis with increased survival of TP-ras0/+: Mdm4+/− mice. Thus, p53 effectively prevented the conversion of small benign tumors to malignant and metastatic melanoma. p53 activation in cultured primary melanocyte and melanoma cell lines using Nutlin-3, a specific Mdm2 antagonist, supported these findings. Moreover, global gene expression and network analysis of Nutlin-3-treated primary human melanocytes indicated that cell cycle regulation through the p21WAF1/CIP1 signaling network may be the key anti-melanomagenic activity of p53.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-148X.2010.00773.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3137930PMC
December 2010

Mdm4 loss in the intestinal epithelium leads to compartmentalized cell death but no tissue abnormalities.

Differentiation 2009 Jun 15;77(5):442-9. Epub 2009 Apr 15.

Department of Genetics, Program in Genes and Development and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Mdm4 is a critical inhibitor of the p53 tumor suppressor. Mdm4 null mice die early during embryogenesis due to increased p53 activity. In this study, we explore the role that Mdm4 plays in the intestinal epithelium by crossing mice carrying the Mdm4 floxed allele to mice with the Villin Cre transgene. Our data show that loss of Mdm4 (Mdm4intDelta) in this tissue resulted in viable animals with no obvious morphological abnormalities. However, these mutants displayed increased p53 levels and apoptosis exclusively in the proliferative compartment of the intestinal epithelium. This phenotype was completely rescued in a p53 null background. Notably, the observed compartmentalized apoptosis in proliferative intestinal epithelial cells was not due to restricted Mdm4 expression in this region. Thus, in this specific cellular context, p53 is negatively regulated by Mdm4 exclusively in highly proliferative cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.diff.2009.03.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4041067PMC
June 2009

The role of p53 in pigmentation, tanning and melanoma.

Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 2008 Oct 6;21(5):525-33. Epub 2007 Aug 6.

Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado at Denver, Aurora, CO, USA.

p53 has a central role in skin pigmentation and may impact on melanoma at all stages, however, as it's mutation frequency in melanoma is low, it's role has been somewhat under-appreciated. During normal skin function, p53 in the keratinocyte is a transducer of the skin tanning signal and an essential component of what is effectively a keratinocyte-melanocyte signaling cycle that regulates skin pigmentation. It is clear that this cycle functions optimally in skin of dark pigmentation. When melanin biosynthesis is genetically disrupted in skin of white complexion, we propose that this cycle operates as a promoter of melanocyte proliferation. The cell autonomous function of p53 in melanocytes is not well described, however, the balance of the evidence suggests that p53 is an effective tumor suppressor and the myriad of mechanisms by which the p53 pathway may be dysregulated in tumors attests to it importance as a tumor suppressor. In this review, we outline the known mechanisms that impair p53 itself and its immediate regulators or target genes during melanomagenesis. Due to the importance of this pathway, it is clear that p53 disruptions may relate directly to a patient's prognosis. This pathway will continue to be a focus of investigation, particularly with respect to targeted experimental chemotherapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-148X.2008.00495.xDOI Listing
October 2008

Mdm2 and Mdm4 loss regulates distinct p53 activities.

Mol Cancer Res 2008 Jun;6(6):947-54

Department of Cancer Genetics, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030-4095, USA.

Mutational inactivation of p53 is a hallmark of most human tumors. Loss of p53 function also occurs by overexpression of negative regulators such as MDM2 and MDM4. Deletion of Mdm2 or Mdm4 in mice results in p53-dependent embryo lethality due to constitutive p53 activity. However, Mdm2(-/-) and Mdm4(-/-) embryos display divergent phenotypes, suggesting that Mdm2 and Mdm4 exert distinct control over p53. To explore the interaction between Mdm2 and Mdm4 in p53 regulation, we first generated mice and cells that are triple null for p53, Mdm2, and Mdm4. These mice had identical survival curves and tumor spectrum as p53(-/-) mice, substantiating the principal role of Mdm2 and Mdm4 as negative p53 regulators. We next generated mouse embryo fibroblasts null for p53 with deletions of Mdm2, Mdm4, or both; introduced a retrovirus expressing a temperature-sensitive p53 mutant, p53A135V; and examined p53 stability and activity. In this system, p53 activated distinct target genes, leading to apoptosis in cells lacking Mdm2 and a cell cycle arrest in cells lacking Mdm4. Cells lacking both Mdm2 and Mdm4 had a stable p53 that initiated apoptosis similar to Mdm2-null cells. Additionally, stabilization of p53 in cells lacking Mdm4 with the Mdm2 antagonist nutlin-3 was sufficient to induce a cell death response. These data further differentiate the roles of Mdm2 and Mdm4 in the regulation of p53 activities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-07-2079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2699947PMC
June 2008

The inherent instability of mutant p53 is alleviated by Mdm2 or p16INK4a loss.

Genes Dev 2008 May;22(10):1337-44

Department of Cancer Genetics, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.

The p53 tumor suppressor is often disrupted in human cancers by the acquisition of missense mutations. We generated mice with a missense mutation at codon 172 that mimics the p53R175H hot spot mutation in human cancer. p53 homozygous mutant mice have unstable mutant p53 in normal cells and stabilize mutant p53 in some but not all tumors. To investigate the significance of these data, we examined the regulation of mutant p53 stability by Mdm2, an E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets p53 for degradation, and p16INK4a, a member of the Rb tumor suppressor pathway. Mice lacking Mdm2 or p16INK4a stabilized mutant p53, and revealed an earlier age of tumor onset than p53 mutant mice and a gain-of-function metastatic phenotype. Analysis of tumors from p53 homozygous mutant mice with stable p53 revealed defects in the Rb pathway. Additionally, ionizing radiation stabilizes wild-type and mutant p53. Thus, the stabilization of mutant p53 is not a given but it is a prerequisite for its gain-of-function phenotype. Since mutant p53 stability mimics that of wild-type p53, these data indicate that drugs aimed at activating wild-type p53 will also stabilize mutant p53 with dire consequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gad.1662908DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2377188PMC
May 2008

Haploinsufficiency of Mdm2 and Mdm4 in tumorigenesis and development.

Mol Cell Biol 2007 Aug 25;27(15):5479-85. Epub 2007 May 25.

Department of Cancer Genetics, Box 1010, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

The tumor suppressor p53 is inactivated by multiple mechanisms that include mutations of the p53 gene itself and increased levels of the p53 inhibitors MDM2 and MDM4. Mice lacking Mdm2 or Mdm4 exhibit embryo-lethal phenotypes that are completely rescued by concomitant deletion of p53. Here we show that Mdm2 and Mdm4 haploinsufficiency leads to increased p53 activity, exhibited as increased sensitivity to DNA damage and decreased transformation potential. Moreover, in in vivo tumor development, Emu-myc Mdm4+/- mice show a delayed onset of B-cell lymphomas compared to Emu-myc mice. Additionally, Mdm2+/- Mdm4+/- double-heterozygous mice are not viable and exhibit defects in hematopoiesis and cerebellar development. The defects in Mdm2+/- Mdm4+/- mice are corrected by deletion of a single p53 allele. These findings highlight the exquisite sensitivity of p53 to Mdm2 and Mdm4 levels and suggest that some cell types may be more sensitive to therapeutic drugs that inhibit the Mdm-p53 interaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MCB.00555-06DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1952101PMC
August 2007

Gain of function of a p53 hot spot mutation in a mouse model of Li-Fraumeni syndrome.

Cell 2004 Dec;119(6):861-72

Department of Molecular Genetics, Section of Cancer Genetics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Individuals with Li-Fraumeni syndrome carry inherited mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene and are predisposed to tumor development. To examine the mechanistic nature of these p53 missense mutations, we generated mice harboring a G-to-A substitution at nucleotide 515 of p53 (p53+/515A) corresponding to the p53R175H hot spot mutation in human cancers. Although p53+/515A mice display a similar tumor spectrum and survival curve as p53+/- mice, tumors from p53+/515A mice metastasized with high frequency. Correspondingly, the embryonic fibroblasts from the p53515A/515A mutant mice displayed enhanced cell proliferation, DNA synthesis, and transformation potential. The disruption of p63 and p73 in p53-/- cells increased transformation capacity and reinitiated DNA synthesis to levels observed in p53515A/515A cells. Additionally, p63 and p73 were functionally inactivated in p53515A cells. These results provide in vivo validation for the gain-of-function properties of certain p53 missense mutations and suggest a mechanistic basis for these phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2004.11.006DOI Listing
December 2004
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