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BioMed research international

Involvement of p53 mutation and mismatch repair proteins dysregulation in NNK-induced malignant transformation of human bronchial epithelial cells.


PMID 25215298

Abstract

Genome integrity is essential for normal cellular functions and cell survival. Its instability can cause genetic aberrations and is considered as a hallmark of most cancers. To investigate the carcinogenesis process induced by tobacco-specific carcinogen NNK, we studied the dynamic changes of two important protectors of genome integrity, p53 and MMR system, in malignant transformation of human bronchial epithelial cells after NNK exposure. Our results showed that the expression of MLH1, one of the important MMR proteins, was decreased early and maintained the downregulation during the transformation in a histone modification involved and DNA methylation-independent manner. Another MMR protein PMS2 also displayed a declined expression while being in a later stage of transformation. Moreover, we conducted p53 mutation analysis and revealed a mutation at codon 273 which led to the replacement of arginine by histidine. With the mutation, DNA damage-induced activation of p53 was significantly impaired. We further reintroduced the wild-type p53 into the transformed cells, and the malignant proliferation can be abrogated by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. These findings indicate that p53 and MMR system play an important role in the initiation and progression of NNK-induced transformation, and p53 could be a potential therapeutic target for tobacco-related cancers.