The expression of cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases (cdk), and cdk inhibitors was evaluated in clones from a human ovarian cancer cell line transfected with a temperature-sensitive mutant of p53, after treatment with the anticancer agents doxorubicin (DX) and AMSA. The two drugs were selected on the basis of their activity in these clones, since AMSA is equally active in cells expressing mutated or wild-type (wt) p53, while DX was much less cytotoxic in cells expressing wt p53. In untreated cells, the expression of wt p53 induced an accumulation of cells in the G2 and perhaps also the G1 phase of the cell cycle. Concomitantly cyclin B1 and cdc2 increased. Cyclin E and particularly D1 levels were also raised by wt p53 expression. Treatment of mutated p53-expressing cells (SK23a cells kept at 37°C) with DX or, more so, with AMSA, resulted in a strong accumulation of cyclin B1 and cdc2, in accordance with their ability to block cells in G2 phase of the cell cycle. Wt p53-expressing cells (SK23a cells kept at 32°C) treated with the drugs showed an increase in p21 expression and consequently decreased kinase activity after immunoprecipitation with p21 antibodies. Cdc2-associated kinase activity was also reduced in these conditions. We could also observe a decrease in the percentage of cells in G1 and G2 phases and an accumulation of cells in S phase after both DX and AMSA. Cdk2, retinoblastoma, and p27 levels did not change significantly. Treatment with DX or AMSA caused similar effects, suggesting that p53-induced changes in cyclin, cdk, and cdk inhibitors after DNA damage are not responsible for the marked reduction in the cytotoxicity of DX we observed in wt p53-expressing cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology