p53 status does not affect sensitivity of human ovarian cancer cell lines to paclitaxel

Domizia Debernardis, Eva Graniela Siré, Paola De Feudis, Faina Vikhanskaya, Monica Valenti, Patrizia Russo, Silvio Parodi, Maurizio D'Incalci, Massimo Broggini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nine human ovarian cancer cell lines that express wild-type (wt) or mutated p53 were used to evaluate the cytotoxicity induced by paclitaxel. The IC50 calculated in the five mutated p53-expressing cell lines was not different from the four wt p53-expressing cell lines. The introduction of wt p53, by using a temperature-sensitive mutant murine p53 or the human p53 under the control of a tetracycline-dependent promoter, did not change the cytotoxicity of paclitaxel as compared to mock-transfected cells. By using for each cell line the paclitaxel IC50, we found that these concentrations were sufficient to induce an increase in p53 levels in all of the four wt p53-expressing cells, whereas in the mutated p53-expressing cells, the levels were unaffected. This increase in p53 levels led to an increase in the mRNA and protein levels of p53 downstream genes (WAF1, GADD45, and bax). In none of the cell lines examined was paclitaxel able to induce apoptosis, evaluated by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick end labeling staining and filter binding assay at concentration closed to the IC50. By increasing the concentration of paclitaxel in the filter binding assay, we could see fragmentation of DNA in the different cell lines. We conclude that the presence of p53 is not a determinant for the cytotoxicity induced by paclitaxel in human ovarian cancer cell lines. Differences in the activation of p53 downstream genes could be observed in wt versus mutated p53- expressing cells, but this does not account either fur a differential induction of apoptosis or for a change in cytotoxicity induced by paclitaxel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)870-874
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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