p53 Gene status modulates the chemosensitivity of non-small cell lung cancer cells

Shinn Liang Lai, Reury Perng Perng, Jaulang Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the effects of p53 gene status on DNA damage-induced cell death and chemosensitivity to various chemotherapeutic agents in non- small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. A mutant p53 gene was introduced into cells carrying the wild-type p53 gene and also vice versa to introduce the wild-type p53 gene into cells carrying the mutant p53 gene. Chemosensitivity and DNA damage-induced apoptosis in these cells were then examined. This study included five cell lines, NCI-H1437, NCI-H727, NCI-H441 and NCI-H1299 which carry a mutant p53 gene and NCI-H460 which carries a wild-type p53 gene. Mutant p53-carrying cells were transfected with the wild-type p53 gene, while mutant p53 genes were introduced into NCI-H460 cells. These p53 genes were individually mutated at amino acid residues 143, 175, 248 and 273. The representative cell line NCI-H1437 cells transfected with wild-type p53 gene (H1437/wtp53) showed a dramatic increase in susceptibility to three anticancer agents (7-fold to cisplatin, 21-fold to etoposide, and 20-fold to camptothecin) compared to untransfected or neotransfected H1437 cells. An increase in chemosensitivity was also observed in wild-type p53 transfectants of H727, H441, H1299 cells. The results of chemosensitivity were consistent with the observations on apoptotic cell death. H1437/wtp53 cells, but not H1437 parental cells, exhibited a characteristic feature of apoptotic cell death that generated oligonucleosomal-sized DNA fragments. In contrast, loss of chemosensitivity and lack of p53-mediated DNA degradation in response to anticancer agents were observed in H460 cells transfected with mutant p53. These observations suggest that the increase in chemosensitivity was attributable to wild-type p53 mediation of the process of apoptosis. In addition, our results also suggest that p53 gene status modulates the extent of chemosensitivity and the induction of apoptosis by different anticancer agents in NSCLC cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomedical Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Cell cycle
  • Chemosensitivity
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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