, Volume 291, Issue 2, pp 191-205

N18-RE-105 cells: differentiation and activation of p53 in response to glutamate and adriamycin is blocked by SV40 large T antigen tsA58

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Process extension was induced in cells of the N18-RE-105 neuroblastoma-retinal hybrid line by toxic agents, including glutamate and the p53-inducing anticancer agents adriamycin and etoposide. Both adriamycin and glutamate activated p53 as measured by a plasmid transfection assay. It was therefore hypothesized that SV40 large T antigen, which binds p53, would interfere with cellular differentiation. To test this hypothesis, the temperature-sensitive form of SV40 large T was transduced into N18-RE-105 cells by retroviral infection. SV40 large T-infected cells became de-differentiated, grew in tightly-packed colonies, lost expression of neurofilament, and lost the ability to differentiate in response to glutamate and adriamycin. The de-differentiating effect of SV40 large T antigen may be due to binding and inactivation of cellular proteins, such as p53, p107, p130, p300, and retinoblastoma protein, which are important in cellular growth and differentiation. It is suggested that p53 may play a role in cellular differentiation, perhaps under unusual circumstances involving stress or cytotoxicity.

Received: 29 April 1997 / Accepted: 18 June 1997