Suppression of p53 function in normal human mammary epithelial cells increases sensitivity to extracellular matrix-induced apoptosis


Journal Article

Little is known about the fate of normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs) that lose p53 function in the context of extracellular matrix (ECM)-derived growth and polarity signals. Retrovirally mediated expression of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) E6 and antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) were used to suppress p53 function in HMECs as a model of early breast cancer. p53+ HMEC vector controls grew exponentially in reconstituted ECM (rECM) until day 6 and then underwent growth arrest on day 7. Ultrastructural examination of day 7 vector controls revealed acinus-like structures characteristic of normal mammary epithelium. In contrast, early passage p53-HMEC cells proliferated in rECM until day 6 but then underwent apoptosis on day 7. p53- HMEC-E6 passaged in non-rECM culture rapidly (8-10 passages), lost sensitivity to both rECM-induced growth arrest and polarity, and also developed resistance to rECM-induced apoptosis. Resistance was associated with altered expression of α3-integrin. Treatment of early passage p53- HMEC-E6 cells with either α3- or β1-integrin function-blocking antibodies inhibited rECM-mediated growth arrest and induction of apoptosis. Our results indicate that suppression of p53 expression in HMECs by HPV-16 E6 and ODNs may sensitize cells to rECM-induced apoptosis and suggest a role for the α3/β1-heterodimer in mediating apoptosis in HMECs grown in contact with rECM.

Cited Authors

  • Seewaldt, VL; Mrózek, K; Sigle, R; Dietze, EC; Heine, K; Hockenbery, DM; Hobbs, KB; Elizabeth Caldwell, L

Published Date

  • November 12, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 155 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 471 - 486

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9525

Citation Source

  • Scopus