Retroviral protein P15E and tumorigenesis. Expression is neither required nor sufficient for tumor development.
Murine tumor cells frequently express retroviral protein p15E, a protein with antiinflammatory activity. This has led to the hypothesis that p15E expression allows nascent tumor cells to escape host immunologic defenses. To evaluate the role of p15E expression in tumorigenesis, NIH3T3 cells transformed by various oncogenes and BALB/c lines transformed by carcinogens or SV40 were examined for p15E expression and tumorigenicity. All of the NIH3T3 transformants and most of the BALB/c transformants did not express p15E, indicating that transformation per se does not inevitably induce the expression of p15E. Although not expressing p15E, some of these transformants were capable of forming tumors in immune competent hosts, indicating that p15E is not universally required for tumor growth. Four of the transformed cell lines negative for p15E expression and deficient in tumor-forming capacity were transfected with a gene coding for Moloney retroviral p15E. Despite the expression of p15E, there was no augmentation of their tumorigenic capacity, showing that p15E is not sufficient to ensure tumor formation by a transformed cell. These results argue against a general role for retroviral p15E expression in tumorigenesis.
Schmidt, DM; Snyderman, R
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