p53 effects both the duration of G2/M arrest and the fate of temozolomide-treated human glioblastoma cells

Y. Hirose, M. S. Berger, R. O. Pieper

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312 Citations (Scopus)


Temozolomide (TMZ) is a DNA-methylating agent that has recently been introduced into Phase II and III trials for the treatment of gliomas. TMZ produces O6-methylguanine in DNA, which mispairs with thymine during the next cycle of DNA replication. Subsequent futile cycles of DNA mismatch repair can lead to a p53-associated apoptotic cell death, although this mechanism has been described mostly in hematopoietic neoplasms. We studied the action of TMZ in gliomas and the role p53 might play by using U87 glioma cells that were either p53-wild-type or p53-deficient (by virtue of expression of the viral oncoprotein E6). LN-Z308 cells, in which p53 gene is deleted, were also used. p53-proficient U87 MG cells underwent a prolonged, p53- and p21Waf1/Cip1-associated G2-M arrest beginning 2 days after TMZ treatment. Although very few of these cells underwent apoptosis, most underwent senescence over a 10-day period. p53-deficient (E6-transfected U87 and LN-Z308) cells similarly underwent G2-M arrest in response to TMZ, but this arrest was accompanied by only minor changes in p53 or p21Waf1/Cip1 and was reversed within 7 days of TMZ treatment in association with the appearance of cells with either 8n or subG1 DNA content. These results suggest that glioma cells respond to TMZ by undergoing G2-M arrest. p53 is not necessary for this G2-M arrest to occur but is important in the duration of G2-M arrest and in the ultimate fate of TMZ-treated cells. Therefore, the integrity of the G2-M cell cycle checkpoint may be important in the cytotoxicity of TMZ in glioma cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1957-1963
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01-03-2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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