Transforming activity of mutant human p53 alleles

Joyce M. Slingerland, Sam Benchimol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Mutant forms of the p53 gene have been shown to cooperate with an activated ras gene in transforming primary cells in culture. The aberrant proteins encoded by p53 mutants are thought to act in a dominant negative manner in these assays. In vivo data, however, reveal that where p53 has undergone genetic change in tumors, both alleles have been affected. We previously identified a case of human acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) in which both alleles of the p53 gene had undergone independent missense mutations (at codons 135 cys to ser and 246 met to val). In these blasts, p53 mutations appear to be acting recessively. We have assayed the transforming potential of these p53 mutations, as well as that of another mutation at codon 273, also identified in a human neoplasm. Both mutations from the AML blasts (codon 135 and codon 246) confer transforming ability on the mutant protein. While transformation assays may define functionally different subsets of p53 mutations, the overexpression phenotype of mutants in this assay may not accurately reflect the pathological effects of p53 mutations in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-395
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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