Hypoxia attenuates the p53 response to cellular damage

Marcus Achison, Ted R Hupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The tumour suppressor activity of p53 in vivo can be subject to pressure from the physiological stress of hypoxia and we report on the development of a cell system to define the p53-dependent stages in the adaptation of cells to hypoxia. p53(+/+) cells exposed to hypoxia exhibited a transient arrest in G2/M, but escaped from this checkpoint and entered a long-term G(0)/G(1) arrest. By contrast, isogenic p53-null cells exposed to hypoxic conditions exhibited a 6-10-fold higher level of apoptosis, suggesting that p53 acts as a survival factor under limiting oxygen concentrations. Surprisingly, hypoxia-dependent growth arrest in p53(+/+) cells did not result in either p21(WAF1) or HIF-1 protein stabilization, but rather promoted a significant decrease in Ser(392)-site phosphorylation at the CK2/FACT site. However, chemically induced anoxia induced Ser(392)-site phosphorylation as well as stabilization of both p53 and HIF-1 proteins. In contrast to hypoxia, 5-flourouracil (5-FU)-induced p53-dependent cell death correlated with enhanced Ser(392) phosphorylation of p53 and elevated p21(WAF1) protein levels. Hypoxia inhibited 5-FU-induced p53-dependent cell death and attenuated p53 phosphorylation at the ATM and CK2/FACT phosphorylation sites. Although anoxia activates the p53 response, hypoxia silences the p53 transactivation pathway and identifies a physiological signalling model to study mechanisms of p53 inactivation under hypoxic conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3431-40
Number of pages10
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2003

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Anoxia
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Survival
  • Down-Regulation
  • Fluorouracil
  • Humans
  • Phosphorylation
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53


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