The influence of SV40 immortalization of human fibroblasts on p53-dependent radiation responses

Manu Kohli, Timothy J. Jorgensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The simian virus 40 large tumor antigen (SV40 Tag) has been ascribed many functions critical to viral propagation, including binding to the mammalian tumor suppressor p53. Recent studies have demonstrated that SV40-transformed murine cells have functional p53. The status of p53 in SV40-immortalized human cells, however, has not been characterized. We have found that in response to ionizing radiation, p53-dependent p21 transactivation activity is present, albeit reduced, in SV40-immortalized cells and that this activity can be further reduced with either dominant negative p53 expression or higher SV40 Tag expression. Furthermore, overexpression of p53 in SV40-immortalized ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) cells restores p53-dependent p21 induction to typical A-T levels. All SV40-immortalized cell lines exhibited an absence of G1 arrest. Moreover, all SV40-immortalized cell lines exhibited increased apoptosis relative to primary cells in response to ionizing radiation, suggesting that SV40 immortalization results in a unique phenotype with regard to DNA damage responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-176
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Cell cycle
  • SV40
  • p21
  • p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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