Determining the Role of p53 Mutation in Human Breast Cancer Progression Using Recombinant Mutant/Wild-Type p53 Heterozygous Human Mammary Epithelial Cell Culture Models
AuthorJunk, Damian Jerome
Committee ChairFutscher, Bernard W.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBreast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed form of cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease consisting of many types of tissue neoplasia, and there appears to be no model of how a particular lesion develops into an aggressive, malignant, invasive carcinoma. Genetic mutation and aberrant epigenetic regulation are among the most common events that lead to neoplasia. In breast cancer, p53 mutation is the most common genetic defect related to a single gene. Therefore, this dissertation focuses on the mechanisms and consequences of p53 mutation during breast tumorigenesis. Genome-wide analysis of gene expression and epigenetic modifications in a panel of breast cancer cell lines suggested that p53 mutation and aberrant epigenetic silencing were cooperating mechanisms in the silencing of wild-type p53 target genes during cancer progression. Therefore, models of p53 inactivation were created in non-malignant human mammary epithelial cells to determine the role of p53 mutation on the epigenetic status of its target genes and the acquisition of malignant phenotypes. Comparisons of each model demonstrated that differing modes of p53 inactivation produced different functional consequences. Loss of wild-type p53 function alone ablated the normal cellular response to external stress stimuli, but had no affect on the expression of genes or epigenetic status in untreated cells. Introduction of missense mutant p53 protein caused very few changes when the protein was expressed at low levels. However, accumulation of mutant p53 caused a variety of gene expression changes and interfered with endogenous wild-type p53. The accumulation of mutant p53 also caused an increase in migration and invasion of the cells that expressed it. Interestingly, epigenetic aberrations were not detected in response to any of the p53 manipulations. These data suggest that accumulation of missense mutation is particularly dangerous to normal cells. They also suggest that p53 mutation and epigenetic aberration are two distinct mechanisms, which overlap and cooperate during tumorigenesis. These data suggest that treatment strategies for human breast cancer should include modalities to target both defects for increased efficacy.
Degree ProgramCancer Biology