In simian virus 40 (SV40)-transformed cells, a tight complex is formed between the viral large T antigen (large T) and p53. It has been proposed that this complex interferes with the antiproliferative activity of p53. This notion was tested in primary rat fibroblasts by assessing the ability of SV40-mediated transformation to be spared from the inhibitory effect of wild-type (wt) p53. The data indicate that relative to transformation induced by myc plus ras, SV40-plus-ras-mediated focus formation was indeed much less suppressed by p53 plasmids. A majority of the resultant cell lines made a p53 protein with properties characteristic of a wt conformation. Furthermore, cell lines expressing stably both SV40 large T and a temperature-sensitive p53 mutant continued to proliferate at a temperature at which this p53 assumes wt-like properties and normally causes a growth arrest. Surprisingly, at least partial resistance to the growth-inhibitory effect of wt p53 was also evident when transformation was mediated by an AV40 deletion mutant, encoding a large T which does not bind p53 detectably. In addition to supporting the idea that SV40 can overcome the growth-restrictive activity of wt p53, these findings strongly suggest that at least part of this effect does not require a stable association between p53 and large T.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science