Tumor suppressor protein p53 regulates megakaryocytic polyploidization and apoptosis

Peter G. Fuhrken, Pani A. Apostolidis, Stephan Lindsey, William M. Miller, Eleftherios T. Papoutsakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The molecular mechanisms underlying differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells into megakaryocytes are poorly understood. Tumor suppressor protein p53 can act as a transcription factor affecting both cell cycle control and apoptosis, and we have previously shown that p53 is activated during terminal megakaryocytic (Mk) differentiation of the CHRF-288-11 (CHRF) cell line. Here, we use RNA interference to reduce p53 expression in CHRF cells and show that reduced p53 activity leads to a greater fraction of polyploid cells, higher mean and maximum ploidy, accelerated DNA synthesis, and delayed apoptosis and cell death upon phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-induced Mk differentiation. In contrast, reduced p53 expression did not affect the ploidy or DNA synthesis of CHRF cells in the absence of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate stimulation. Furthermore, primary Mk cells from cultures initiated with p53-null mouse bone marrow mononuclear cells displayed higher ploidy compared with wild-type controls. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis of p53-knockdown CHRF cells, compared with the "scrambled" control CHRF cells, revealed that six known transcriptional targets of p53 (BBC3, BAX, TP53I3, TP53INP1, MDM2, and P21) were down-regulated, whereas BCL2 expression, which is known to be negatively affected by p53, was up-regulated. These studies show that the functional role of the intrinsic activation of p53 during Mk differentiation is to control polyploidization and the transition to endomitosis by impeding cell cycling and promoting apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15589-15600
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 6 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Tumor suppressor protein p53 regulates megakaryocytic polyploidization and apoptosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this