Study of tumor suppressor genes p53 and Rb in acute myelogenous leukemia

Wei Zhang, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Loss of antiproliferative function of p53 by point mutation occurred frequently in various solid tumors. However, the genetic change of p53 by deletion or point mutation was a rare event (6%) in the cells of 49 AML patients analyzed by single-stranded conformation polymorphism and sequencing. Despite infrequent point mutation, abundant levels of p53 protein were detected in 75% of AML patients studied by immunoprecipitation with p53 specific antibodies. Furthermore, p53 protein in most cases had an altered conformation as analyzed by the reactivity to PAb240 which recognizes mutant p53; p53 protein in mitogen stimulated normal lymphocytes also had similar altered conformation. This altered conformation may be another mechanism for inactivation of p53 function in the growth stimulated environment. Some evidence indicated that posttranslational modification by phosphorylation may contribute to the conformational change of p53. Retinoblastoma (Rb) gene inactivation by deletion, rearrangement or mutation has also been implicated in many types of solid tumors. Our studies showed that absence or low levels of Rb protein were observed in more than 20% of AML patients at diagnosis, and the low levels of Rb correlated with shorter survival of patients. The absence of Rb protein was due to gene inactivation in some cases and to abnormal regulation of Rb expression in others.

Subject Area

Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Zhang, Wei, "Study of tumor suppressor genes p53 and Rb in acute myelogenous leukemia" (1992). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9312173.