Enhanced sensitivity to anti-benzo(a)pyrene-diol-epoxide DNA damage correlates with decreased global genomic repair attributable to abrogated p53 function in human cells.Cancer Res. 2000 Apr 15; 60(8):2273-80.CR
DNA damage from exposure to environmental chemical carcinogens and failure of repair systems to eliminate these lesions from the genome are considered as the crucial initial steps in the development of various human malignancies. Many cellular proteins are known to play vital roles to overcome the effects of DNA damage. Among such proteins, p53 is known to respond to DNA damage by accumulating in the nucleus and inhibiting cell cycle progression to facilitate DNA repair and the maintenance of genomic stability. In this study, we have investigated the role of p53 protein in modulating nucleotide excision repair of anti-benzo-(a)pyrene-diol-epoxide (BPDE)-DNA adducts and related effects using human fibroblasts with normal (p53-WT) and altered p53 protein (p53Mut and p53-Null). Interestingly, irrespective of the presence or absence of p53, the anti-BPDE dose-dependent p21 protein induction response was qualitatively comparable in all of the three cell lines. However, cells with defective p53 function were deficient for the removal of anti-BPDE-DNA adducts from the overall genome compared to cells with wild-type p53 activity. Strand-specific repair analysis within the individual strands of the p53 gene revealed decreased repair of adducts from the nontranscribed strand in p53-Mut and p53-Null cells. However, the repair of the transcribed strand appeared to be identical in all of the three cell lines. Furthermore, p53-Mut and p53-Null cells were more sensitive than p53-WT cells and displayed increased levels of anti-BPDE-induced apoptosis. Thus, wild-type p53 is required for the efficient global genomic repair of anti-BPDE-induced DNA adducts from the overall genome, but not for transcription-coupled repair of actively transcribed genes. These findings indicate that inefficient DNA repair of potentially cytotoxic and mutagenic lesions from the nontranscribed strand due to the loss of p53, but not the loss of p21, function might be responsible for enhanced cytotoxicity and apoptosis in human cells upon DNA damage.