Gene amplification and enhanced expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) represent the major molecular genetic alteration in glioblastomas and it may play an essential role in cell growth and in the carcinogenic process. On the other hand, the nuclear suppressor proteins PML and p53 are also known to play critical roles in cancer development and in suppressing cell growth. Here we report that, in glioblastoma cells with defective EGFR function, the expressions of both promyelocytic leukaemia (PML) and p53 were altered. Cells that were transfected with the antisense-cDNA of EGFR were found to have more cells in G1 and fewer cells in S phase. In addition, the transfected cells were found to be non-responsive to EGF-induced cell growth. Interestingly, the expression of the suppressors p53 and PML were found to be significantly increased by immunohistochemical assay in the antisense-EGFR cells. Moreover, the PML expression in many of the cells was converted from the nuclear dot pattern into fine-granulated staining pattern. In contrast, the expressions of other cell cycle regulated genes and proto-oncogene, including the cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (cdk4), retinoblastoma, p16(INK4a) and p21(H-ras), were not altered. These data indicate that there are specific inductions of PML and p53 proteins which may account for the increase in G1 and growth arrest in antisense-EGFR treated cells. It also indicates that the EGF, p53 and PML transduction pathways were linked and they may constitute an integral part of an altered growth regulatory programme. The interactions and cross-talks of these critical molecules may be very important in regulating cell growth, differentiation and cellular response to treatment in glioblastomas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research