Fluvastatin enhancement of trastuzumab and classical cytotoxic agents in defined breast cancer cell lines in vitro
We have investigated the relationship between the development of tumor resistance towards the cytotoxic action of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF) and p53 function, using the TNF-sensitive MCF7 human breast adenocarcinoma cell line and two TNF-resistant sublines, MCF7/R-A1 and MCF7/Adr. Use of single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis and DNA sequencing shows that MCF7 has a wild-type p53 gene, whereas both TNF-resistant sublines exhibit mutant p53. This includes a point mutation R280K in MCF7/R-A1 cells, and a point mutation at the splicing acceptor site on the upstream border of exon 5 resulting in a 21 pb deletion in MCF7/Adr cells. These mutations result in loss of p53 capacity to transactivate FASAY (functional assay in yeast). In contrast to what is observed for parental MCF7 cells, treatment of resistant sublines with TNF or γ-irradiation fails neither to induce the expression of the p53-regulated gene products p21waf1/CIP1 and MDM2, nor to arrest the cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. Disruption of p53 wild-type function in MCF7 cells by transfection with human papillomavirus type-16 E6 gene, leads to abrogation of the cytotoxic, but not the cytostatic activity of TNF. Altogether, our results strongly suggest that wild-type p53 is involved in cytotoxic action of TNF, and point out that loss of p53 function contributes to resistance of tumor cell to TNF-induced killing.