Modulation of Mdm2 expression and p53-induced apoptosis in immortalized human ovarian granulosa cells

Kumiko Hosokawa, Dorit Aharoni, Ada Dantes, Eitan Shaulian, Carolina Schere-levy, Ruth Atzmon, Fumikazu Kotsuji, Moshe Oren, Israel Vlodavsky, Abraham Amsterdam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


The activity of the tumor suppressor gene p53 is implicated in arrest of the cell cycle and the induction of apoptosis. The mdm2 oncogene is transcriptionally activated by p53, and the protein products of this gene can down-modulate biochemical activities and biological effects of p53 in a cell context-dependent manner. We have established highly steroidogenic human granulosa cell lines expressing the Ha-ras oncogene and a temperature sensitive (ts) mutant of p53 (p53val135) to test the involvement of p53- downstream genes in the modulation of apoptosis in these cells. We find that ras-transformed granulosa cells expressing p53val135 undergo apoptosis following a shift from 37 C to 32 C, a temperature at which p53val135 exerts its wild-type activity. Elevating the cellular content of cAMP at 32 C markedly enhances apoptosis. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) effectively blocks the p53/cAMP-induced apoptosis, but suppresses steroidogenesis. A naturally produced basement membrane-like extracellular matrix (ECM) containing immobilized bFGF exerts a similar antiapoptotic effect, but unlike soluble bFGF, it enhances steroidogenesis in these cells. While cAMP markedly suppresses the p53-induced Mdm2 expression, bFGF and ECM elevate Mdm2 expression 3-5-fold. These effects on Mdm2 expression are most pronounced 2-4 h after the shift to 32 C, before nuclear fragmentation is detected. Cells grown at 32 C in contact with ECM have a more developed actin cytoskeleton both in the absence and presence of cAMP stimulation, compared with cells grown on plastic dishes. We conclude that bFGF and components of the ECM can cross-talk with p53/cAMP-generated signals for apoptosis. These signals may, at least in part, be coordinated by the modulation of Mdm2 expression, which precedes the biochemical events characteristic of apoptosis. The multicomponent ECM also induced differentiation in these ras- transformed cells, while soluble bFGF inhibited differentiation, suggesting that ECM components other than bFGF stimulate differentiation. Organization of the actin cytoskeleton is likely to play an important role in the cross- talk between p53/cAMP- and bFGF/ECM-generated signals. Because the tumor supressor gene p53 is implicated with apoptosis of primary granulosa cells and the ECM is involved in the prevention of this process, the newly established cell lines can serve as a useful model for apoptosis in highly luteinized granulosa cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4688-4700
Number of pages13
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


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