Objective: To investigate the cell cycle expression of p53 protein, c-myc gene product and tyrosine phosphorylation level in human breast cancer cells.
Study design: Using a multifluorescence imaging procedure, the concentration per cell in different phases of the cell cycle can be evaluated by analyzing the bivariate contour plot of DNA content versus antigen concentration.
Results: Low fluorescence intensity was observed in the G0/G1 phase for the three markers. The analysis of individual cells demonstrated that approximately 10% of cells were negative. During the G1/S transition, the fluorescence intensity of the three antigens increased rapidly. However, after the mild S-phase, the increase of c-myc was more marked than the tyrosine phosphorylation level, whereas p53 protein remained stable, with a slight tendency to decrease.
Conclusion: This study confirmed that the p53 protein and c-myc gene product could perform a regulatory function in G1/S transition and, consequently, may play an important role in malignant transformation. Like-wise, the variations of tyrosine kinase activity were linked to cellular progression throughout the cell cycle and could be a useful marker of alteration in the growth-factor signaling pathway. Thus, the multifluorescence imaging procedure may provide useful information on the mechanisms of the cell cycle and on malignant transformation.