Antisense oligonucleotides to p53 tumor suppressor suppress the induction of apoptosis by epidermal growth factor in NCI-H 596 human lung cancer cells

Antisense Nucleic Acid Drug Dev. 1997 Apr;7(2):109-14. doi: 10.1089/oli.1.1997.7.109.


Apoptosis has become a basic tool in developing cancer research and establishing new cancer strategies. However, the molecular mechanism of apoptosis is not well understood. Recently, the authors found that epidermal growth factor (EGF) induces apoptosis in various cancer cells and that there is a novel signal pathway mediated through p53 in signal transduction of EGF. The effect of antisense gene therapy to p53 tumor suppressor on EGF-dependent apoptosis was investigated in cultured NCI-H 596 human non-small cell lung cancer cells with a wild-type p53 gene. Results showed that EGF plus p53 sense oligonucleotides induced EGF-dependent and p53-dependent apoptosis in NCI-H 596 cells within 8 hours. On the other hand, antisense gene therapy using antisense oligonucleotides to p53 tumor suppressor suppressed the induction of EGF-dependent and p53-dependent apoptosis. Mutated p53 antisense-containing mutated CG dinucleotides had the same effect as that of p53 antisense on suppression of apoptosis in NCI-H 596 cells. We found that a new nucleic acid drug, another mutated p53 antisense-containing mutation at three bases immediately 5' and 3' from the CG dinucleotides, potentiated the induction of apoptosis and failed to suppress the induction of EGF-dependent apoptosis. These results suggest that gene therapy using antisense oligonucleotides to the p53 tumor suppressor is effective on EGF-dependent apoptosis of NCI-H 596 human non-small cell lung cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Blotting, Western
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology*
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / physiology*
  • Genes, p53* / physiology
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / genetics
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • Epidermal Growth Factor