Analysis of centrosome abnormalities and angiogenesis in epidermal-targeted p53172H mutant and p53-knockout mice after chemical carcinogenesis: evidence for a gain of function

Mol Carcinog. 1998 Nov;23(3):185-92. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1098-2744(199811)23:3<185::aid-mc7>;2-5.


We previously developed a transgenic mouse model that expresses in the epidermis a murine p53172R-->H mutant (p53m) under the control of a human keratin-1-based vector (HK1.p53m). In contrast to mice with wild-type p53 and p53-knockout mice, HK1.p53m mice exhibit increased susceptibility to chemical carcinogenesis, with greatly accelerated benign papilloma formation, malignant conversion, and metastasis. In the study presented here, we examined the expression pattern of several differentiation markers and observed that p53m tumors exhibited a less differentiated phenotype than tumors elicited in non-transgenic mice. Metastasis in p53m tumors was also associated with a poorly differentiated phenotype. To determine whether genomic instability was associated with a putative gain-of-function role for this p53m, in situ examination of centrosomes was performed in HK1.p53m and equivalent p53-null papillomas. In contrast to HK1.p53m papillomas, which had centrosome abnormalities at high frequencies (75% of cells contained more than three centrosomes/cell), p53-null tumors exhibited few abnormal centrosomes (4% of cells contained more than three centrosomes/cell). To determine whether angiogenesis played a role in the rapid progression of p53m tumors, the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor, a promoter of angiogenesis, and thrombospondin-1, an inhibitor of angiogenesis, was examined in tumors derived from either p53m or p53-knockout mice. Regardless of their p53 status (wild type, p53m, p53-/-), all of the papillomas exhibited similar levels of vascular endothelial growth factor expression and decreased expression of thrombospondin-1 as did normal epidermis. In addition, tumors from different p53 genotypes showed a similar density of blood vessels. Because p53 status did not appear to play an overt role in angiogenesis, these data suggest that p53m accelerates tumorigenesis primarily by exerting a gain of function associated with genomic instability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene
  • Animals
  • Carcinogens
  • Centrosome / drug effects*
  • Disease Progression
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / biosynthesis
  • Genes, p53 / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Lymphokines / biosynthesis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism*
  • Papilloma / blood supply*
  • Papilloma / chemically induced
  • Papilloma / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Point Mutation
  • Skin Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Skin Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate
  • Thrombospondin 1 / biosynthesis
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Carcinogens
  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Thrombospondin 1
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate