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Hematology - Immunology - Oncology

Exon 1 Disruption Alters Tissue-Specific Expression of Mouse p53 and Results in Selective Development of B Cell Lymphomas
Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Author: Y. Jeffrey Chiang et al.

by Y. Jeffrey Chiang, Michael J. Difilippantonio, Lino Tessarollo, Herbert C. Morse, Richard J. Hodes

p53 is a tumor suppressor gene mutated in >50% of human cancers, while p53 deficiency in mice results in cancers and accelerated mortality. Thymic T cell lymphoma is the most common malignancy in p53-deficient mice, making it difficult to study the role of p53 in other malignancies. To overcome this limitation, we attempted to generate mice with a reversible p53 knockout (p53rev/rev) by inserting a floxed transcriptional stop into the first exon of p53, anticipating that this would allow tissue-specific Cre-mediated expression of p53. Contrary to expectations, functional p53 protein was expressed in the thymus and multiple other tissues of p53rev/rev mice in the absence of Cre, whereas B cells expressed p53 protein only in the presence of B cell-specific CD19-Cre. In the absence of Cre, 76% of p53rev/rev mice developed splenic marginal zone B cell lymphomas, indicating sensitivity of this B cell subset to transformation caused by p53 deficiency. 5'-RACE identified p53 mRNA transcribed from a novel start site utilized in thymocytes but not normal B cells or B cell lymphomas from p53rev/rev mice. The p53rev/rev mouse thus demonstrates an effect of p53 deficiency in development of splenic marginal zone lymphomas and provides a model for study of p53-deficient human B cell lymphomas.