The TP53 gene is one of the major tumor suppressor genes. The p53 protein plays a role as a transcription factor that controls the expression of about 60 genes. The p53 protein functions as a DNA damage sensor in the cell and regulates a number of key cellular processes, including cell cycle arrest, DNA repair, apoptosis, senescence, and cell survival.
In our experiments, we focused on the effect of low doses irradiation on the oscillatory dynamics of the p53 protein. We used the breast cancer cell line MCF7 and irradiated the cells with a cobalt source. Protein levels were detected by Western blot analysis and expression levels of selected p53-responsive genes were determined by quantitative real-time PCR.
We detected the oscillatory dynamics of p53 protein after irradiation at both high and low doses. Our results were further confirmed by measuring changes in the expression of p53-regulated genes.
Since more than half of human cancers have mutations in the TP53 gene and a significant proportion of cancer patients receive radiation as a critical part of their treatment, the goal of our project is to investigate the dynamics of the p53 protein in tumor cells.
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