Author(s): Bonaf M, Salvioli S, Barbi C, Trapassi C, Tocco F,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract A common arginine to proline polymorphism is harboured at codon 72 of the human p53 gene. In this investigation, we found that fibroblasts and lymphocytes isolated from arginine allele homozygote centenarians and sexagenarians (Arg+) undergo an oxidative-stress-induced apoptosis at a higher extent than cells obtained from proline allele carriers (Pro+). At variance, the difference in apoptosis susceptibility between Arg+ and Pro+ is not significant when cells from 30-year-old people are studied. Further, we found that Arg+ and Pro+ cells from centenarians differ in the constitutive levels of p53 protein and p53/MDM2 complex, as well as in the levels of oxidative stress-induced p53/Bcl-xL complex and mitochondria-localised p53. Consistently, all these differences are less evident in cells from 30-year-old people. Finally, we investigated the in vivo functional relevance of the p53 codon 72 genotype in a group of old patients (66-99 years of age) affected by acute myocardial ischaemia, a clinical condition in which in vivo cell death occurs. We found that Arg+ patients show increased levels of Troponin I and CK-MB, two serum markers that correlate with the extent of the ischaemic damage in comparison to Pro+ patients. In conclusion, these data suggest that p53 codon 72 polymorphism contributes to a genetically determined variability in apoptotic susceptibility among old people, which has a potentially relevant role in the context of an age-related pathologic condition, such as myocardial ischaemia.
This article was published in Cell Death Differ
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy