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      Improved potency of F10 relative to 5-fluorouracil in colorectal cancer cells with p53 mutations

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          Resistance to fluoropyrimidine drugs (FPs) is a major cause of mortality in colorectal cancer (CRC). We assessed the potency advantage of the polymeric FP F10 relative to 5-fluorouracil (5FU) in four human CRC cell lines that differ only in TP53 mutational status to determine how p53 mutations affect drug response and whether F10 is likely to improve outcomes.


          HCT-116 human CRC cells (p53 +/+) and three isogenic variants (p53 −/−, R248W/+, R248W/−) were assessed for drug response. Resistance factors were derived from cell viability data and used to establish the relative potency advantage for F10. Rescue studies with exogenous uridine/thymidine determined if cytotoxicity resulted from DNA-directed processes.


          Significant resistance to 5-FU resulted from p53-loss or from gain-of-function (GOF) mutation (R248W) and was greatest when GOF mutation was coupled with loss of wild-type p53. F10 is much more potent than 5-FU (137–314-fold depending on TP53 mutational status). F10 and 5-FU induce apoptosis by DNA- and RNA-directed mechanisms, respectively, and only F10 shows a modest enhancement in cytotoxicity upon co-treatment with leucovorin.


          TP53 mutational status affects inherent sensitivity to FPs, with p53 GOF mutations most deleterious. F10 is much more effective than 5-FU regardless of TP53 mutations and has potential to be effective to CRC that is resistant to 5-FU due, in part, to TP53 mutations. 6, 7

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          Most cited references 35

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          Mutant p53 in Cancer: New Functions and Therapeutic Opportunities

          Many different types of cancer show a high incidence of TP53 mutations, leading to the expression of mutant p53 proteins. There is growing evidence that these mutant p53s have both lost wild-type p53 tumor suppressor activity and gained functions that help to contribute to malignant progression. Understanding the functions of mutant p53 will help in the development of new therapeutic approaches that may be useful in a broad range of cancer types.
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            When mutants gain new powers: news from the mutant p53 field.

            Ample data indicate that mutant p53 proteins not only lose their tumour suppressive functions, but also gain new abilities that promote tumorigenesis. Moreover, recent studies have modified our view of mutant p53 proteins, portraying them not as inert mutants, but rather as regulated proteins that influence the cancer cell transcriptome and phenotype. This influence is clinically manifested as association of TP53 mutations with poor prognosis and drug resistance in a growing array of malignancies. Here, we review recent studies on mutant p53 regulation, gain-of-function mechanisms, transcriptional effects and prognostic association, with a focus on the clinical implications of these findings.
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              Epigenetic and genetic features of 24 colon cancer cell lines

               D Ahmed,  P Eide,  I Eilertsen (2013)
              Cell lines are invaluable biomedical research tools, and recent literature has emphasized the importance of genotype authentication and characterization. In the present study, 24 out of 27 cell line identities were confirmed by short tandem repeat profiling. The molecular phenotypes of the 24 colon cancer cell lines were examined, and microsatellite instability (MSI) and CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) were determined, using the Bethesda panel mononucleotide repeat loci and two epimarker panels, respectively. Furthermore, the BRAF, KRAS and PIK3CA oncogenes were analyzed for mutations in known hotspots, while the entire coding sequences of the PTEN and TP53 tumor suppressors were investigated. Nine cell lines showed MSI. Thirteen and nine cell lines were found to be CIMP positive, using the Issa panel and the Weisenberger et al. panel, respectively. The latter was found to be superior for CIMP classification of colon cancer cell lines. Seventeen cell lines harbored disrupting TP53 mutations. Altogether, 20/24 cell lines had the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway activating mutually exclusive KRAS or BRAF mutations. PIK3CA and PTEN mutations leading to hyperactivation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT pathway were observed in 13/24 cell lines. Interestingly, in four cell lines there were no mutations in neither BRAF, KRAS, PIK3CA nor in PTEN. In conclusion, this study presents molecular features of a large number of colon cancer cell lines to aid the selection of suitable in vitro models for descriptive and functional research.

                Author and article information

                Cancer Drug Resist
                Cancer Drug Resist
                Cancer drug resistance (Alhambra, Calif.)
                21 December 2018
                19 March 2018
                04 January 2019
                : 1
                : 48-58
                Department of Cancer Biology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.
                Author notes

                Authors’ contributions

                Designed experiments, interpreted data, and manuscript writing: Gmeiner WH

                Performed experiments and evaluated statistical significance, prepared figures and contributed to manuscript writing: Dominijanni A

                Correspondence to: Dr. William H. Gmeiner, Department of Cancer Biology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA. bgmeiner@

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, for any purpose, even commercially, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


                drug resistance, p53, colorectal cancer, fluoropyrimidine


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