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In mammalian cells, the p53 protein is a key regulator of the cell cycle following DNA damage. In the present study, we investigated the function of p53 in the A6 amphibian cell line. Using various specific Xenopus p53 monoclonal antibodies, we showed that Xenopus p53 accumulates after DNA damage, including gamma and UV irradiation or treatment with adriamycin. Such accumulation is accompanied by an increase in the apparent molecular weight of the protein. This change was shown to be the result of a phosphorylation event that occurs after DNA damage. Accumulation of Xenopus p53 is parallel to a drastic change in the cell cycle distribution. Brief exposure to adriamycin or gamma irradiation induces reversible growth arrest, whereas long-term exposure to adriamycin leads to apoptosis. Taken together, these results indicate that p53 has a similar behaviour in frog cells and mammalian cells, and that it conserves two activities, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





3766 - 3775


Animals, Apoptosis, Cell Cycle, Cell Line, DNA, DNA Damage, Humans, Phosphorylation, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53, Xenopus laevis