Albert Einstein Cancer Center

Cis lethal genetic interactions attenuate and alter p53 tumorigenesis

Rpa1, an essential gene involved in DNA replication and genome maintenance, is syntenic and linked to Trp53 in mice and humans. To study the genetic interaction between Rpa1 and Trp53 in tumorigenesis, AECC investigator Edelmann and colleagues generated compound Rpa1(L230P/+); Trp53(+/-) mutant mice with the mutant alleles in either trans or cis configuration.  They demonstrate that the Rpa1(L230P) missense mutation significantly alters the tumor phenotype and spectrum of Trp53 mutant mice by modifying the genetic mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis. Importantly, when the Rpa1(L230P) and Trp53 mutant alleles are in cis, the tumor phenotype is attenuated and altered and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at the Trp53 wild-type locus is selected against, whereas in the trans configuration, Rpa1(L230P) enhances the Trp53(+/-) tumor phenotype even though Rpa1(L230P) is ultimately lost by LOH. These studies indicate that polymorphic genetic variants in essential genes can affect closely linked tumor suppressor loci via allelic phasing, which can result in profound phenotypic variations in tumorigenesis

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