Accentuated apoptosis in normally developing p53 knockout mouse embryos following genotoxic stress

Jene Frenkel, Dan Sherman, Amos Fein, Dov Schwartz, Nava Almog, Ahuva Kapon, Naomi Goldfinger, Varda Rotter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to identify the alternative pathways which may substitute for the p53 function during embryogenesis, we have focused our studies on p53-/- normally developing mouse embryos that survived a genotoxic stress. We assumed that under these conditions p53-independent pathways, which physiologically control genomic stability, are enhanced. We found that while p53+/+ mouse embryos elicited, as expected, a p53-dependent apoptosis, p53-/- normally developing mice exhibited an accentuated p53-independent apoptotic response. The p53-dependent apoptosis detected in p53+/+ embryos, was an immediate reaction mostly detected in the brain, whereas the p53-independent apoptosis was a delayed reaction with a prominent pattern observed in epithelial cells of most organs in the p53-deficient mice only. These results suggest that in the absence of p53-dependent apoptosis, which is a fast response to damaged DNA, p53-independent apoptotic pathways, with slower kinetics, are turned on to secure genome stability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2901-2907
Number of pages7
Issue number18
StatePublished - 6 May 1999


FundersFunder number
Minerva Foundation
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation


    • Embryogenesis
    • p53-dependent and independent apoptosis


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