Tumor 18F-FDG incorporation is enhanced by attenuation of p53 function in breast cancer cells in vitro

Timothy Andrew Davies Smith, R. I. Sharma, A. M. Thompson, F. E. M. Paulin

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41 Citations (Scopus)


Mutations in the p53 gene, often resulting in loss of wild-type (WT) p53 expression, are found at high frequencies in several cancer types. High uptake of F-18-FDG detected using F-18-FDG PET has been associated with a poor prognosis. To determine whether high F-18-FDG uptake may be related to decreased expression of WT p53, we examined F-18-FDG uptake in cells transfected with dominant negative p53 constructs that abrogate WT p53 function. Methods: Two clones of MCF-7 breast cancer cells were stably transfected with a dominant negative p53 construct. F-18-FDG uptake, hexokinase (HK) activity, and glucose transport were measured in each clone and in the control WT cells from which the clones had been derived. The expression of glucose transporters, HKs, and glucose-6-phosphatase was determined using microarray technology. Results: Microarray experiments revealed that glucose transporters 1, 8, and 10 were expressed in MCF-7 cells, whereas glucose-6-phosphatase was absent. HK I was the principal HK in MCF-7 cells but was not differentially expressed at the messenger RNA level in the dominant negative p53 clones, compared with WT cells. However, increased HK activity was observed in both dominant negative p53 clones, compared with WT MCF-7. F-18-FDG uptake was increased in both clones expressing the dominant negative p53 constructs. Conclusion: These data suggest that abrogation of p53 in breast cancer is associated with specific changes in glucose metabolism detected by PET.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1525-1530
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006


  • GLUT
  • F-18-FDG
  • cancer
  • hexokinase
  • p53


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