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1.  The role of cyclin D2 and p21/waf1 in human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 infected cells 
Retrovirology  2004;1:6.
Background
The human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) Tax protein indirectly influences transcriptional activation, signal transduction, cell cycle control, and apoptosis. The function of Tax primarily relies on protein-protein interactions. We have previously shown that Tax upregulates the cell cycle checkpoint proteins p21/waf1 and cyclin D2. Here we describe the consequences of upregulating these G1/S checkpoint regulators in HTLV-1 infected cells.
Results
To further decipher any physical and functional interactions between cyclin D2 and p21/waf1, we used a series of biochemical assays from HTLV-1 infected and uninfected cells. Immunoprecipitations from HTLV-1 infected cells showed p21/waf1 in a stable complex with cyclin D2/cdk4. This complex is active as it phosphorylates the Rb protein in kinase assays. Confocal fluorescent microscopy indicated that p21/waf1 and cyclin D2 colocalize in HTLV-1 infected, but not in uninfected cells. Furthermore, in vitro kinase assays using purified proteins demonstrated that the addition of p21/waf1 to cyclin D2/cdk4 increased the kinase activity of cdk4.
Conclusion
These data suggest that the p21/cyclin D2/cdk4 complex is not an inhibitory complex and that p21/waf1 could potentially function as an assembly factor for the cyclin D2/cdk4 complex in HTLV-1 infected cells. A by-product of this assembly with cyclin D2/cdk4 is the sequestration of p21/waf1 away from the cyclin E/cdk2 complex, allowing this active cyclin-cdk complex to phosphorylate Rb pocket proteins efficiently and push cells through the G1/S checkpoint. These two distinct functional and physical activities of p21/waf1 suggest that RNA tumor viruses manipulate the G1/S checkpoint by deregulating cyclin and cdk complexes.
doi:10.1186/1742-4690-1-6
PMCID: PMC420262  PMID: 15169570
2.  p27Kip1 induces an accumulation of the repressor complexes of E2F and inhibits expression of the E2F-regulated genes. 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1997;8(9):1815-1827.
p27Kip1 is an inhibitor of the cyclin-dependent kinases and it plays an inhibitory role in the progression of cell cycle through G1 phase. To investigate the mechanism of cell cycle inhibition by p27Kip1, we constructed a cell line that inducibly expresses p27Kip1 upon addition of isopropyl-1-thio-beta-D-galactopyranoside in the culture medium. Isopropyl-1-thio-beta-D-galactopyranoside-induced expression of p27Kip1 in these cells causes a specific reduction in the expression of the E2F-regulated genes such as cyclin E, cyclin A, and dihydrofolate reductase. The reduction in the expression of these genes correlates with the p27Kip1-induced accumulation of the repressor complexes of the E2F family of factors (E2Fs). Our previous studies indicated that p21WAF1 could disrupt the interaction between cyclin/cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (cdk2) and the E2F repressor complexes E2F-p130 and E2F-p107. We show that p27Kip1, like p21WAF1, disrupts cyclin/cdk2-containing complexes of E2F-p130 leading to the accumulation of the E2F-p130 complexes, which is found in growth-arrested cells. In transient transfection assays, expression of p27Kip1 specifically inhibits transcription of a promoter containing E2F-binding sites. Mutants of p27Kip1 harboring changes in the cyclin- and cdk2-binding motifs are deficient in inhibiting transcription from the E2F sites containing reporter gene. Moreover, these mutants of p27Kip1 are also impaired in disrupting the interaction between cyclin/cdk2 and the repressor complexes of E2Fs. Taken together, these observations suggest that p27Kip1 reduces expression of the E2F-regulated genes by generating repressor complexes of E2Fs. Furthermore, the results also demonstrate that p27Kip1 inhibits expression of cyclin A and cyclin E, which are critical for progression through the G1-S phases.
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PMCID: PMC305739  PMID: 9307976
3.  Overexpression of p21waf1 in Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1-Infected Cells and Its Association with Cyclin A/cdk2 
Journal of Virology  2000;74(16):7270-7283.
Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is associated with adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). T-cell transformation is mainly due to the actions of the viral phosphoprotein Tax. Tax interacts with multiple transcriptional factors, aiding the transcription of many cellular genes. Here, we report that the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21/waf1 is overexpressed in all HTLV-1-infected cell lines tested as well as in ATL and HAM/TSP patient samples. Tax was found to be able to transactivate the endogenous p21/waf1 promoter, as detected by RNase protection, as well as activate a series of wild-type and 5′-deletion constructs linked to a luciferase reporter cassette. Wild-type but not a mutant form of Tax (M47) transactivated the p21/waf1 promoter in a p53-independent manner and utilized a minimal promoter that contained E2A and TATA box sequences. The p21/waf1 protein was reproducibly observed to be complexed with cyclin A/cdk2 and not with any other known G1, S, or G2/M cyclins. Functionally, the association of p21/cyclin A/cdk2 decreased histone H1 phosphorylation in vitro, as observed in immunoprecipitations followed by kinase assays, and affected other substrates, such as the C terminus of Rb protein involved in c-Abl and histone deacetylase-1 (HDAC1) regulation. Interestingly, upon the use of a stress signal, such as gamma-irradiation, we found that the p21/cyclin A/cdk2 complex was able to block all known phosphorylation sites on the Rb molecule. Finally, using elutriated cell cycle fractions and a stress signal, we observed that the HTLV-1-infected T cells containing wild-type Tax, which had been in early or mid-G1 phase prior to gamma-irradiation, arrested in G1 and did not undergo apoptosis. This may be an important mechanism for an oncogenic virus such as HTLV-1 to stop the host at the G1/S boundary and to repair the damaged DNA upon injury, prior to S-phase entry.
PMCID: PMC112248  PMID: 10906181
4.  p21WAF1/CIP1 Is Upregulated by the Geranylgeranyltransferase I Inhibitor GGTI-298 through a Transforming Growth Factor β- and Sp1-Responsive Element: Involvement of the Small GTPase RhoA 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1998;18(12):6962-6970.
We have recently reported that the geranylgeranyltransferase I inhibitor GGTI-298 arrests human tumor cells at the G1 phase of the cell cycle and increases the protein and RNA levels of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21WAF1/CIP1. Here, we show that GGTI-298 acts at the transcriptional level to induce p21WAF1/CIP1 in a human pancreatic carcinoma cell line, Panc-1. This upregulation of p21WAF1/CIP1 promoter was selective, since GGTI-298 inhibited serum responsive element- and E2F-mediated transcription. A functional analysis of the p21WAF1/CIP1 promoter showed that a GC-rich region located between positions −83 and −74, which contains a transforming growth factor β-responsive element and one Sp1-binding site, is sufficient for the upregulation of p21WAF1/CIP1 promoter by GGTI-298. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed a small increase in the amount of DNA-bound Sp1-Sp3 complexes. Furthermore, the analysis of Sp1 transcriptional activity in GGTI-298-treated cells by using GAL4-Sp1 chimera or Sp1-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter revealed a significant increase in Sp1-mediated transcription. Moreover, GGTI-298 treatment also resulted in increased Sp1 and Sp3 phosphorylation. These results suggest that GGTI-298-mediated upregulation of p21WAF1/CIP1 involves both an increase in the amount of DNA-bound Sp1-Sp3 and enhancement of Sp1 transcriptional activity. To identify the geranylgeranylated protein(s) involved in p21WAF1/CIP1 transcriptional activation, we analyzed the effects of the small GTPases Rac1 and RhoA on p21WAF1/CIP1 promoter activity. The dominant negative mutant of RhoA, but not Rac1, was able to activate p21WAF1/CIP1. In contrast, constitutively active RhoA repressed p21WAF1/CIP1. Accordingly, the ADP-ribosyl transferase C3, which specifically inhibits Rho proteins, enhanced the activity of p21WAF1/CIP1. Taken together, these results suggest that one mechanism by which GGTI-298 upregulates p21WAF1/CIP1 transcription is by preventing the small GTPase RhoA from repressing p21WAF1/CIP1 induction.
PMCID: PMC109279  PMID: 9819384
5.  Effects of the Kava Chalcone Flavokawain A Differ in Bladder Cancer Cells with Wild-type versus Mutant p53 
Flavokawain A is the predominant chalcone from kava extract. We have assessed the mechanisms of flavokawain A's action on cell cycle regulation. In a p53 wild-type, low-grade, and papillary bladder cancer cell line (RT4), flavokawain A increased p21/WAF1 and p27/KIP1, which resulted in a decrease in cyclin-dependent kinase-2 (CDK2) kinase activity and subsequent G1 arrest. The increase of p21/WAF1 protein corresponded to an increased mRNA level, whereas p27/KIP1 accumulation was associated with the down-regulation of SKP2 and then increased the stability of the p27/KIP1 protein. The accumulation of p21/WAF1 and p27/KIP1 was independent of cell cycle position and thus not a result of the cell cycle arrest. In contrast, flavokawain A induced a G2-M arrest in six p53 mutant-type, high-grade bladder cancer cell lines (T24, UMUC3, TCCSUP, 5637, HT1376, and HT1197). Flavokawain A significantly reduced the expression of CDK1-inhibitory kinases, Myt1 and Wee1, and caused cyclin B1 protein accumulation leading to CDK1 activation in T24 cells. Suppression of p53 expression by small interfering RNA in RT4 cells restored Cdc25C expression and down-regulated p21/WAF1 expression, which allowed Cdc25C and CDK1 activation and then led to a G2-M arrest and an enhanced growth-inhibitory effect by flavokawain A. Consistently, flavokawain A also caused a pronounced CDK1 activation and G2-M arrest in p53 knockout but not in p53 wild-type HCT116 cells. This selectivity of flavokawain A for inducing a G2-M arrest in p53-defective cells deserves further investigation as a new mechanism for the prevention and treatment of bladder cancer.
doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-08-0165
PMCID: PMC2830727  PMID: 19138991
6.  Loss of G1/S Checkpoint in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1-Infected Cells Is Associated with a Lack of Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21/Waf1 
Journal of Virology  2000;74(11):5040-5052.
Productive high-titer infection by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) requires the activation of target cells. Infection of quiescent peripheral CD4 lymphocytes by HIV-1 results in incomplete, labile reverse transcripts and lack of viral progeny formation. An interplay between Tat and p53 has previously been reported, where Tat inhibited the transcription of the p53 gene, which may aid in the development of AIDS-related malignancies, and p53 expression inhibited HIV-1 long terminal repeat transcription. Here, by using a well-defined and -characterized stress signal, gamma irradiation, we find that upon gamma irradiation, HIV-1-infected cells lose their G1/S checkpoints, enter the S phase inappropriately, and eventually apoptose. The loss of the G1/S checkpoint is associated with a loss of p21/Waf1 protein and increased activity of a major G1/S kinase, namely, cyclin E/cdk2. The p21/Waf1 protein, a known cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, interacts with the cdk2/cyclin E complex and inhibits progression of cells into S phase. We find that loss of the G1/S checkpoint in HIV-1-infected cells may in part be due to Tat's ability to bind p53 (a known activator of the p21/Waf1 promoter) and sequester its transactivation activity, as seen in both in vivo and in vitro transcription assays. The loss of p21/Waf1 in HIV-1-infected cells was specific to p21/Waf1 and did not occur with other KIP family members, such as p27 (KIP1) and p57 (KIP2). Finally, the advantage of a loss of the G1/S checkpoint for HIV-1 per se may be that it pushes the host cell into the S phase, which may then allow subsequent virus-associated processes, such as RNA splicing, transport, translation, and packaging of virion-specific genes, to occur.
PMCID: PMC110856  PMID: 10799578
7.  Induction of p21CIP1/WAF1 expression by human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 Tax requires transcriptional activation and mRNA stabilization 
Retrovirology  2009;6:35.
HTLV-1 Tax can induce senescence by up-regulating the levels of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21CIP1/WAF1 and p27KIP1. Tax increases p27KIP1 protein stability by activating the anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) precociously, causing degradation of Skp2 and inactivation of SCFSkp2, the E3 ligase that targets p27KIP1. The rate of p21CIP1/WAF1 protein turnover, however, is unaffected by Tax. Rather, the mRNA of p21CIP1/WAF1 is greatly up-regulated. Here we show that Tax increases p21 mRNA expression by transcriptional activation and mRNA stabilization. Transcriptional activation of p21CIP1/WAF1 by Tax occurs in a p53-independent manner and requires two tumor growth factor-β-inducible Sp1 binding sites in the -84 to -60 region of the p21CIP1/WAF1 promoter. Tax binds Sp1 directly, and the CBP/p300-binding activity of Tax is required for p21CIP1/WAF1 trans-activation. Tax also increases the stability of p21CIP1/WAF1 transcript. Several Tax mutants trans-activated the p21 promoter, but were attenuated in stabilizing p21CIP1/WAF1 mRNA, and were less proficient in increasing p21CIP1/WAF1 expression. The possible involvement of Tax-mediated APC/C activation in p21CIP1/WAF1 mRNA stabilization is discussed.
doi:10.1186/1742-4690-6-35
PMCID: PMC2676247  PMID: 19356250
8.  ZNF313 is a novel cell cycle activator with an E3 ligase activity inhibiting cellular senescence by destabilizing p21WAF1 
Cell Death and Differentiation  2013;20(8):1055-1067.
ZNF313 encoding a zinc-binding protein is located at chromosome 20q13.13, which exhibits a frequent genomic amplification in multiple human cancers. However, the biological function of ZNF313 remains largely undefined. Here we report that ZNF313 is an ubiquitin E3 ligase that has a critical role in the regulation of cell cycle progression, differentiation and senescence. In this study, ZNF313 is initially identified as a XIAP-associated factor 1 (XAF1)-interacting protein, which upregulates the stability and proapoptotic effect of XAF1. Intriguingly, we found that ZNF313 activates cell cycle progression and suppresses cellular senescence through the RING domain-mediated degradation of p21WAF1. ZNF313 ubiquitinates p21WAF1 and also destabilizes p27KIP1 and p57KIP2, three members of the CDK-interacting protein (CIP)/kinase inhibitor protein (KIP) family of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, whereas it does not affect the stability of the inhibitor of CDK (INK4) family members, such as p16INK4A and p15INK4B. ZNF313 expression is tightly controlled during the cell cycle and its elevation at the late G1 phase is crucial for the G1-to-S phase transition. ZNF313 is induced by mitogenic growth factors and its blockade profoundly delays cell cycle progression and accelerates p21WAF1-mediated senescence. Both replicative and stress-induced senescence are accompanied with ZNF313 reduction. ZNF313 is downregulated during cellular differentiation process in vitro and in vivo, while it is commonly upregulated in many types of cancer cells. ZNF313 shows both the nuclear and cytoplasmic localization in epithelial cells of normal tissues, but exhibits an intense cytoplasmic distribution in carcinoma cells of tumor tissues. Collectively, ZNF313 is a novel E3 ligase for p21WAF1, whose alteration might be implicated in the pathogenesis of several human diseases, including cancers.
doi:10.1038/cdd.2013.33
PMCID: PMC3705597  PMID: 23645206
XAF1; CDK inhibitor; ubiquitin ligase; apoptosis; differentiation
9.  WAF1 retards S-phase progression primarily by inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinases. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1997;17(8):4877-4882.
The p21(WAF1/CIP1/sdi1) gene product (WAF1) inhibits DNA replication in vitro (J. Chen, P. Jackson, M. Kirschner, and A. Dutta, Nature 374:386-388, 1995; S. Waga, G. Hannon, D. Beach, and B. Stillman, Nature 369:574-578, 1994), but in vivo studies on the antiproliferative activity of WAF1 have not resolved G1-phase arrest from potential inhibition of S-phase progression. Here, we demonstrate that elevated WAF1 expression can retard replicative DNA synthesis in vivo. The WAF1-mediated inhibitory effect could be antagonized by cyclin A, cyclin E, or the simian virus 40 small-t antigen with no decrease in the levels of WAF1 protein in transfected cells. Proliferating-cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) overexpression was neither necessary nor sufficient to antagonize WAF1 action. Expression of the N-terminal domain of WAF1, responsible for cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) interaction, had the same effect as full-length WAF1, while the PCNA binding C terminus exhibited modest activity. We conclude that S-phase progression in mammalian cells is dependent on continuing cyclin and CDK activity and that WAF1 affects S phase primarily through cyclin- and CDK-dependent pathways.
PMCID: PMC232340  PMID: 9234744
10.  Infection of primary cells by adeno-associated virus type 2 results in a modulation of cell cycle-regulating proteins. 
Journal of Virology  1997;71(8):6020-6027.
It has been demonstrated that infection of primary human cells with adeno-associated viruses (AAV) leads to a decrease in cellular proliferation and to growth arrest. We analyzed the molecular basis of this phenomenon and observed that infection with AAV type 2 (AAV2) had an effect on several factors engaged in the control of the mammalian cell cycle. In particular, all of the pRB family members, pRB, p107, and p130, which are involved in G1 cell cycle checkpoint control, were affected. After infection, a shift from hyper- to hypophosphorylated forms was observed. Cyclins A and B1, which are required for G1/S transition and progression into mitosis, respectively, were downregulated at the transcriptional level as well as at the protein level, whereas the G1 cyclins D1 and E remained unaffected. In addition, the steady-state levels of cyclin-dependent kinases CDK1 and CDK2 and of transcription factor E2F-1 were diminished. Of all the factors known to be involved in phosphorylation of pRB family proteins, only the CDK inhibitor p21WAF1 exhibited a response to AAV2 infection. p21WAF1 mRNA was quickly and progressively upregulated in a p53-independent manner over at least 72 h. Consistent with the increased p21WAF1 protein levels, cyclin E- and cyclin A-dependent kinase activities declined to low levels and E2F-p130-cyclin-CDK2 complexes were disrupted. From these data, we conclude that the major effect of AAV2 infection on primary human fibroblasts appears to be upregulation of p21WAF1 gene expression and thus cell cycle arrest by the suppression of pRB family protein phosphorylation.
PMCID: PMC191859  PMID: 9223493
11.  Dual Cyclin-Binding Domains Are Required for p107 To Function as a Kinase Inhibitor 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1998;18(9):5380-5391.
The retinoblastoma (pRB) family of proteins includes three proteins known to suppress growth of mammalian cells. Previously we had found that growth suppression by two of these proteins, p107 and p130, could result from the inhibition of associated cyclin-dependent kinases (cdks). One important unresolved issue, however, is the mechanism through which inhibition occurs. Here we present in vivo and in vitro evidence to suggest that p107 is a bona fide inhibitor of both cyclin A-cdk2 and cyclin E-cdk2 that exhibits an inhibitory constant (Ki) comparable to that of the cdk inhibitor p21/WAF1. In contrast, pRB is unable to inhibit cdks. Further reminiscent of p21, a second cyclin-binding site was mapped to the amino-terminal portions of p107 and p130. This amino-terminal domain is capable of inhibiting cyclin-cdk2 complexes, although it is not a potent substrate for these kinases. In contrast, a carboxy-terminal fragment of p107 that contains the previously identified cyclin-binding domain serves as an excellent kinase substrate although it is unable to inhibit either kinase. Clustered point mutations suggest that the amino-terminal domain is functionally important for cyclin binding and growth suppression. Moreover, peptides spanning the cyclin-binding region are capable of interfering with p107 binding to cyclin-cdk2 complexes and kinase inhibition. Our ability to distinguish between p107 and p130 as inhibitors rather than simple substrates suggests that these proteins may represent true inhibitors of cdks.
PMCID: PMC109123  PMID: 9710622
12.  A novel Ras antagonist regulates both oncogenic Ras and the tumor suppressor p53 in colon cancer cells. 
Molecular Medicine  2000;6(8):693-704.
BACKGROUND: In colon cancer, K-Ras oncogenes, which appear to be linked to chemoresistance and poor prognosis, are activated in more than 50% of cases, whereas the tumor suppressor gene p53 is mutationally altered in about 70% of all cases. The transcription factor p53, which is frequently mutated at codon 273, maintains wild-type configuration and possibly carries out residual functions. Although blocking of activated K-Ras may constitute a rational therapeutic concept for this treatment-resistant malignancy, a strategy influencing both oncogenic Ras and the tumor suppressor p53 may be even more promising. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We evaluated the effects of S-trans, trans-farnesyl-thiosalicylic acid (FTS), a novel Ras antagonist on human SW480 and HT-29 colon cancer cells, which both harbor a p53 His273 mutation but express activated K-Ras and wild-type, but overexpressed, H-Ras, respectively. Besides cell growth and morphology, levels of cellular Ras proteins, regulation of p53 and p21(waf1/cip1) expression were analyzed by immunoblotting. The cell cycle arresting potential of FTS was quantified by flow cytometry. RESULTS: We demonstrate that FTS treatment alters the morphology and blocks the growth of SW480 and HT-29 colon cancer cells by both reducing the total amount of Ras and up-regulating the tumor suppressor p53. Furthermore, FTS caused an upregulation of the cyclin-cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p21(waf1/cip1) and blocked the cell cycle. p53 antisense oligonucleotides not only reduced the level of p53 proteins but correspondingly also blocked the expression of p21(waf1/cip1) in FTS-treated colon cancer cells. CONCLUSIONS: FTS, a unique compound capable of regulating both oncogenic Ras and the tumor suppressor p53 may prove particularly useful for the therapy of colon cancer and other treatment-resistant malignancies where Ras is altered and p53 is either wild-type or mutated in positions that allow residual p53 functions.
PMCID: PMC1949977  PMID: 11055588
13.  Evidence of gene deletion of p21 (WAF1/CIP1), a cyclin-dependent protein kinase inhibitor, in thyroid carcinomas. 
British Journal of Cancer  1996;74(9):1336-1341.
Eukaryotic cell cycle progression is controlled by a host of cyclin/cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks), that are themselves regulated by multiple factors, including a group of small cyclin-Cdk inhibitor proteins (p15, p16, p21 and p27). The involvement of Cdk inhibitors in carcinogenesis has been demonstrated by the studies of p16. p53 is frequently mutated in thyroid carcinomas and p21/Waf1 is a downstream effector of p53. It is conceivable that genetic defects of genes downstream in the p53 pathway could also be oncogenic. We, therefore, examined a series of 57 thyroid tumour specimens (eight follicular adenomas and 49 carcinomas) for deletion and point mutation of the p21/Waf1 gene. Three different kinds of deletions ranging from 349 to 450 bp were detected in five papillary carcinoma specimens by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). All the deletions were involved in the second exon of the p21/Waf1 gene. RT-PCR single strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) analysis of remaining samples failed to reveal any point mutations in the coding region of the gene, except for a polymorphism at codon 31 (Ser to Arg). Genomic Southern blot analysis did not demonstrate any gene deletion or rearrangement in these samples, indicating abnormal RNA splicing may be involved. Analysis of intron-exon boundary and the coding region of the second exon did not reveal any mutation except for a point mutation (C to G) located 16 bp downstream from the splice donor site of the second intron in three out of five samples with p21/Waf1 deletions. Whether the mutation plays any role in aberrant RNA splicing remains to be determined. Among the five samples with p21/Waf1 gene deletions, none of them simultaneously carried a p53 or retinoblastoma (Rb) gene mutation. No p21/Waf1 abnormality was found in the benign adenomas. Thus, 12.5% (5/40) of thyroid papillary carcinoma specimens harboured p21/Waf1 gene deletions. Our data suggest that p21/Waf1 gene deletion is involved in thyroid carcinogenesis and may play an important role in thyroid cell transformation.
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PMCID: PMC2074763  PMID: 8912526
14.  Cyclin D1 expression in transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder: correlation with p53, waf1, pRb and Ki67 
British Journal of Cancer  2001;84(2):270-275.
Normal cell proliferation is closely regulated by proteins called cyclins. One of these, cyclin D1, in combination with its corresponding cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk), is essential for G1/S phase transition. Cyclin/cdk complexes are generally inhibited by cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors(ckis), some of which are induced by wild-type p53. The aims of this study were: to investigate levels of cyclin D1 expression in transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder; to correlate these results with data concerning the expression of p53, waf1, pRb and Ki67; and to determine whether cyclin D1 expression could predict clinical outcome. Paraffin-sections from 150 newly diagnosed bladder tumours (Ta/T1 = 97; T2–T4 = 53) were stained for cyclin D1 using immunohistochemistry and a cyclin D1 index assigned. These results were correlated with data relating to the expression of p53 and waf1 by the same tumours. A representative subset of 54 tumours (Ta/T1 = 28; T2–T4 = 26) was also stained for Ki67 and 55 were stained for pRb. The clinical course of each patient was recorded and multivariate analyses of risk factors for tumour recurrence, stage progression and overall survival were performed. Positive staining for cyclin D1 was found in 83% of tumours. The staining pattern varied between tumours with nuclear, cytoplasmic or a combination of the two evident in different tumours. 89% of Ta/T1 and 74% of T2–T4 tumours showed nuclear staining with or without cytoplasmic staining. The median value for cyclin D1 staining was significantly higher in Ta/T1 tumours (41%) compared with T2–T4 tumours (8%, P< 0.005) with 26% of muscle-invasive tumours demonstrating absent staining. In addition, the median value for cyclin D1 staining was significantly higher in G1/G2 tumours (43%) compared with G3 tumours (14%, P< 0.005). There was a significant positive correlation between expression of cyclin D1 and waf1 expression (P< 0.0001) as well as pRb expression but not between cyclin D1 expression and expression of p53. Ki67 expression was significantly associated with increasing tumour stage (P< 0.005) and histological grade (P< 0.05) but did not correlate with cyclin D1 expression. A cyclin D1 index ≥ 8% was associated with significantly better survival in those patients with muscle-invasive disease (T2–T4). In addition, there was a significantly higher progression rate for those patients with Ta/T1 disease whose tumours demonstrated cytoplasmic cyclin D1 staining. These results indicate that cyclin D1 expression is significantly higher in low-stage, well differentiated bladder tumours and strongly correlates with waf1 expression. In a multivariate analysis, cyclin D1 expression is an independent prognostic indicator of survival in those patients with muscle-invasive disease. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com
doi:10.1054/bjoc.2000.1557
PMCID: PMC2363716  PMID: 11161387
cyclin D1; bladder; carcinoma; immunohistochemistry; survival
15.  Targeted interactomics reveals a complex core cell cycle machinery in Arabidopsis thaliana 
A protein interactome focused towards cell proliferation was mapped comprising 857 interactions among 393 proteins, leading to many new insights in plant cell cycle regulation.A comprehensive view on heterodimeric cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)/cyclin complexes in plants is obtained, in relation with their regulators.Over 100 new candidate cell cycle proteins were predicted.
The basic underlying mechanisms that govern the cell cycle are conserved among all eukaryotes. Peculiar for plants, however, is that their genome contains a collection of cell cycle regulatory genes that is intriguingly large (Vandepoele et al, 2002; Menges et al, 2005) compared to other eukaryotes. Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) encodes 71 genes in five regulatory classes versus only 15 in yeast and 23 in human.
Despite the discovery of numerous cell cycle genes, little is known about the protein complex machinery that steers plant cell division. Therefore, we applied tandem affinity purification (TAP) approach coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) on Arabidopsis cell suspension cultures to isolate and analyze protein complexes involved in the cell cycle. This approach allowed us to successfully map a first draft of the basic cell cycle complex machinery of Arabidopsis, providing many new insights into plant cell division.
To map the interactome, we relied on a streamlined platform comprising generic Gateway-based vectors with high cloning flexibility, the fast generation of transgenic suspension cultures, TAP adapted for plant cells, and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) tandem-MS for the identification of purified proteins (Van Leene et al, 2007, 2008Van Leene et al, 2007, 2008). Complexes for 102 cell cycle proteins were analyzed using this approach, leading to a non-redundant data set of 857 interactions among 393 proteins (Figure 1A). Two subspaces were identified in this data set, domain I1, containing interactions confirmed in at least two independent experimental repeats or in the reciprocal purification experiment, and domain I2 consisting of uniquely observed interactions.
Several observations underlined the quality of both domains. All tested reverse purifications found the original interaction, and 150 known or predicted interactions were confirmed, meaning that also a huge stack of new interactions was revealed. An in-depth computational analysis revealed enrichment for many cell cycle-related features among the proteins of the network (Figure 1B), and many protein pairs were coregulated at the transcriptional level (Figure 1C). Through integration of known cell cycle-related features, more than 100 new candidate cell cycle proteins were predicted (Figure 1D). Besides common qualities of both interactome domains, their real significance appeared through mutual differences exposing two subspaces in the cell cycle interactome: a central regulatory network of stable complexes that are repeatedly isolated and represent core regulatory units, and a peripheral network comprising transient interactions identified less frequently, which are involved in other aspects of the process, such as crosstalk between core complexes or connections with other pathways. To evaluate the biological relevance of the cell cycle interactome in plants, we validated interactions from both domains by a transient split-luciferase assay in Arabidopsis plants (Marion et al, 2008), further sustaining the hypothesis-generating power of the data set to understand plant growth.
With respect to insights into the cell cycle physiology, the interactome was subdivided according to the functional classes of the baits and core protein complexes were extracted, covering cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)/cyclin core complexes together with their positive and negative regulation networks, DNA replication complexes, the anaphase-promoting complex, and spindle checkpoint complexes. The data imply that mitotic A- and B-type cyclins exclusively form heterodimeric complexes with the plant-specific B-type CDKs and not with CDKA;1, whereas D-type cyclins seem to associate with CDKA;1. Besides the extraction of complexes previously shown in other organisms, our data also suggested many new functional links; for example, the link coupling cell division with the regulation of transcript splicing. The association of negative regulators of CDK/cyclin complexes with transcription factors suggests that their role in reallocation is not solely targeted to CDK/cyclin complexes. New members of the Siamese-related inhibitory proteins were identified, and for the first time potential inhibitors of plant-specific mitotic B-type CDKs have been found in plants. New evidence that the E2F–DP–RBR network is not only active at G1-to-S, but also at the G2-to-M transition is provided and many complexes involved in DNA replication or repair were isolated. For the first time, a plant APC has been isolated biochemically, identifying three potential new plant-specific APC interactors, and finally, complexes involved in the spindle checkpoint were isolated mapping many new but specific interactions.
Finally, to get a general view on the complex machinery, modules of interacting cyclins and core cell cycle regulators were ranked along the cell cycle phases according to the transcript expression peak of the cyclins, showing an assorted set of CDK–cyclin complexes with high regulatory differentiation (Figure 4). Even within the same subfamily (e.g. cyclin A3, B1, B2, D3, and D4), cyclins differ not only in their functional time frame but also in the type and number of CDKs, inhibitors, and scaffolding proteins they bind, further indicating their functional diversification. According to our interaction data, at least 92 different variants of CDK–cyclin complexes are found in Arabidopsis.
In conclusion, these results reflect how several rounds of gene duplication (Sterck et al, 2007) led to the evolution of a large set of cyclin paralogs and a myriad of regulators, resulting in a significant jump in the complexity of the cell cycle machinery that could accommodate unique plant-specific features such as an indeterminate mode of postembryonic development. Through their extensive regulation and connection with a myriad of up- and downstream pathways, the core cell cycle complexes might offer the plant a flexible toolkit to fine-tune cell proliferation in response to an ever-changing environment.
Cell proliferation is the main driving force for plant growth. Although genome sequence analysis revealed a high number of cell cycle genes in plants, little is known about the molecular complexes steering cell division. In a targeted proteomics approach, we mapped the core complex machinery at the heart of the Arabidopsis thaliana cell cycle control. Besides a central regulatory network of core complexes, we distinguished a peripheral network that links the core machinery to up- and downstream pathways. Over 100 new candidate cell cycle proteins were predicted and an in-depth biological interpretation demonstrated the hypothesis-generating power of the interaction data. The data set provided a comprehensive view on heterodimeric cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)–cyclin complexes in plants. For the first time, inhibitory proteins of plant-specific B-type CDKs were discovered and the anaphase-promoting complex was characterized and extended. Important conclusions were that mitotic A- and B-type cyclins form complexes with the plant-specific B-type CDKs and not with CDKA;1, and that D-type cyclins and S-phase-specific A-type cyclins seem to be associated exclusively with CDKA;1. Furthermore, we could show that plants have evolved a combinatorial toolkit consisting of at least 92 different CDK–cyclin complex variants, which strongly underscores the functional diversification among the large family of cyclins and reflects the pivotal role of cell cycle regulation in the developmental plasticity of plants.
doi:10.1038/msb.2010.53
PMCID: PMC2950081  PMID: 20706207
Arabidopsis thaliana; cell cycle; interactome; protein complex; protein interactions
16.  Functional Collaboration between Different Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitors Suppresses Tumor Growth with Distinct Tissue Specificity 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(16):6147-6158.
The presence of two families of seven distinct mammalian cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor genes is thought to mediate the complexity of connecting a variety of cellular processes to the cell cycle control pathway. The distinct pattern of tissue expression of CDK inhibitor genes suggests that they may function as tumor suppressors with different tissue specificities. To test this hypothesis, we have characterized two strains of double mutant mice lacking either p18INK4c and p27KIP1 or p18INK4c and p21CIP1/WAF1. Loss of both p18 and p27 function resulted in the spontaneous development by 3 months of age of at least eight different types of hyperplastic tissues and/or tumors in the pituitary, adrenals, thyroid, parathyroid, testes, pancreas, duodenum, and stomach. Six of these hyperplastic tissues and tumors were in endocrine organs, and several types of tumors routinely developed within the same animal, a phenotype reminiscent of that seen in combined human multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes. The p18-p21 double null mice, on the other hand, developed pituitary adenomas, multifocal gastric neuroendocrine hyperplasia, and lung bronchioalveolar tumors later in life. G1 CDK2 and CDK4 kinase activities were increased in both normal and neoplastic tissues derived from mice lacking individual CDK inhibitors and were synergistically stimulated by the simultaneous loss of two CDK inhibitors. This indicates that an increase in G1 CDK kinase activity is a critical step during but is not sufficient for tumor growth. Our results suggest that functional collaborations between distinct CDK inhibitor genes are tissue specific and confer yet another level of regulation in cell growth control and tumor suppression.
PMCID: PMC86090  PMID: 10913196
17.  Regulation of Cyclin A-Cdk2 by SCF Component Skp1 and F-Box Protein Skp2 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1999;19(1):635-645.
Cyclin A-Cdk2 complexes bind to Skp1 and Skp2 during S phase, but the function of Skp1 and Skp2 is unclear. Skp1, together with F-box proteins like Skp2, are part of ubiquitin-ligase E3 complexes that target many cell cycle regulators for ubiquitination-mediated proteolysis. In this study, we investigated the potential regulation of cyclin A-Cdk2 activity by Skp1 and Skp2. We found that Skp2 can inhibit the kinase activity of cyclin A-Cdk2 in vitro, both by direct inhibition of cyclin A-Cdk2 and by inhibition of the activation of Cdk2 by cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)-activating kinase phosphorylation. Only the kinase activity of Cdk2, not of that of Cdc2 or Cdk5, is reduced by Skp2. Skp2 is phosphorylated by cyclin A-Cdk2 on residue Ser76, but nonphosphorylatable mutants of Skp2 can still inhibit the kinase activity of cyclin A-Cdk2 toward histone H1. The F box of Skp2 is required for binding to Skp1, and both the N-terminal and C-terminal regions of Skp2 are involved in binding to cyclin A-Cdk2. Furthermore, Skp2 and the CDK inhibitor p21Cip1/WAF1 bind to cyclin A-Cdk2 in a mutually exclusive manner. Overexpression of Skp2, but not Skp1, in mammalian cells causes a G1/S cell cycle arrest.
PMCID: PMC83921  PMID: 9858587
18.  NSPc1 is a cell growth regulator that acts as a transcriptional repressor of p21Waf1/Cip1 via the RARE element 
Nucleic Acids Research  2006;34(21):6158-6169.
The mammalian polycomb group proteins play an important role in cell cycle control and tumorigenesis. Nervous system polycomb 1 (NSPc1) is a newly identified transcription repressor, highly homologous with PcG protein Bmi-1. In this article, we showed that NSPc1 could promote tumor cell cycle progression and cell proliferation. Semi-quantitative RT–PCR showed that NSPc1 did not affect the expression levels of most Cyclin-depentent kinases (CDK) inhibitors except for p21Waf1/Cip1. Repression activity assays, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and DNA pulldown assays all verified that NSPc1 represses the expression of p21Waf1/Cip1 by binding to the (−1357 to −1083) region of the p21Waf1/Cip1 promoter in vivo, and the repression effect is dependent on the retinoid acid response element (RARE element) within the above region of the p21Waf1/Cip1 promoter. Further analysis showed that NSPc1 could compete the RARE element site with RA receptors both in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, our results support the hypothesis that NSPc1 has a positive role in tumor cell growth by down-regulating p21Waf1/Cip1 via the RARE element, which directly connects transcriptional repression of PcGs to CDKIs and RA signaling pathways.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkl834
PMCID: PMC1693893  PMID: 17088287
19.  Gene Expression and Cell Cycle Arrest Mediated by Transcription Factor DMP1 Is Antagonized by D-Type Cyclins through a Cyclin-Dependent-Kinase-Independent Mechanism 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1998;18(3):1590-1600.
A novel 761-amino-acid transcription factor, DMP1, contains a central DNA binding domain that includes three imperfect myb repeats flanked by acidic transactivating domains at the amino and carboxyl termini. D-type cyclins associate with a region of the DMP1 DNA binding domain immediately adjacent to the myb repeats to form heteromeric complexes which detectably interact neither with cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) nor with DNA. The segment of D-type cyclins required for its interaction with DMP1 falls outside the “cyclin box,” which contains the residues predicted to contact CDK4. Hence, D-type cyclin point mutants that do not interact with CDK4 can still bind to DMP1. Enforced coexpression of either of three D-type cyclins (D1, D2, or D3) with DMP1 in mammalian cells canceled its ability to activate gene expression. This property was not shared by cyclins A, B, C, or H; did not depend upon CDK4 or CDK2 coexpression; was not subverted by a mutation in cyclin D1 that prevents its interaction with CDK4; and was unaffected by inhibitors of CDK4 catalytic activity. Introduction of DMP1 into mouse NIH 3T3 fibroblasts inhibited entry into S phase. Cell cycle arrest depended upon the ability of DMP1 to bind to DNA and to transactivate gene expression and was specifically antagonized by coexpression of D-type cyclins, including a D1 point mutant that does not bind to CDK4. Taken together, these findings suggest that DMP1 induces genes that inhibit S phase entry and that D-type cyclins can override DMP1-mediated growth arrest in a CDK-independent manner.
PMCID: PMC108874  PMID: 9488476
20.  Adenovirus E1A-Regulated Transcription Factor p120E4F Inhibits Cell Growth and Induces the Stabilization of the cdk Inhibitor p21WAF1 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1998;18(1):459-467.
Adenovirus E1A proteins influence cell growth and phenotype through physical interactions with cellular proteins that regulate basic processes such as cell cycle progression, DNA synthesis, and differentiation. p120E4F is a low-abundance cellular transcription factor that represses the adenovirus E4 promoter and is regulated by E1A, through a phosphorylation-induced reduction of its DNA binding activity, to permit activation of the E4 promoter during early infection. To determine the normal biological role of p120E4F, we assessed its ability to influence fibroblast cell growth and transformation. p120E4F suppressed NIH 3T3 fibroblast colony formation but had little effect when coexpressed with E1A and/or activated ras. Cells that overexpressed p120E4F were inhibited in their ability to enter S phase, had elevated levels of the cdk inhibitor p21WAF1, and reduced cyclin D-cdk4/6 kinase activity. The increase of p21WAF1 levels occurred through a p53-independent posttranscriptional mechanism that included a three- to fourfold increase in the half-life of p21WAF1 protein. Coexpression of activated ras with p120E4F stimulated cyclin D1 expression, elevated cyclin D-cdk4/6 kinase activity, and accelerated cell growth. These data suggest an important role for p120E4F in normal cell division and demonstrate that p21WAF1 can be regulated by protein turnover.
PMCID: PMC121515  PMID: 9418893
21.  A dominant-negative cyclin D1 mutant prevents nuclear import of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) and its phosphorylation by CDK-activating kinase. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1997;17(12):7362-7374.
Cyclins contain two characteristic cyclin folds, each consisting of five alpha-helical bundles, which are connected to one another by a short linker peptide. The first repeat makes direct contact with cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) subunits in assembled holoenzyme complexes, whereas the second does not contribute directly to the CDK interface. Although threonine 156 in mouse cyclin D1 is predicted to lie at the carboxyl terminus of the linker peptide that separates the two cyclin folds and is buried within the cyclin subunit, mutation of this residue to alanine has profound effects on the behavior of the derived cyclin D1-CDK4 complexes. CDK4 in complexes with mutant cyclin D1 (T156A or T156E but not T156S) is not phosphorylated by recombinant CDK-activating kinase (CAK) in vitro, fails to undergo activating T-loop phosphorylation in vivo, and remains catalytically inactive and unable to phosphorylate the retinoblastoma protein. Moreover, when it is ectopically overexpressed in mammalian cells, cyclin D1 (T156A) assembles with CDK4 in the cytoplasm but is not imported into the cell nucleus. CAK phosphorylation is not required for nuclear transport of cyclin D1-CDK4 complexes, because complexes containing wild-type cyclin D1 and a CDK4 (T172A) mutant lacking the CAK phosphorylation site are efficiently imported. In contrast, enforced overexpression of the CDK inhibitor p21Cip1 together with mutant cyclin D1 (T156A)-CDK4 complexes enhanced their nuclear localization. These results suggest that cyclin D1 (T156A or T156E) forms abortive complexes with CDK4 that prevent recognition by CAK and by other cellular factors that are required for their nuclear localization. These properties enable ectopically overexpressed cyclin D1 (T156A), or a more stable T156A/T286A double mutant that is resistant to ubiquitination, to compete with endogenous cyclin D1 in mammalian cells, thereby mobilizing CDK4 into cytoplasmic, catalytically inactive complexes and dominantly inhibiting the ability of transfected NIH 3T3 fibroblasts to enter S phase.
PMCID: PMC232592  PMID: 9372967
22.  Posttranscriptional stabilization underlies p53-independent induction of p21WAF1/CIP1/SDI1 in differentiating human leukemic cells. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1995;95(3):973-979.
p21WAF/CIP1/SDI1 is a recently identified gene expressed in cells harboring wild-type but not mutant p53 gene. It encodes a nuclear protein of 21 kD which inhibits cyclin-dependent kinase activity. Constitutive p21WAF1/CIP1/SDI1 mRNA expression was detected in neoplastic cells from patients with various hematological malignancies as well as in normal bone marrow mononuclear cells and in myeloid and lymphoid cell lines independent of their p53 status. Induced differentiation of the p53-deficient promyelocytic HL-60 cells along the monocytic lineage by phorbol ester or 1a,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 resulted in a marked increase of both p21WAF1/CIP1/SDI1 mRNA and protein expression due to enhanced mRNA stability. Differentiation towards the granulocytic lineage by all-trans retinoic acid or dimethylsulfoxide failed to produce this effect. p21WAF1/CIP1/SDI1 is an immediate early gene since its upregulation occurred independently of de novo protein synthesis. The induction of p21WAF1/CIP1/SDI1 expression and its regulation in p53-deficient differentiating leukemic cells support the idea of an additional, p53-independent role of p21WAF1/CIP1/SDI1 in human hematopoiesis.
Images
PMCID: PMC441429  PMID: 7883998
23.  Adeno-Associated Virus Type 2 Increases Proteosome-Dependent Degradation of p21WAF1 in a Human Papillomavirus Type 31b-Positive Cervical Carcinoma Line 
Journal of Virology  2006;80(10):4927-4939.
Adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2) seropositivity is negatively correlated with the development of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cervical cancer. We have begun analysis of the molecular mechanisms underlying AAV2-mediated oncosuppression through cell cycle regulation in HPV-infected keratinocytes isolated from a low-grade cervical lesion. AAV2 superinfection of HPV type 31b (HPV31b)-positive cells at early times postinfection resulted in degradation of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p21WAF1 protein in a proteosome-dependent manner. Downstream consequences of lowering p21WAF1 levels included a proportional loss of cyclin E/CDK2 complexes bound to p21WAF1. The loss of stable p21WAF1/cyclin E/CDK2 complexes coincided with an increase in CDK2-associated kinase activity and cyclin E levels. Both events have the potential to enhance the G1/S transition point mediated by active cyclin E/CDK2 complexes. Concurrently, cyclin A and E2F levels were decreased, conditions reminiscent of delayed entrance into the S phase of the cell cycle. On the other hand, infection of primary human foreskin keratinocytes with AAV2 resulted in upregulation of p21WAF1 protein levels, reminiscent of a block in G1 phase progression. We propose that by downregulating p21WAF1, AAV2 initiates cell cycle activities leading to enhanced G1/S phase-like conditions which may be favorable for AAV2-specific functions and may lead to downstream interference with HPV-associated cervical cancer progression.
doi:10.1128/JVI.80.10.4927-4939.2006
PMCID: PMC1472069  PMID: 16641284
24.  Dominant Negative c-jun Inhibits Activation of the Cyclin D1 and Cyclin E Kinase Complexes 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2001;12(8):2352-2363.
The AP-1 transcription factor is activated by oncogenic signal transduction cascades and its function is critical for both mitogenesis and carcinogenesis. To define the role of AP-1 in the context of a human fibrosarcoma cell line, HT1080, we expressed a dominant negative c-jun mutant fused to the green fluorescent protein in an ecdysone-inducible system. We demonstrated that high levels of this mutant, GFP-TAM67, inhibit AP-1 activity and arrest cells predominately in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. This arrest is reversible and occurs only above a threshold concentration; low to moderate levels of GFP-TAM67 are insufficient for growth arrest. Contrary to expectations based on the literature, GFP-TAM67 does not inhibit expression of cyclin D1, cyclin E, or their respective cyclin-dependent kinases. However, pRB is hypophosphorylated in GFP-TAM67-arrested cells and the activity of both the cyclin D1:cdk and the cyclin E:cdk complexes are impaired. Both of these complexes show an increased association with p21CIP1/WAF1, concomitantly with induction of the p21 mRNA by GFP-TAM67. These results suggest a novel function of AP-1 in the activation of the G1 cyclin:cdk complexes in human tumor cells by regulating the expression of the p21CIP1/WAF1 gene.
PMCID: PMC58599  PMID: 11514621
25.  The Gut-enriched Krüppel-like Factor (Krüppel-like Factor 4) Mediates the Transactivating Effect of p53 on the p21WAF1/Cip1 Promoter* 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2000;275(24):18391-18398.
An important mechanism by which the tumor suppressor p53 maintains genomic stability is to induce cell cycle arrest through activation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21WAF1/Cip1 gene. We show that the gene encoding the gut-enriched Krüppel-like factor (GKLF, KLF4) is concurrently induced with p21WAF1/Cip1 during serum deprivation and DNA damage elicited by methyl methanesulfonate. The increases in expression of both Gklf and p21WAF1/Cip1 due to DNA damage are dependent on p53. Moreover, during the first 30 min of methyl methanesulfonate treatment, the rise in Gklf mRNA level precedes that in p21WAF1/Cip1, suggesting that GKLF may be involved in the induction of p21WAF1/Cip1. Indeed, GKLF activates p21WAF1/Cip1 through a specific Sp1-like cis-element in the p21WAF1/Cip1 proximal promoter. The same element is also required by p53 to activate the p21WAF1/Cip1 promoter, although p53 does not bind to it. Potential mechanisms by which p53 activates the p21WAF1/Cip1 promoter include a physical interaction between p53 and GKLF and the transcriptional induction of Gklf by p53. Consequently, the two transactivators cause a synergistic induction of the p21WAF1/Cip1 promoter activity. The physiological relevance of GKLF in mediating p53-dependent induction of p21WAF1/Cip1 is demonstrated by the ability of antisense Gklf oligonucleotides to block the production of p21WAF1/Cip1 in response to p53 activation. These findings suggest that GKLF is an essential mediator of p53 in the transcriptional induction of p21WAF1/Cip1 and may be part of a novel pathway by which cellular responses to stress are modulated.
doi:10.1074/jbc.C000062200
PMCID: PMC2231805  PMID: 10749849

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