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Topological control of p21WAF1/CIP1 expression in normal and neoplastic tissues.

Authors:
el-Deiry WS, Tokino T, Waldman T, Oliner JD, Velculescu VE, Burrell M, Hill DE, Healy E, Rees JL, Hamilton SR
Affiliation:
Journal:
Cancer research

Abstract

The p53-regulated gene product p21WAF1/CIP1 is the prototype of a family of small proteins that negatively regulate the cell cycle. To learn more about p21WAF1/CIP1 regulation in vivo, monoclonal antibodies were developed for immunohistochemistry. These revealed that p21WAF1/CIP1 expression followed radiation-induced DNA damage in human skin in a pattern consistent with its regulation by p53. A detailed comparison of the human, rat, and mouse p21WAF1/CIP1 promoter sequences revealed that this induction was probably mediated by conserved p53-binding sites upstream of the transcription start site. In unirradiated tissues, p21WAF1/CIP1 expression was apparently independent of p53 and was observed in a variety of cell types. Moreover, there was a striking compartmentalization of p21WAF1/CIP1 expression throughout the gastrointestinal tract that correlated with proliferation rather than differentiation. As epithelial cells migrated up the crypts, the Ki67-expressing proliferating compartment near the crypt base ended abruptly, with the coincident appearance of a nonproliferating compartment expressing p21WAF1/CIP1. In colonic neoplasms, this distinct compartmentalization was largely abrogated. Cell cycle inhibitors are thus subject to precise topological control, and escape from this regulation may be a critical feature of neoplastic transformation.

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