Role of p21 in Cell Cycle Arrest

  • p21 is a crucial effector of p53. It is upregulated in response to cellular stress, in most cases through p53 dependent manner. p53-independent mechanisms have also been shown to upregulate p21. Elevated expression of p21 blocks PCNA and CDKs activity. As a consequence, cellular proliferation is halted, and the cells are arrested in the cell cycle.  
  • A partial deficiency in G1 cell cycle arrest has been reported in p21-negative mouse fibroblasts after radiation or nucleotide depletion.  
  • P21 null HCT116 cells show a complete loss of G1 cell cycle arrest.

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