UVB radiation induces p21Cip1/WAF1 and mediates G1 and S phase checkpoints

T. Petrocelli, R. Poon, D. J. Drucker, J. M. Slingerland, C. F. Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


In a search for effectors and targets of UVB signaling in mammalian cells, we screened a keratinocyte cDNA library with differentially subtracted UVB-enriched cDNA probes. One of the UVB induced cDNA clones proved to be the rat P21Cip1/WAF1 homologue. UVB irradiation caused a rise in p53 protein levels, in association with induction of p21Cip1/WAF1 and cyclin G expression. The effects of UVB irradiation induced p21Cip1/WAF1 on the cell cycle were examined. In contrast to gamma irradiation, which caused G2 arrest, UVB treatment of asynchronous neonatal rat keratinocytes (NK) led to a marked inhibition of replicative DNA synthesis and prolonged G1 and S phase arrests, persisting to 18-24 h, with recovery of cycling by 36 h post-UVB. G1 arrest was accompanied by inhibition of cyclin D-, E- and A-associated kinases. Kinase inhibition was not due to reduction in cyclin or cdk proteins. While the association of cyclin E with Cdk2 was moderately reduced, cyclin D1/Cdk4 and cyclin A/Cdk2 complexes were not disrupted. The activating threonine 160 phosphorylation of Cdk2 in cyclin complexes was not inhibited. An incremental binding of p21 with Cdk4 paralleled the inhibition of cyclin D1/Cdk4 kinase and a similar rise in Cdk2 binding to p21 was associated with inhibition of cyclin E and cyclin A dependent kinases. Furthermore, a rise in measurable p21p21Cip1/WAF1-Cdk2 inhibitory activity paralleled the loss of G1 cyclin-dependent kinase activity, supporting a role for p21p21Cip1/WAF1 in the UVB-induced checkpoints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1387-1396
Number of pages10
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell cycle
  • Checkpoint
  • Cyclin G
  • p21
  • UVB irradiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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