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Cell Growth Differ. 1999 Apr;10(4):223-30.

Overexpression of c-Myc inhibits p21WAF1/CIP1 expression and induces S-phase entry in 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-sensitive human cancer cells.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Medicine, Cancer Center, and Institute for Human Gene Therapy, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


The c-Myc oncoprotein is a transcription factor involved in cellular transformation. We previously found (M. V. Blagosklonny, et al., Cancer Res., 57: 320-325, 1997) that exposure of human SkBr3 breast cancer and LNCaP prostate cancer cells to 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) led to a growth arrest associated with the up-regulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21(WAF1/cIP1) and the inhibition of c-Myc expression. We show here that exogenous c-Myc inhibits p21 expression in SkBr3 and LNCaP cells induced to enter into S-phase. p27 expression was not increased from basal levels in TPA-treated growth-arrested cells. A time course after infection of TPA-arrested cells using a c-Myc-expressing adenovirus revealed that the inhibition of p21 expression preceded entry into S-phase. In contrast, after infection by E2F-1-expressing adenovirus, p21 expression was reduced after the cells entered S-phase. Overexpression of c-Myc reduced the levels of endogenous p21 mRNA, and transfection of c-Myc repressed p21-promoter luciferase-reporter gene expression. The results suggest that the down-regulation of p21 expression may contribute to c-Myc-dependent entry into S-phase, possibly in situations in which growth arrest is associated with increased p21 expression.

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