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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Jan 9;93(1):265-8.

Induction of the WAF1/CIP1 protein and apoptosis in human T-cell leukemia virus type I-transformed lymphocytes after treatment with adriamycin by using a p53-independent pathway.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New Hyde Park, NY 11040, USA.


The WAF1/CIP1 protein has been identified as a downstream mediator of the tumor suppressor p53 in regulating cell cycle progression through a G1-phase check-point. Recent work has implicated the functional status of p53 as a critical determinant in the apoptotic response of certain cell lines to DNA damaging agents. By using human T-cell leukemia virus type I-transformed lymphoid cell lines that differ in their level and function of wild-type p53, we investigated the induction of WAF1/CIP1 and apoptosis after exposure to Adriamycin, a genotoxic agent. We found that regardless of the p53 status in these cell lines, WAF1/CIP1 RNA was rapidly induced in response to Adriamycin treatment. An elevated level of WAF1/CIP1 protein was observed as well. Additionally, we demonstrated that apoptosis was induced in all cell lines analyzed despite some having functionally inactive p53 protein. Our data suggest that a p53-independent pathway may play a role in the apoptotic response observed in some cell lines after exposure to DNA damaging agents.

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