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Cell. 2000 Jul 7;102(1):55-66.

Distinct initiation and maintenance mechanisms cooperate to induce G1 cell cycle arrest in response to DNA damage.

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Division of Molecular Carcinogenesis and Center for Biomedical Genetics, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam.


DNA damage causes stabilization of p53, leading to G1 arrest through induction of p21cip1. As this process requires transcription, several hours are needed to exert this response. We show that DNA damage causes an immediate and p53-independent G1 arrest, caused by rapid proteolysis of cyclin D1. Degradation is mediated through a previously unrecognized destruction box in cyclin D1 and leads to a release of p21cip1 from CDK4 to inhibit CDK2. Interference with cyclin D1 degradation prevents initiation of G1 arrest and renders cells more susceptible to DNA damage, indicating that cyclin D1 degradation is an essential component of the cellular response to genotoxic stress. Thus, induction of G1 arrest in response to DNA damage is minimally a two step process: a fast p53-independent initiation of G1 arrest mediated by cyclin D1 proteolysis and a slower maintenance of arrest resulting from increased p53 stability.

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