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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jun 1;276(22):18871-7. Epub 2001 Mar 15.

Dual growth arrest pathways in astrocytes and astrocytic tumors in response to Raf-1 activation.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, Cancer Research Institute San Francisco, California 94115, USA.


Normal human fibroblasts have been shown to undergo a p16(Ink4a)-associated senescence-like growth arrest in response to sustained activation of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway. We noted a similar p16(Ink4a)-associated, senescence-like arrest in normal human astrocytes in response to expression of a conditional form of Raf-1. While HPV16 E7-mediated functional inactivation of the p16(Ink4a)/pRb pathway in astrocytes blocked the p16(Ink4a)-associated growth arrest in response to activation of Raf-1, it also revealed a second p21(Cip1)-associated, senescence-associated, beta-galactosidase-independent growth arrest pathway. Importantly, the p21(Cip1)-associated pathway was present not only in normal astrocytes but also in p53-, p14(ARF)-, and p16(Ink4a)/pRb-deficient high grade glioma cells that lacked the p16(Ink4a)-dependent arrest mechanism. These results suggest that normal human cells have redundant arrest pathways, which can be activated by Raf-1, and that even tumors that have dismantled p16(Ink4a)-dependent growth arrest pathways are potentially regulated by a second p21(Cip1)-dependent growth arrest pathway.

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