Send to

Choose Destination
Hepatol Res. 2001 May 1;20(1):52-67.

Correlation between p21(waf1) and p16(INK4a) expression in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Author information

Third Department of Internal Medicine, Tohoku University School of Medicine, 1-1 Seiryo, Aobaku, 980-8574, Sendai, Japan



The cyclin dependent kinase p21(waf1) plays a crucial role in the regulation of cell cycle. The family of p53 proteins has the ability to induce p21(waf1), whereas p16(INK4a) modulates post-transcriptionally the expression of p21(waf1).


Total 36 hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) and 24 paired adjacent liver tissues were evaluated for the following: (1) expression of p21(waf1) and p16(INK4a); (2) that of p21(waf1), p73 and p63 mRNAs; (3) genomic mutations and the loss of heterozygosity of p73 and p53; and (4) frequency of methylation in the 5'CpG promoter region of p16(INK4a).


In HCCs compared with the adjacent non-cancerous liver tissues, the expression of p21(waf1) and p16(INK4a) was reduced. Indeed, p21(waf1) was not detected in 36% (8/22) of HCCs in spite of the presence of p21(waf1) mRNA: among them, mutations of p53 gene were found in 50%, whereas a lack of p16(INK4a) expression in all of them. p21(waf1) and p16(INK4a) were reduced in proportion to the degree of methylation in p16(INK4a) gene. p73 did not mutated, and p63 did not expressed in HCCs.


Methylation status of p16(INK4a) gene will play a part for reducing constitutive expression of p16(INK4a) and of p21(waf1) coordinately in HCCs.


Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center