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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Aug 23;296(3):702-9.

A pro-apoptotic effect of the CDK inhibitor p57(Kip2) on staurosporine-induced apoptosis in HeLa cells.

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Department of Medical Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge University Hospital, Novum, Huddinge SE-141 86, Sweden.


Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is involved in many biological events, including tumorigenesis. Recently, it has been reported that two members of the Cip/Kip family of CDK inhibitors, p21(Cip1) and p27(Kip1), are involved in the regulation of apoptosis. Here, we report that selective expression of the third member in this family, p57(Kip2), potentiated staurosporine-induced apoptosis in HeLa cells. This pro-apoptotic effect was associated with an increased caspase-3 activity. In contrast, glucocorticoid treatment, despite inducing p57(Kip2) expression in HeLa cells, was found to have an inhibitory effect on staurosporine-induced apoptosis. This anti-apoptotic effect of glucocorticoids could be explained by a concomitant increase in Bcl-x(L) expression. The results presented in this study show that p57(Kip2) has a stimulatory effect on apoptosis induced by staurosporine, suggesting a role for p57(Kip2) in the response of tumor cells to cytotoxic drugs.

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