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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Nov 12;324(2):860-7.

Histone deacetylase inhibitor, Trichostatin A, activates p21WAF1/CIP1 expression through downregulation of c-myc and release of the repression of c-myc from the promoter in human cervical cancer cells.

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  • 1Institute of Medical Virology, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan, Hubei 430071, PR China.


Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have shown promise in clinical cancer therapy and to consistently induce p21WAF1/CIP1 expression in a p53-independent manner and via increased acetylation of the chromatin at the Sp1 sites in the p21WAF1/CIP1 promoter region. However, the exact mechanism by which HDAC inhibitors induce p21WAF1/CIP1 remains unclear. In this study, we observed that Trichostatin A (TSA), a HDAC inhibitor, induced strikingly p21WAF1/CIP1 expression in human cervical cancer (HeLa) cells, and this induction correlated with downregulation of c-myc expression. Coincident with this observation, knock down of c-myc with a c-myc specific small interfering RNA dramatically induced expression of p21WAF1/CIP1 in these cancer cells. These data suggest that c-myc may play a critical role in repression of p21WAF1/CIP1 expression in HeLa cells. More importantly, using chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we observed for the first time that c-myc bound to the endogenous p21WAF1/CIP1 promoter in untreated HeLa cells, but not in TSA-treated cells. Taken together, TSA induced c-myc downregulation and release from the endogenous p21WAF1/CIP1 promoter contributes, at least partially, to transcriptional activation of the p21WAF1/CIP1 in HeLa cells.

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