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Virology. 2005 Feb 5;332(1):249-57.

p21WAF1 modulates NF-kappaB signaling and induces anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 in Tax-expressing rat fibroblast.

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Laboratory of Human Tumor Viruses, Department of Viral Oncology, Institute for Virus Research, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.


Of the cell cycle-associated genes regulated by human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) Tax, cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p21WAF1 is upregulated in HTLV-1-infected cells. Previously, we reported that p21WAF1 stimulated Tax-dependent NF-kappaB activation which influences a variety of cellular processes, including proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. In HTLV-1-infected cells, Tax is primarily involved in the constitutive activation of NF-kappaB signaling. Here, we demonstrate that p21WAF1 affects Tax-dependent NF-kappaB signaling by inducing p100/52, an NF-kappaB-related protein. W4, a Tax-transformed rat fibroblast cell line, exhibits the constitutive activation of NF-kappaB signaling, potentially mediated by overexpression of RelB. Ectopic expression of p21WAF1 in W4 cells, which lack endogenous expression due to methylation of the p21WAF1 promoter, induces the expression of p100/52. Bcl-2 expression was also upregulated by ectopic p21WAF1 in this cell line, suggesting that p21WAF1 plays an important role in the regulation of apoptosis by modulating NF-kappaB signaling in Tax-expressing rat fibroblasts. We also address the expression of NF-kappaB-related proteins in HTLV-1-infected cells.

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