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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 May 20;330(4):1034-40.

TNF-alpha promotes Doxorubicin-induced cell apoptosis and anti-cancer effect through downregulation of p21 in p53-deficient tumor cells.

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Laboratory of Medical Molecular Virology, Fudan University, 138 Yixueyuan Road, Shanghai 200032, China.


p53 is a key regulator in cell apoptosis, and cancer cells deficient in p53 expression fail to respond to chemotherapy. Here we show that effective Doxorubicin (DOX)-induced apoptosis is p53-dependent. However, an alternative treatment of DOX/TNF-alpha/DOX restored sensitivity of p53-deficient cells to DOX-induced apoptosis. Treatment of cells with TNF-alpha resulted in a decrease of p21 (waf1/cip1/sdi1) expression following second dose of DOX. In previous work, we demonstrated that p21 suppressed DOX-induced apoptosis via its (cyclin-dependent kinase) CDK-binding and CDK-inhibitory activity. Thus, we propose that TNF-alpha enhances the anti-cancer effect of DOX through suppressing the anti-apoptotic activity of p21, and that a combined treatment TNF-alpha/Dox is an effective chemotherapeutic strategy for p53-deficient cancers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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