Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Growth Differ. 1996 Dec;7(12):1599-607.

Cell cycle-independent regulation of p21Waf1/Cip1 and retinoblastoma protein during okadaic acid-induced apoptosis is coupled with induction of Bax protein in human breast carcinoma cells.

Author information

Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Okadaic acid (OA) is a serine/threonine protein phosphatase inhibitor and has been shown to induce apoptosis in a number of different tumor cell lines, including human breast carcinoma (HBC) cells. The molecular basis of OA-induced apoptosis remains to be investigated. Here, we demonstrate that the OA concentration that inhibits only protein phosphatase 1 and 2A was sufficient to induce apoptosis in HBC cells. In MCF-7 cells, the OA-induced apoptosis was coupled with the overexpression of endogenous p53, p21Waf1/Cip1, and Bax proteins, whereas the Rb protein levels were decreased. OA also induced apoptosis and concomitantly enhanced the p21Waf1/Cip1 and Bex levels in human papilloma virus protein E6-transfected variants of MCF-7 cells, in which p53 function had been disrupted. OA, by contrast, had no effect on the levels or the subcellular localization of Gadd45 and Bcl2 proteins in either wild-type of E6-transfected MCF-7 cells. Bcl-xL, Bcl-xS, and Bak levels were also unchanged after OA treatment in both cell types. OA-induced apoptosis and its effect on the expression of the above molecular markers occurred in the absence of any detectable changes in the cell cycle phase distribution. On the basis of our findings, we conclude the following: (a) OA-induced apoptosis in HBC cells occurs independently of cell cycle arrest; (b) the wild-type p53 function is not an absolute prerequisite for OA-induced cell death; and (c) OA-induced apoptosis is associated with up-regulation of endogenous p21Waf1/Cip1 and Bax protein levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center