The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21WAF1/Cip1 is an antiestrogen-regulated inhibitor of Cdk4 in human breast cancer cells

Andrew J. Skildum, Shibani Mukherjee, Susan E. Conrad

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31 Scopus citations


The MCF-7 cell line is a model of estrogen-dependent, antiestrogen-sensitive human breast cancer. Antiestrogen treatment of MCF-7 cells causes dramatic decreases in both Cdk4 and Cdk2 activities, which leads to a G1 phase cell cycle arrest. In this report, we investigate the mechanism(s) by which Cdk4 activity is regulated in MCF-7 cells. Through time course analysis, we demonstrate that changes in Cdk4 activity in response to estrogen or antiestrogen treatment do not correlate directly with cyclin D1 protein levels or association. In contrast, Cdk4 activity does correlate with changes in the level of the Cdk inhibitor p21WAF1/Cip1. Furthermore, we show that extracts of antiestrogen-treated cells contain a factor capable of inhibiting the Cdk4 activity present in extracts of estrogen-treated cells, and immunodepletion experiments identify this factor as p21WAF1/Cip1. These results identify p21WAF1/Cip1 as an important physiological regulator of Cdk4 complexes in human breast cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5145-5152
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 15 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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