The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 (WAF1) is required for survival of differentiating neuroblastoma cells

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology; Department of Physiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


We are employing recent advances in the understanding of the cell cycle to study the inverse relationship between proliferation and neuronal differentiation. Nerve growth factor and aphidicolin, an inhibitor of DNA polymerases, synergistically induce neuronal differentiation of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells and the expression of p21WAF1, an inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases. The differentiated cells continue to express p21WAF1, even after removal of aphidicolin from the culture medium. The p21WAF1 protein coimmunoprecipitates with cyclin E and inhibits cyclin E-associated protein kinase activity. Each of three antisense oligonucleotides complementary to p21WAF1 mRNA partially blocks expression of p21WAF1 and promotes programmed cell death. These data indicate that p21WAF1 expression is required for survival of these differentiating neuroblastoma cells. Thus, the problem of neuronal differentiation can now be understood in the context of negative regulators of the cell cycle.

DOI of Published Version



Mol Cell Biol. 1996 Apr;16(4):1335-41.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Molecular and cellular biology

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID