Re: p21 gene

Date: Wed Apr 12 2000 - 00:46:41 MDT

In a message dated 4/11/00 9:42:40 PM,

>p53 is one of the most famous genes linked to cancer, since it inhibits
>transformation into the malignant state except when damaged. So p21 must be
>part of a control feedback loop. Robert?

That p21 blocks the cyclins which start DNA replication and cell
division. p53 increases production of p21 (amongst other things) so
you can think p21 as a "tool" used by p53 to halt the cell in
response to DNA damage. While the cell is halted, the DNA damage
can be fixed or the cell killed, by other mechanisms, some of which
are activated by p53.

HOWEVER, the anti-aging p21 may be a different p21. p21 just means "protein
with an apparent molecular weight of 21 kilodalton" which should apply
to about 100 proteins in people. The anti-aging p21 sounds like a trans-
crptional regulator, not a cdk inhibitor.

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