Sustained nuclear localization of p21/WAF-1 upon growth arrest induced by contact inhibition Academic Article uri icon


  • We assessed the expression and distribution of p21/Waf-1 in TLM1 melanoma cells that exhibit contact inhibition and require serum for growth. The growth stage of cells stimulated to enter the mitotic cell cycle synchronously and grow to confluence was characterized by distinct, yet consistent levels and patterns of distribution of p21/Waf-1. Significantly, sustained accumulation of p21/Waf-1 in the nuclear compartment was seen only after 4 days in culture when cell-to-cell contacts were established, leading to a diminished rate of cell growth. Overexpression of wild-type waf-1 in melanoma cells reduced growth of subconfluent cells, decreased Cdk4 activity with a concomitant increase in hypophosphorylated Rb, and promoted cell death by apoptosis. The data support the premise that cell-to-cell contacts provide signals that mediate sustained nuclear localization of p21/Waf-1 leading to cell growth arrest; furthermore, an elevation in the activity of this protein can lead to apoptosis.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Ritt, M. G., Mayor, J., Wojcieszyn, J., Smith, R., Barton, C. L., & Modiano, J. F.

citation count

  • 37

complete list of authors

  • Ritt, MG||Mayor, J||Wojcieszyn, J||Smith, R||Barton, CL||Modiano, JF

publication date

  • September 2000