DeSimone, J. N., Bengtsson, U., Wang, X. Q., Lao, X. Y., Redpath, J. L, and Stanbridge, E. J. Complexity of the Mechanisms of Initiation and Maintenance of DNA Damage-Induced G2-Phase Arrest and Subsequent G1-Phase Arrest: TP53-Dependent and TP53-Independent Roles. Radiat. Res. 159, 72–85 (2003).
Through a detailed study of cell cycle progression, protein expression, and kinase activity in γ-irradiated synchronized cultures of human skin fibroblasts, distinct mechanisms of initiation and maintenance of G2-phase and subsequent G1-phase arrests have been elucidated. Normal and E6-expressing fibroblasts were used to examine the role of TP53 in these processes. While G2 arrest is correlated with decreased cyclin B1/CDC2 kinase activity, the mechanisms associated with initiation and maintenance of the arrest are quite different. Initiation of the transient arrest is TP53-independent and is due to inhibitory phosphorylation of CDC2 at Tyr15. Maintenance of the G2 arrest is dependent on TP53 and is due to decreased levels of cyclin B1 mRNA and a corresponding decline in cyclin B1 protein level. After transiently arresting in G2 phase, normal cells chronically arrest in the subsequent G1 phase while E6-expressing cells continue to cycle. The initiation of this TP53-dependent G1-phase arrest occurs despite the presence of substantial levels of cyclin D1/CDK4 and cyclin E/CDK2 kinase activities, hyperphosphoryated RB, and active E2F1. CDKN1A (also known as p21WAF1/CIP1) levels remain elevated during this period. Furthermore, CDKN1A-dependent inhibition of PCNA activity does not appear to be the mechanism for this early G1 arrest. Thus the inhibition of entry of irradiated cells into S phase does not appear to be related to DNA-bound PCNA complexed to CDKN1A. The mechanism of chronic G1 arrest involves the down-regulation of specific proteins with a resultant loss of cyclin E/CDK2 kinase activity.