Absence of WAF1 mutations in a variety of human malignancies

Masaaki Shiohara, Wafik S. El-Deiry, Makio Wada, Tsuyoshi Nakamaki, Seisho Takeuchi, Rong Yang, Dan Lin Chen, Bert Vogelstein, H. Phillip Koeffler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A newly cloned gene named wild-type p53-activated fragment 1 (WAF1; also known as p21, Pic-1, Cip-1, or SDI1) is directly regulated by p53 and can itself suppress tumor cell growth in culture. Induction of expression of WAF1 may be an important means by which cells with DNA injury arrest their growth to repair DNA or undergo apoptosis. Based on the hypothesis that mutations of this gene may play a role in carcinogenesis, we have studied 351 DNAs from 14 kinds of malignancies, as well as 36 human transformed cell lines, for alterations of WAF1 gene by single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis of polymerase chain reaction amplification of the DNA coding region of the WAF1 gene. No abnormal band shifts of WAF1 were noted in any of the samples or cell lines, but three major variants in exons 2 and 3 of the gene were found that are consistent with the existence of two different DNA polymorphisms. Sequence analysis of the amplified products producing these three variants in each exon from normal DNAs confirmed the presence of the polymorphisms in the WAF1 gene. Of 290 selected tumor samples previously evaluated for p53 mutations by single-strand conformation polymorphism, 90% had no detectable p53 alterations. In summary, mutations within the coding portion of the WAF1 gene were undetectable in a large series of human tumors, many of which had a normal p53 gene. This suggests that WAF1 alterations are generally caused indirectly, through p53 mutations rather than through intragenic mutation of the WAF1 itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3781-3784
Number of pages4
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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