Role of Gadd45 in apoptosis

Biochem Pharmacol. 2000 Jan 1;59(1):43-5. doi: 10.1016/s0006-2952(99)00291-9.


gadd45 is a p53-regulated growth arrest and DNA-damage-inducible gene that is also regulated in a p53-independent manner. Whether Gadd45 plays a direct role in apoptosis remains unclear. Microinjection of the exogenous gadd45 expression vector into human fibroblasts has been shown to cause G2 arrest but not apoptosis. Recent studies suggest that Gadd45 may mediate genotoxic stress or Brca1-induced apoptosis via activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and/or p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Analyses of gadd45-deficient mice and cells have revealed that Gadd45 appears to exhibit pleiotropic effects, including cell cycle arrest at G2/M, DNA damage repair, and control of genomic stability, but is not required for radiation-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, stress-induced activation of JNK and p38 MAPK is not altered in gadd45-deficient embryonic fibroblasts, suggesting that the lack of Gadd45 may not affect the JNK and p38 MAPK activity. Thus, although the evidence from gadd45-null cells suggests that Gadd45 probably does not play a direct role in genotoxic stress-induced apoptosis, more in-depth studies are needed to firmly establish this contention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Repair
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Proteins / physiology*


  • GADD45 protein
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Proteins