The WEE1 protein kinase carries out the inhibitory phosphorylation of CDC2 on tyrosine 15 (Tyr15), which is required for activation of the G(2)-phase checkpoint in response to DNA damage. PD0166285 is a newly identified WEE1 inhibitor and is a potential selective G(2)-phase checkpoint abrogator. To determine the role of TP53 in PD0166285-induced G(2)-phase checkpoint abrogation, human H1299 lung carcinoma cells expressing a temperature-sensitive TP53 were used. Upon exposure to gamma radiation, cells cultured under nonpermissive conditions (TP53 mutant conformation) underwent G(2)-phase arrest. However, under permissive conditions (TP53 wild-type conformation), PD0166285 greatly inhibited the accumulation of cells in G(2) phase. This abrogation was accompanied by a nearly complete blockage of Tyr15 phosphorylation of CDC2, an increased activity of CDC2 kinase, and an enhanced sensitivity to radiation. However, under permissive conditions (TP53 wild-type conformation), PD0166285 neither disrupted the G(2)-phase arrest nor increased cell death. The compound inhibited Tyr15 phosphorylation only partially and did not activate CDC2 kinase activity. To understand the potential mechanism(s) by which TP53 inhibits PD0166285-induced G(2)-phase checkpoint abrogation, two TP53 target proteins, 14-3-3rho and CDKN1A (also known as p21), that are known to be involved in G(2)-phase checkpoint control in other cell models were examined. It was found that 14-3-3rho was not expressed in H1299 cells, and that although CDKN1A did associate with CDC2 to form a complex, the level of CDKN1A associated with CDC2 was not increased in response to radiation or to PD0166285. The level of cyclin B1, required for CDC2 activity, was decreased in the presence of functional TP53. Thus inhibition of PD0166285-induced G(2)-phase checkpoint abrogation by TP53 was achieved at least in part through partial blockage of CDC2 dephosphorylation of Tyr15 and inhibition of cyclin B1 expression.