Redox activation of p21Cip1/WAF1/Sdi1: a multifunctional regulator of cell survival and death

Antioxid Redox Signal. Jan-Feb 2005;7(1-2):108-18. doi: 10.1089/ars.2005.7.108.


Cell division requires the coordinated assembly of cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases that promote cell-cycle progression through S phase and mitosis. Two families of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors prevent abnormal or premature proliferation by blocking cyclin kinase activity. Expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21, a member of the Cip/Kip family, increases when cells are damaged. In addition to controlling cell-cycle progression, p21 participates in DNA repair and apoptotic processes. The recent appreciation that p21 regulates cell survival and death implies that it is a master regulator of cell fate. This review discusses how p21 can affect the cellular response to oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Death
  • Cell Survival
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • DNA Repair
  • Enzyme Activation
  • G1 Phase
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Oxidants / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • CDKN1A protein, human
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Oxidants
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53