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Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression

Impact factor: 1.660

ISSN Print: 1045-4403
ISSN Online: 2162-6502

Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevEukaryotGeneExpr.v26.i1.60
pages 49-62

Dual Role of p21 in the Progression of Cancer and Its Treatment

Amna Parveen
Pharmaceutical Resources Botany Laboratory, Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Chung-ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea; Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan
Muhammad Sajid Hamid Akash
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan
Kanwal Rehman
Institute of Pharmacy, Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Whang Wan Kyunn
Pharmaceutical Resources Botany Laboratory, Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Chung-ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

ABSTRACT

Cancer develops due to an imbalance between cell proliferation and cell death. Various mechanisms of carcinogenesis as well as of novel anticancer agents that could be targeted for the treatment of cancer have been proposed by different studies. Among these, p21 is recognized as a potent cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that facilitates cell-cycle arrest by interacting with different stimuli such as p53, DNA repair process, CDK, E2F1, MYC, PCNA, STAT3 AP4, proteasomes, K1F, CDX2, and ER-α. p21 acts both as a tumor-suppressor gene and an inhibitor of apoptosis by interacting with various molecules and transition factors. In this review, we discuss the complex role of p21 in the development of cancer and as a target in its treatment. We conclude that, in the future, the tumor-suppressor activity of p21 should be the focus of a novel treatment strategies, which may lead to the devolvement of new and selective anti-cancer agents for the targeted therapy of cancers.