The Effect of p21 in Cellular Function

​​Below is a list of high impact products for studies on the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p21 (also known as WAF1, CAP20, Cip1, and Sdi1). The tables show the most-cited research targets and widely-referenced products. Browse to understand better the effect of p21 in cellular function.

The p21 Toolkit

Type Reagent name Description AbID
Anti-p21 antibody
Type: Rabbit monoclonal antibody
Reactivity: Hu
Applications: ICC/IF, Flow Cyt, WB, IP, IHC-P
Anti-p21 antibody Biotin conjugated ab79467
Goat Anti-Rabbit IgG H&L Alexa Fluor® 488 conjugated ab150077
HRP conjugated ab205718
IRDye® 800CW (preadsorbed) ab216773
Kit p21 SimpleStep ELISA® kit Quantitatively measure p21 in human cell and tissue extracts. Get fast, reproducible results in 90 minutes.
Reactivity: Hu
Range: 62.5 pg/ml - 4000 pg/ml
Method: Colorimetric
Protein Recombinant p21 protein Human p21 protein for use in WB and as control1. ab56278
Small molecule compound UC2288 (inhibitor)
Selective p21 inhibitor structurally related to Sorafenib (ab141966). Inhibits cytosolic p21 (IC50 = 10 µM) and functions independently of p532,3. ab146969
Tenovin-1 (activator) p21 activator and inducer of cell cycle arrest4. ab120889

​Activation of p53-p21 Pathway​

DNA damaging agents activate the p53-p21 pathway causing cell cycle arrest and DNA repair5. This mechanism is exploited by chemotherapeutic agents that induce p21 as a means of inhibiting cancer progression. Investigating p21 regulation in a p53-dependent or -independent manner can form a main basis of tumor suppression6,7.

Reagent Type Purpose AbID
Oxaliplatin Inducer, inhibitor Exhibits dual role in p53-dependent and -independent pathways. Causes G0-G1 arrest in p53 wild type cells and p21 degradation in p53 mutants8. ab141054
Nocodazole Inducer p21 inducer that increases expression of p21 in a p53-dependent fashion in absence of DNA damage9,10. ab120630
Cycloheximide (CHX) Modulator Induction of p21 during serum stimulation (indicating serum contains a p21 blocking element)7. CHX traditionally acts as a p21 inhibitor promoting apoptosis in serum-starved cells11. ab120093
PMA Inducer p53-independent p21 induction via Sp1 binding sites within p21 promoter12. ab120297
Okadaic acid ab120375


  1. Sun, Z. et al. Increased SHP-1 expression results in radioresistance, inhibition of cellular senescence, and cell cycle redistribution in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells. Radiat. Oncol. 10, 152 (2015).
  2. Wettersten, H. I. et al. A novel p21 attenuator which is structurally related to sorafenib. Cancer Biol. Ther. 14, 278–285 (2013).
  3. Liu, R., Wettersten, H. I., Park, S.-H. & Weiss, R. H. Small-molecule inhibitors of p21 as novel therapeutics for chemotherapy-resistant kidney cancer. Future Med. Chem. 5, 991–4 (2013).
  4. Wilking, M. J., Singh, C., Nihal, M., Zhong, W. & Ahmad, N. SIRT1 deacetylase is overexpressed in human melanoma and its small molecule inhibition imparts anti-proliferative response via p53 activation. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 563, 94–100 (2014).
  5. He, G. et al. Induction of p21 by p53 following DNA damage inhibits both Cdk4 and Cdk2 activities. Oncogene 24, 2929–2943 (2005).
  6. Galanos, P. et al. Chronic p53-independent p21 expression causes genomic instability by deregulating replication licensing. Nat. Cell Biol. 18, 777 (2016).
  7. Macleod, K. F. et al. p53-dependent and independent expression of p21 during cell growth, differentiation, and DNA damage. Genes Dev. 9, 935–44 (1995).​
  8. Hata, T. et al. Role of p21waf1/cip1 in effects of oxaliplatin in colorectal cancer cells. Mol. Cancer Ther. 4, 1585–1594 (2005).
  9. Lanni, J. S. & Jacks, T. Characterization of the p53-Dependent Postmitotic Checkpoint following Spindle Disruption. Mol. Cell. Biol. 18, 1055–1064 (1998).​
  10. Linke, S. P., Clarkin, K. C., Di Leonardo, A., Tsou, A. & Wahl, G. M. A reversible, p53-dependent G0/G1 cell cycle arrest induced by ribonucleotide depletion in the absence of detectable DNA damage. Genes Dev. 10, 934–947 (1996).
  11. Arbel-Goren, R., Levy, Y., Ronen, D. & Zick, Y. Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors and JNK act as molecular switches, regulating the choice between growth arrest and apoptosis induced by galectin-8. J. Biol. Chem. 280, 19105–19114 (2005).​
  12. Kennett, S. Sp3 encodes multiple proteins that differ in their capacity to stimulate or repress transcription. Nucleic Acids Res. 25, 3110–3117 (1997).

About Abcam

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Last updated: Jan 30, 2020 at 5:39 AM


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