A 39 amino acid fragment of the cell cycle regulator p21 is sufficient to bind PCNA and partially inhibit DNA replication in vivo

Academic Article


  • The cell cycle regulator p21 interacts with and inhibits the DNA replication and repair factor proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). We have defined a 39 amino acid fragment of p21 which is sufficient to bind PCNA with high affinity (K(d) 10-20 nM). This peptide can inhibit DNA replication in vitro and microinjection of a GST fusion protein containing this domain inhibited S phase in vivo. Despite its high affinity for PCNA, the free 39 amino acid peptide does not have a well-defined structure, as judged from circular dichroism and nuclear magnetic resonance measurements, suggesting an induced fit mechanism for the PCNA-p21 interaction. The association of the small peptide with PCNA was thermolabile, suggesting that portions of p21 adjoining the minimal region of contact stabilize the interaction. In addition, a domain containing 67 amino acids from the N-terminus of PCNA was defined as both necessary and sufficient for binding to p21.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Chen J; Peters R; Saha P; Lee P; Theodoras A; Pagano M; Wagner G; Dutta A
  • Start Page

  • 1727
  • End Page

  • 1733
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 9