In normal cells, induction of quiescence is accompanied by the increased expression of growth arrest-specific genes (gas). One of them, gas1, is regulated at the transcriptional level and codes for a membrane-associated protein (Gas1) which is down regulated during the G0-to-S phase transition in serum-stimulated cells. Gas1 is not expressed in growing or transformed cells, and when overexpressed in normal fibroblasts, it blocks the G0-to-S phase transition. Moreover, Gas1 blocks cell proliferation in several transformed cells with the exception of simian virus 40- or adenovirus-transformed cell lines. In this paper, we demonstrate that overexpression of Gas1 blocks cell proliferation in a p53-dependent manner and that the N-terminal domain-dependent transactivating function of p53 is dispensable for Gas1-induced growth arrest. These data therefore indicate that the other intrinsic transactivation-independent functions of p53, possibly related to regulation of apoptosis, should be involved in mediating Gas1-induced growth arrest
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