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Abstract T-box factors play a crucial role in the development of many tissues, and mutations in T-box factor genes have been implicated in multiple human disorders. Some T-box factors have been implicated in cancer; for example, Tbx2 and Tbx3 can suppress replicative senescence, whereas Tbx3 can cooperate with Myc and Ras in cellular transformation. The p21WAF1 cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor plays a key role in senescence and in cell cycle arrest after DNA damage. Here, using a combination of in vitro DNA-binding, transfection, and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, we show that Tbx2 can bind and repress the p21 promoter in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, small interfering RNA-mediated down-regulation of Tbx2 expression results in a robust activation of p21 expression. Taken together, these results implicate Tbx2 as a novel direct regulator of p21 expression and have implications for our understanding of the role of T-box factors in the regulation of senescence and oncogenesis, as well as in development.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Research


American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

Publication Date





1669 - 1674