The role of Cdk5 in retinoic acid-induced apoptosis of cervical cancer cell line

Hung Shou Kuo, Fu Ning Hsu, Ming Ching Chiang, Shuen Chi You, Mei Chih Chen, Ming Jae Lo, Ho Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Cdk5 is a small serine/threonine protein kinase which belongs to Cdk family. Unlike other Cdk members, so far Cdk5 is known to be irrelevant in cell cycle. Cdk5 kinase activity is regulated by binding with its activator, p35. Our previous results indicate that Cdk5 and p35 are involved in drugs-induced apoptosis of prostate cancer cells. Retinoic acid (RA) is one of the vitamin A-related compounds. Because of its potency on biological functions, it has been widely studied in its novel actions including the ability to inhibit cancer cell growth and to induce apoptosis. Here, we report that RA treatment decreased the growth of human cervical cancer cell line, HeLa, and Cdk5 contributed to this effect. The involvement of Cdk5 in RA-reduced cell survival was performed by treatments of Cdk5 inhibitor and siRNA. We further identified that RA-induced growth inhibition was partly correlated to Cdk5 activity-related apoptosis by detecting cell cycle distribution of sub G1 phase and the signals of Annexin V staining. In addition, our results also indicated that Cdk5 activity was involved in RA-induced HeLa apoptosis by detecting cleavages of caspase-3 and its substrate, PARP (poly (ADP-ribose) polymerases) Interestingly, the nuclear localizations of Cdk5 and p35 proteins were increased by RA treatment, which, again, suggests the involvement of Cdk5 and p35 in RA-induced apoptotic effects. In conclusion, we provide evidence to suggest that Cdk5 and p35 might play important roles in RA-induced HeLa apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalChinese Journal of Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Apoptosis
  • Cdk5
  • HeLa cells
  • Retinoic acid
  • p35

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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