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This gene encodes a potent cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor. The encoded protein binds to and inhibits the activity of cyclin-CDK2 or -CDK4 complexes, and thus functions as a regulator of cell cycle progression at G1. The expression of this gene is tightly controlled by the tumor suppressor protein p53, through which this protein mediates the p53-dependent cell cycle G1 phase arrest in response to a variety of stress stimuli. This protein can interact with proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a DNA polymerase accessory factor, and plays a regulatory role in S phase DNA replication and DNA damage repair. This protein was reported to be specifically cleaved by CASP3-like caspases, which thus leads to a dramatic activation of CDK2, and may be instrumental in the execution of apoptosis following caspase activation. Multiple alternatively spliced variants have been found for this gene.
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Protein Aliases: CAP20; CDK-interacting protein 1; CDK-interaction protein 1; CDKN1; CDNK1A; Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1; cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (p21, Cip1); DNA synthesis inhibitor; MDA-6; melanoma differentiation associated protein 6; Melanoma differentiation-associated protein 6; p21; p21CIP1; SDI1; WAF1; wild-type p53-activated fragment 1