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J Cell Sci. 2017 Oct 1;130(19):3272-3281. doi: 10.1242/jcs.204974. Epub 2017 Aug 9.

The serine protease inhibitor serpinB2 binds and stabilizes p21 in senescent cells.

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Institute of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan 112.
Institute of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan 112
Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan 100.


SerpinB2 is a serine protease inhibitor also known as plasminogen activator inhibitor type 2 (PAI-2). It has been well documented that serpinB2 is an inhibitor of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). Interestingly, serpinB2 levels are increased in senescent cells and serpinB2 is thus considered a senescence biomarker. In this study, by mimicking the elevated levels of serpinB2 in senescent cells, proliferating human fibroblasts were induced into senescence. Senescence induced by serpinB2 did not relate to its extracellular function, as inhibition of serpinB2 secretion, exogenous introduced serpinB2, or a serpinB2 mutant that failed to bind to its extracellular target uPA did not affect senescence. We also showed that serpinB2 is a direct downstream target of p53 that is activated by the DNA damage response pathway. Significantly, serpinB2 bound to and stabilized p21 to mediate senescence in a proteasome-independent manner, indicating that serpinB2 has a direct role in senescence. Thus, this study reveals a unique mechanism by which serpinB2 maintains senescence through stabilization of p21 protein levels.


Proteasome; Senescence; p21; serpinB2

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