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1.  Blockade of Protein Geranylgeranylation Inhibits Cdk2-Dependent p27Kip1 Phosphorylation on Thr187 and Accumulates p27Kip1 in the Nucleus: Implications for Breast Cancer Therapy▿ §  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2009;29(8):2254-2263.
We describe the design of a potent and selective peptidomimetic inhibitor of geranylgeranyltransferase I (GGTI), GGTI-2418, and its methyl ester GGTI-2417, which increases the levels of the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p27Kip1 and induces breast tumor regression in vivo. Experiments with p27Kip1 small interfering RNA in breast cancer cells and p27Kip1 null murine embryonic fibroblasts demonstrate that the ability of GGTI-2417 to induce cell death requires p27Kip1. GGTI-2417 inhibits the Cdk2-mediated phosphorylation of p27Kip1 at Thr187 and accumulates p27Kip1 in the nucleus. In nude mouse xenografts, GGTI-2418 suppresses the growth of human breast tumors. Furthermore, in ErbB2 transgenic mice, GGTI-2418 increases p27Kip1 and induces significant regression of breast tumors. We conclude that GGTIs' antitumor activity is, at least in part, due to inhibiting Cdk2-dependent p27Kip1 phosphorylation at Thr187 and accumulating nuclear p27Kip1. Thus, GGTI treatment might improve the poor prognosis of breast cancer patients with low nuclear p27Kip1 levels.
PMCID: PMC2663293  PMID: 19204084
2.  High-Throughput Screening Reveals Alsterpaullone, 2-Cyanoethyl as a Potent p27Kip1 Transcriptional Inhibitor 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91173.
p27Kip1 is a cell cycle inhibitor that prevents cyclin dependent kinase (CDK)/cyclin complexes from phosphorylating their targets. p27Kip1 is a known tumor suppressor, as the germline loss of p27Kip1 results in sporadic pituitary formation in aged rodents, and its presence in human cancers is indicative of a poor prognosis. In addition to its role in cancer, loss of p27Kip1 results in regenerative phenotypes in some tissues and maintenance of stem cell pluripotency, suggesting that p27Kip1 inhibitors could be beneficial for tissue regeneration. Because p27Kip1 is an intrinsically disordered protein, identifying direct inhibitors of the p27Kip1 protein is difficult. Therefore, we pursued a high-throughput screening strategy to identify novel p27Kip1 transcriptional inhibitors. We utilized a luciferase reporter plasmid driven by the p27Kip1 promoter to transiently transfect HeLa cells and used cyclohexamide as a positive control for non-specific inhibition. We screened a “bioactive” library consisting of 8,904 (4,359 unique) compounds, of which 830 are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved. From this screen, we successfully identified 111 primary hits with inhibitory effect against the promoter of p27Kip1. These hits were further refined using a battery of secondary screens. Here we report four novel p27Kip1 transcriptional inhibitors, and further demonstrate that our most potent hit compound (IC50 = 200 nM) Alsterpaullone 2-cyanoethyl, inhibits p27Kip1 transcription by preventing FoxO3a from binding to the p27Kip1 promoter. This screen represents one of the first attempts to identify inhibitors of p27Kip1 and may prove useful for future tissue regeneration studies.
PMCID: PMC3960108  PMID: 24646893
3.  A novel role for the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 in angiotensin II–stimulated vascular smooth muscle cell hypertrophy 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1999;104(6):815-823.
Angiotensin II (Ang II) has been shown to stimulate either hypertrophy or hyperplasia. We postulated that the differential response of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) to Ang II is mediated by the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p27Kip1, which is abundant in quiescent cells and drops after serum stimulation. Ang II treatment (100 nM) of quiescent VSMCs led to upregulation of the cell-cycle regulatory proteins cyclin D1, Cdk2, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and Cdk1. p27Kip1 levels, however, remained high, and the activation of the G1-phase Cdk2 was inhibited as the cells underwent hypertrophy. Overexpression of p27Kip1 cDNA inhibited serum-stimulated [3H]thymidine incorporation compared with control-transfected cells. This cell-cycle inhibition was associated with cellular hypertrophy, as reflected by an increase in the [3H]leucine/[3H]thymidine incorporation ratio and by an increase in forward-angle light scatter during flow cytometry at 48 hours after transfection. The role of p27Kip1 in modulating the hypertrophic response of VSMCs to Ang II was further tested by antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) inhibition of p27Kip1 expression. Ang II stimulated an increase in [3H]thymidine incorporation and the percentage of S-phase cells in antisense ODN–transfected cells but not in control ODN–transfected cells. We conclude that p27Kip1 plays a role in mediating VSMC hypertrophy. Ang II stimulation of quiescent cells in which p27Kip1 levels are high results in hypertrophy but promotes hyperplasia when levels of p27Kip1 are low, as in the presence of other growth factors.
PMCID: PMC408428  PMID: 10491417
4.  p57KIP2 control of actin cytoskeleton dynamics is responsible for its mitochondrial pro-apoptotic effect 
Cell Death & Disease  2012;3(5):e311-.
p57 (Kip2, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1C), often found downregulated in cancer, is reported to hold tumor suppressor properties. Originally described as a cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) inhibitor, p57KIP2 has since been shown to influence other cellular processes, beyond cell cycle regulation, including cell death and cell migration. Inhibition of cell migration by p57KIP2 is attributed to the stabilization of the actin cytoskeleton through the activation of LIM domain kinase-1 (LIMK-1). Furthermore, p57KIP2 is able to enhance mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis. Here, we report that the cell death promoting effect of p57KIP2 is linked to its effect on the actin cytoskeleton. Indeed, whereas Jasplakinolide, an actin cytoskeleton-stabilizing agent, mimicked p57KIP2's pro-apoptotic effect, destabilizing the actin cytoskeleton with cytochalsin D reversed p57KIP2's pro-apoptotic function. Conversely, LIMK-1, the enzyme mediating p57KIP2's effect on the actin cytoskeleton, was required for p57KIP2's death promoting effect. Finally, p57KIP2-mediated stabilization of the actin cytoskeleton was associated with the displacement of hexokinase-1, an inhibitor of the mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion channel, from the mitochondria, providing a possible mechanism for the promotion of the mitochondrial apoptotic cell death pathway. Altogether, our findings link together two tumor suppressor properties of p57KIP2, by showing that the promotion of cell death by p57KIP2 requires its actin cytoskeleton stabilization function.
PMCID: PMC3366085  PMID: 22592318
p57KIP2; cell migration; cancer; cytoskeleton
5.  The Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p57Kip2 Regulates Cell Cycle Exit, Differentiation, and Migration of Embryonic Cerebral Cortical Precursors 
Cerebral Cortex (New York, NY)  2011;21(8):1840-1856.
Mounting evidence indicates cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors (CKIs) of the Cip/Kip family, including p57Kip2 and p27Kip1, control not only cell cycle exit but also corticogenesis. Nevertheless, distinct activities of p57Kip2 remain poorly defined. Using in vivo and culture approaches, we show p57Kip2 overexpression at E14.5–15.5 elicits precursor cell cycle exit, promotes transition from proliferation to neuronal differentiation, and enhances process outgrowth, while opposite effects occur in p57Kip2-deficient precursors. Studies at later ages indicate p57Kip2 overexpression also induces precocious glial differentiation, suggesting stage-dependent effects. In embryonic cortex, p57Kip2 overexpression advances cell radial migration and alters postnatal laminar positioning. While both CKIs induce differentiation, p57Kip2 was twice as effective as p27Kip1 in inducing neuronal differentiation and was not permissive to astrogliogenic effects of ciliary neurotrophic factor, suggesting that the CKIs differentially modulate cell fate decisions. At molecular levels, although highly conserved N-terminal regions of both CKIs elicit cycle withdrawal and differentiation, the C-terminal region of p57Kip2 alone inhibits in vivo migration. Furthermore, p57Kip2 effects on neurogenesis and gliogenesis require the N-terminal cyclin/CDK binding/inhibitory domains, while previous p27Kip1 studies report cell cycle-independent functions. These observations suggest p57Kip2 coordinates multiple stages of corticogenesis and exhibits distinct and common activities compared with related family member p27Kip1.
PMCID: PMC3138513  PMID: 21245411
gliogenesis; in utero electroporation; neurite outgrowth; neurogenesis; transfection
6.  Expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27kip1 in malignant lymphomas. 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2000;15(4):399-406.
p27kip1 is a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that regulates progression from G1 into S phase. Aberrations in cell cycle control are often observed in tumors and might even be necessary in tumor development. Recent reports showed that low p27kip1 expression is associated with poor prognosis in several tumors and leukemia. To investigate the expression of p27kip1 in malignant lymphomas and elucidate the role of p27kip1 as a possible prognostic indicator, the authors performed an immunohistochemical staining of p27kip1 correlated with Ki-67 labelling index and clinical parameters. p27kip1 expression was reduced variably in most malignant lymphomas and inversely correlated with Ki-67 labelling index (p=0.0151). Regarding chemotherapeutic response, p271kip1 expression in the complete remission group showed statistically significant difference in expression compared to the progressive disease group (p=0.0021). There were significant differences in survival between cases with low and high p27kip1 expression (p=0.0071). In a multivariate Cox analysis, p27kip1 expression was independent prognostic factors as well as other known prognostic factors including age, grade, stage and chemotherapeutic response. In conclusion, the study suggests that reduced expression of p27kip1 protein may play a role in the pathogenesis and biologically aggressive behavior of malignant lymphomas.
PMCID: PMC3054650  PMID: 10983687
7.  The function of p27KIP1 during tumor development 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2009;41(11):765-771.
Timely cell cycle regulation is conducted by sequential activation of a family of serine-threonine kinases called cycle dependent kinases (CDKs). Tight CDK regulation involves cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors (CKIs) which ensure the correct timing of CDK activation in different phases of the cell cycle. One CKI of importance is p27KIP1. The regulation and cellular localization of p27KIP1 can result in biologically contradicting roles when found in the nucleus or cytoplasm of both normal and tumor cells. The p27KIP1 protein is mainly regulated by proteasomal degradation and its downregulation is often correlated with poor prognosis in several types of human cancers. The protein can also be functionally inactivated by cytoplasmic localization or by phosphorylation. The p27KIP1 protein is an unconventional tumor suppressor because mutation of its gene is extremely rare in tumors, implying the normal function of the protein is deranged during tumor development. While the tumor suppressor function is mediated by p27KIP1's inhibitory interactions with the cyclin/CDK complexes, its oncogenic function is cyclin/CDK independent, and in many cases correlates with cytoplasmic localization. Here we review the basic features and novel aspects of the p27KIP1 protein, which displays genetically separable tumor suppressing and oncogenic functions.
PMCID: PMC2788730  PMID: 19887899
cell cycle; cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27; cyclin-dependent kinases; tumor suppressor proteins
8.  Phosphorylation of the Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21Cip1 on Serine 130 Is Essential for Viral Cyclin-Mediated Bypass of a p21Cip1-Imposed G1 Arrest 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;26(6):2430-2440.
K cyclin encoded by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus confers resistance to the cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) inhibitors p16Ink4A, p21Cip1, and p27Kip1 on the associated cdk6. We have previously shown that K cyclin expression enforces S-phase entry on cells overexpressing p27Kip1 by promoting phosphorylation of p27Kip1 on threonine 187, triggering p27Kip1 down-regulation. Since p21Cip1 acts in a manner similar to that of p27Kip1, we have investigated the subversion of a p21Cip1-induced G1 arrest by K cyclin. Here, we show that p21Cip1 is associated with K cyclin both in overexpression models and in primary effusion lymphoma cells and is a substrate of the K cyclin/cdk6 complex, resulting in phosphorylation of p21Cip1 on serine 130. This phosphoform of p21Cip1 appeared unable to associate with cdk2 in vivo. We further demonstrate that phosphorylation on serine 130 is essential for K cyclin-mediated release of a p21Cip1-imposed G1 arrest. Moreover, we show that under physiological conditions of cell cycle arrest due to elevated levels of p21Cip1 resulting from oxidative stress, K cyclin expression enabled S-phase entry and was associated with p21Cip1 phosphorylation and partial restoration of cdk2 kinase activity. Thus, expression of the viral cyclin enables cells to subvert the cell cycle inhibitory function of p21Cip1 by promoting cdk6-dependent phosphorylation of this antiproliferative protein.
PMCID: PMC1430279  PMID: 16508017
9.  Density-dependent Growth Inhibition of Fibroblasts Ectopically Expressing p27kip1 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2000;11(6):2117-2130.
The cyclin/cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) inhibitor p27kip1 is thought to be responsible for the onset and maintenance of the quiescent state. It is possible, however, that cells respond differently to p27kip1 in different conditions, and using a BALB/c-3T3 cell line (termed p27-47) that inducibly expresses high levels of this protein, we show that the effect of p27kip1 on cell cycle traverse is determined by cell density. We found that ectopic expression of p27kip1 blocked the proliferation of p27-47 cells at high density but had little effect on the growth of cells at low density whether exponentially cycling or stimulated from quiescence. Regardless of cell density, the activities of cdk4 and cdk2 were markedly repressed by p27kip1 expression, as was the cdk4-dependent dissociation of E2F4/p130 complexes. Infection of cells with SV40, a DNA tumor virus known to abrogate formation of p130- and Rb-containing complexes, allowed dense cultures to proliferate in the presence of supraphysiological amounts of p27kip1 but did not stimulate cell cycle traverse when cultures were cotreated with the potent cdk2 inhibitor roscovitine. Our data suggest that residual levels of cyclin/cdk activity persist in p27kip1-expressing p27-47 cells and are sufficient for the growth of low-density cells and of high-density cells infected with SV40, and that effective disruption of p130 and/or Rb complexes is obligatory for the proliferation of high-density cultures.
PMCID: PMC14907  PMID: 10848633
10.  p27Kip1, a double-edged sword in Shh-mediated medulloblastoma 
Cell Cycle  2010;9(21):4307-4314.
Medulloblastoma, a brain tumor arising in the cerebellum, is the most common solid childhood malignancy. The current standard of care for medulloblastoma leaves survivors with life-long side effects. Gaining insight into mechanisms regulating transformation of medulloblastoma cells-of-origin may lead to development of better treatments for these tumors. Cerebellar granule neuron precursors (CGNPs) are proposed cells of origin for certain classes of medulloblastoma, specifically those marked by aberrant Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway activation. CGNPs require signaling by Shh for proliferation during brain development. In mitogen-stimulated cells, nuclear localized cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p27Kip1 functions as a checkpoint control at the G1- to S-phase transition by inhibiting Cdk2. Recent studies have suggested that cytoplasmically localized p27Kip1 acquires oncogenic functions. Here, we show that p27Kip1 is cytoplasmically localized in CGNPs and mouse Shh-mediated medulloblastomas. Transgenic mice bearing an activating mutation in the Shh pathway and lacking one or both p27Kip1 alleles have accelerated tumor incidence compared to mice bearing both p27Kip1 alleles. Interestingly, mice heterozygous for p27Kip1 have decreased survival latency compared to p27Kip1-null animals. Our data indicate that this may reflect the requiremen of at least one copy of p27Kip1 for recruiting cyclin D/Cdk4/6 to promote cell cycle progression, yet insufficient expression in the heterozygous or null state to inhibit cyclin E/Cdk2. Finally, we find that mislocalized p27Kip1 may play a positive role in motility in medulloblastoma cells. Together, our data indicate that the dosage of p27Kip1 plays a role in cell cycle progression and tumor suppression in Shh-mediated medulloblastoma expansion.
PMCID: PMC3055184  PMID: 21051932
p27; Kip1; medulloblastoma; cerebellum; cell cycle; Sonic hedgehog; tumor; motility; RhoA
11.  Skp2 directs Myc-mediated suppression of p27Kip1 yet has modest effects on Myc-driven lymphomagenesis 
Molecular cancer research : MCR  2010;8(3):353-362.
The universal cyclin-Cdk inhibitor p27Kip1 functions as a tumor suppressor and reduced levels of p27Kip1 connote poor prognosis in several human malignancies. p27Kip1 levels are predominately regulated by ubiquitin-mediated turnover of the protein, which is marked for destruction by the E3 ubiquitin ligase SCFSkp2 complex following its phosphorylation by the cyclin E-Cdk2 complex. Binding of phospho-p27Kip1 is directed by the Skp2 F-box protein, and this is greatly augmented by its allosteric regulator Cks1. We have established that programmed expression of c-Myc in the B cells of Eμ-Myc transgenic mice triggers p27Kip1 destruction by inducing Cks1, that this response controls Myc-driven proliferation, and that loss of Cks1 markedly delays Myc-induced lymphomagenesis and cancels the dissemination of these tumors. Here, we report that elevated levels of Skp2 are a characteristic of Eμ-Myc lymphomas and of human Burkitt lymphoma that bear MYC/immunoglobulin chromosomal translocations. As expected, Myc-mediated suppression of p27Kip1 was abolished in Skp2-null Eμ-Myc B cells. However, the impact of Skp2 loss on Myc-driven proliferation and lymphomagenesis was surprisingly modest compared to the effects of Cks1 loss. Collectively these findings suggest that Cks1 targets in addition to p27Kip1 are critical for Myc-driven proliferation and tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC3095030  PMID: 20197382
Myc; Skp2; p27Kip1; lymphomagenesis
12.  Cks1 Promotion of S Phase Entry and Proliferation Is Independent of p27Kip1 Suppression 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2012;32(13):2416-2427.
Cks1 is an activator of the SCFSkp2 ubiquitin ligase complex that targets the cell cycle inhibitor p27Kip1 for degradation. The loss of Cks1 results in p27Kip1 accumulation and decreased proliferation and inhibits tumorigenesis. We identify here a function of Cks1 in mammalian cell cycle regulation that is independent of p27Kip1. Specifically, Cks1−/−; p27Kip1−/− mouse embryonic fibroblasts retain defects in the G1-S phase transition that are coupled with decreased Cdk2-associated kinase activity and defects in proliferation that are associated with Cks1 loss. Furthermore, concomitant loss of Cks1 does not rescue the tumor suppressor function of p27Kip1 that is manifest in various organs of p27Kip1−/− mice. In contrast, defects in mitotic entry and premature senescence manifest in Cks1−/− cells are p27Kip1 dependent. Collectively, these findings establish p27Kip1-independent functions of Cks1 in regulating the G1-S transition.
PMCID: PMC3434501  PMID: 22508990
13.  Phosphorylation and Subcellular Localization of p27Kip1 Regulated by Hydrogen Peroxide Modulation in Cancer Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44502.
The Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B (p27Kip1) is a key protein in the decision between proliferation and cell cycle exit. Quiescent cells show nuclear p27Kip1, but this protein is exported to the cytoplasm in response to proliferating signals. We recently reported that catalase treatment increases the levels of p27Kip1 in vitro and in vivo in a murine model. In order to characterize and broaden these findings, we evaluated the regulation of p27Kip1 by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in human melanoma cells and melanocytes. We observed a high percentage of p27Kip1 positive nuclei in melanoma cells overexpressing or treated with exogenous catalase, while non-treated controls showed a cytoplasmic localization of p27Kip1. Then we studied the levels of p27Kip1 phosphorylated (p27p) at serine 10 (S10) and at threonine 198 (T198) because phosphorylation at these sites enables nuclear exportation of this protein, leading to accumulation and stabilization of p27pT198 in the cytoplasm. We demonstrated by western blot a decrease in p27pS10 and p27pT198 levels in response to H2O2 removal in melanoma cells, associated with nuclear p27Kip1. Melanocytes also exhibited nuclear p27Kip1 and lower levels of p27pS10 and p27pT198 than melanoma cells, which showed cytoplasmic p27Kip1. We also showed that the addition of H2O2 (0.1 µM) to melanoma cells arrested in G1 by serum starvation induces proliferation and increases the levels of p27pS10 and p27pT198 leading to cytoplasmic localization of p27Kip1. Nuclear localization and post-translational modifications of p27Kip1 were also demonstrated by catalase treatment of colorectal carcinoma and neuroblastoma cells, extending our findings to these other human cancer types. In conclusion, we showed in the present work that H2O2 scavenging prevents nuclear exportation of p27Kip1, allowing cell cycle arrest, suggesting that cancer cells take advantage of their intrinsic pro-oxidant state to favor cytoplasmic localization of p27Kip1.
PMCID: PMC3435274  PMID: 22970236
14.  USP19 Deubiquitinating Enzyme Supports Cell Proliferation by Stabilizing KPC1, a Ubiquitin Ligase for p27Kip1▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2008;29(2):547-558.
p27Kip1 is a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that regulates the G1/S transition. Increased degradation of p27Kip1 is associated with cellular transformation. Previous work demonstrated that the ubiquitin ligases KPC1/KPC2 and SCFSkp2 ubiquitinate p27Kip1 in G1 and early S, respectively. The regulation of these ligases remains unclear. We report here that the USP19 deubiquitinating enzyme interacts with and stabilizes KPC1, thereby modulating p27Kip1 levels and cell proliferation. Cells depleted of USP19 by RNA interference exhibited an inhibition of cell proliferation, progressing more slowly from G0/G1 to S phase, and accumulated p27Kip1. This increase in p27Kip1 was associated with normal levels of Skp2 but reduced levels of KPC1. The overexpression of KPC1 or the use of p27−/− cells inhibited significantly the growth defect observed upon USP19 depletion. KPC1 was ubiquitinated in vivo and stabilized by proteasome inhibitors and by overexpression of USP19, and it also coimmunoprecipitated with USP19. Our results identify USP19 as the first deubiquitinating enzyme that regulates the stability of a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor and demonstrate that progression through G1 to S phase is, like the metaphase-anaphase transition, controlled in a hierarchical, multilayered fashion.
PMCID: PMC2612522  PMID: 19015242
15.  The major transcription initiation site of the p27Kip1 gene is conserved in human and mouse and produces a long 5'-UTR 
The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 is essential for proper control of cell cycle progression. The levels of p27Kip1 are regulated by several mechanisms including transcriptional and translational controls. In order to delineate the molecular details of these regulatory mechanisms it is important to identify the transcription initiation site within the p27Kip1 gene, thereby defining the promoter region of the gene and the 5'-untranslated region of the p27Kip1 mRNA. Although several previous studies have attempted to map p27Kip1 transcription start sites, the results vary widely for both the mouse and human genes. In addition, even though the mouse and human p27Kip1 gene sequences are very highly conserved, the reported start sites are notably different.
In this report, using a method that identifies capped ends of mRNA molecules together with RNase protection assays, we demonstrate that p27Kip1 transcription is initiated predominantly from a single site which is conserved in the human and mouse genes. Initiation at this site produces a 5'-untranslated region of 472 nucleotides in the human p27Kip1 mRNA and 502 nucleotides in the mouse p27Kip1 mRNA. In addition, several minor transcription start sites were identified for both the mouse and human genes.
These results demonstrate that the major transcription initiation sites in the mouse and human p27Kip1 genes are conserved and that the 5'-UTR of the p27Kip1 mRNA is much longer than generally believed. It will be important to consider these findings when designing experiments to identify elements that are involved in regulating the cellular levels of p27Kip1.
PMCID: PMC59625  PMID: 11696240
16.  Sesquiterpene Lactones Downregulate G2/M Cell Cycle Regulator Proteins and Affect the Invasive Potential of Human Soft Tissue Sarcoma Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66300.
Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) represent a rare group of malignant tumors that frequently exhibit chemotherapeutic resistance and increased metastatic potential. Many studies have demonstrated the great potential of plant-derived agents in the treatment of various malignant entities. The present study investigates the effects of the sesquiterpene lactones costunolide and dehydrocostus lactone on cell cycle, MMP expression, and invasive potential of three human STS cell lines of various origins. Both compounds reduced cell proliferation in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Dehydrocostus lactone significantly inhibited cell proliferation, arrested the cells at the G2/M interface and caused a decrease in the expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase CDK2 and the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1. In addition, accumulation of cells at the G2/M phase transition interface resulted in a significant decrease in cdc2 (CDK1) together with cyclin B1. Costunolide had no effect on the cell cycle. Based on the fact that STS tend to form daughter cell nests and metastasize, the expression levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which play a crucial role in extracellular matrix degradation and metastasis, were investigated by Luminex® technology and real-time RT-PCR. In the presence of costunolide, MMP-2 and -9 levels were significantly increased in SW-982 and TE-671 cells. Dehydrocostus lactone treatment significantly reduced MMP-2 and -9 expression in TE-671 cells, but increased MMP-9 level in SW-982 cells. In addition, the invasion potential was significantly reduced after treatment with both sesquiterpene lactones as investigated by the HTS FluoroBlock™ insert system.
PMCID: PMC3682952  PMID: 23799090
17.  p27Kip1 induces an accumulation of the repressor complexes of E2F and inhibits expression of the E2F-regulated genes. 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1997;8(9):1815-1827.
p27Kip1 is an inhibitor of the cyclin-dependent kinases and it plays an inhibitory role in the progression of cell cycle through G1 phase. To investigate the mechanism of cell cycle inhibition by p27Kip1, we constructed a cell line that inducibly expresses p27Kip1 upon addition of isopropyl-1-thio-beta-D-galactopyranoside in the culture medium. Isopropyl-1-thio-beta-D-galactopyranoside-induced expression of p27Kip1 in these cells causes a specific reduction in the expression of the E2F-regulated genes such as cyclin E, cyclin A, and dihydrofolate reductase. The reduction in the expression of these genes correlates with the p27Kip1-induced accumulation of the repressor complexes of the E2F family of factors (E2Fs). Our previous studies indicated that p21WAF1 could disrupt the interaction between cyclin/cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (cdk2) and the E2F repressor complexes E2F-p130 and E2F-p107. We show that p27Kip1, like p21WAF1, disrupts cyclin/cdk2-containing complexes of E2F-p130 leading to the accumulation of the E2F-p130 complexes, which is found in growth-arrested cells. In transient transfection assays, expression of p27Kip1 specifically inhibits transcription of a promoter containing E2F-binding sites. Mutants of p27Kip1 harboring changes in the cyclin- and cdk2-binding motifs are deficient in inhibiting transcription from the E2F sites containing reporter gene. Moreover, these mutants of p27Kip1 are also impaired in disrupting the interaction between cyclin/cdk2 and the repressor complexes of E2Fs. Taken together, these observations suggest that p27Kip1 reduces expression of the E2F-regulated genes by generating repressor complexes of E2Fs. Furthermore, the results also demonstrate that p27Kip1 inhibits expression of cyclin A and cyclin E, which are critical for progression through the G1-S phases.
PMCID: PMC305739  PMID: 9307976
18.  Repression of p27kip1 synthesis by platelet-derived growth factor in BALB/c 3T3 cells. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1996;16(8):4327-4336.
We have investigated the regulation of p27kip1, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, in BALB/c 3T3 cells during growth factor-stimulated transition from quiescence (G0) to a proliferative (G1) state. The level of p27kip1 protein falls dramatically after mitogenic stimulation and is accompanied by a decrease in cyclin E associated p27kip1, as well as a transient increase in cyclin D1-associated p27kip1 that later declines concomitantly with the loss of total p27kip1. Analysis of metabolically labelled cells revealed that cyclin D2, cyclin D3, and cdk4 were also partnered with p27kip1 in quiescent BALB/c 3T3 cells and that this association decreased after platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) treatment. Furthermore, the decline in p27kip1 and reduced association with cyclin D3, initiated by the addition of PDGF but not plasma-derived factors, suggested that these changes are involved in competence, the first step in the exit from G0. Synthesis of p27kip1 as determined by incorporation of [35S]methionine was repressed upon mitogenic stimulation, and PDGF was sufficient to elicit this repression within 2 to 3 h. Pulse-chase experiments demonstrated the reduced rate of synthesis was not the result of an increased rate of degradation. Full repression of p27kip1 synthesis required the continued presence of PDGF and failed to occur in the presence of the RNA polymerase inhibitor 5,6-dichlorobenzimidazole riboside. These characteristics demonstrate that repression was a late effect of PDGF and was consistent with our finding that conditional expression of activated H-ras did not affect synthesis of p27kip1. Northern (RNA) analysis of p27kip1 mRNA revealed that the repression was not accompanied by a corresponding decrease in p27kip1 mRNA, suggesting that the PDGF-regulated decrease in p27kip1 expression occurred through a translational mechanism.
PMCID: PMC231431  PMID: 8754833
19.  CDK inhibitor p57Kip2 is downregulated by Akt during HER2-mediated tumorigenicity 
Cell Cycle  2013;12(6):935-943.
HER2/neu oncogene is frequently deregulated in cancers, and the (PI3K)-Akt signaling is one of the major pathways in mediating HER2/neu oncogenic signal. p57Kip2, an inhibitor of cyclin-depependent kinases, is pivotal in regulating cell cycle progression, but its upstream regulators remain unclear. Here we show that the HER2-Akt axis is linked to p57Kip2 regulation, and that Akt is a negative regulator of p57Kip2. Ectopic expression of Akt can decrease the expression of p57Kip2, while Akt inhibition leads to p57Kip2 stabilization. Mechanistic studies show that Akt interacts with p57Kip2 and causes cytoplasmic localization of p57Kip2. Akt phosphorylates p57 on Ser 282 or Thr310. Akt activity results in destabilization of p57 by accelerating turnover rate of p57 and enhancing p57 ubiquitination. Importantly, the negative impact of HER2/Akt on p57 stability contributes to HER2-mediated cell proliferation, transformational activity and tumorigenicity. p57 restoration can attenuate these defects caused by HER2. Significantly, Kaplan-Meier analysis of tumor samples demonstrate that in tumors where HER2 expression was observed, high expression levels of p57Kip2 were associated with better overall survival. These data suggest that HER2/Akt is an important negative regulator of p57Kip2, and that p57 restoration in HER2-overexpressing cells can reduce breast tumor growth. Our findings indicate the applicability of employing p57 regulation as a therapeutic intervention in HER2-overexpressing cancers.
PMCID: PMC3637352  PMID: 23421998
Akt; cell cycle; HER2; p57 Kip2; phosphorylation; subcellular localizaiton
20.  Shp-1 mediates the anti-proliferative activity of TIMP-2 in human microvascular endothelial cells 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2005;281(6):3711-3721.
The tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) regulate matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity required for cell migration/invasion associated with cancer progression and angiogenesis. TIMPs also modulate cell proliferation in vitro and angiogenesis in vivo independent of their MMP-inhibitory activity. Here, we show that TIMP-2 mediates G1 growth arrest in human endothelial cells through de novo synthesis of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1. TIMP-2-mediated inhibition of Cdk4 and Cdk2 activity is associated with increased binding of p27Kip1 to these complexes in vivo. Protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors or expression of a dominant negative Shp-1 mutant ablates TIMP-2 induction of p27Kip1. Finally, angiogenic responses to FGF-2 and VEGF-A in ‘motheaten viable’ Shp-1 deficient mice are resistant to TIMP-2 inhibition, demonstrating that Shp-1 is an important negative regulator of angiogenesis in vivo.
PMCID: PMC1361361  PMID: 16326706
TIMP-2, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2; MMP, matrix metalloproteinase; Shp-1, SH2-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase-1; PTP, protein tyrosine phosphatase; hMVECs, human microvascular endothelial cells; Cdks, cyclin-dependent kinases; ECM, extracellular matrix; FGF-2, fibroblast growth factor; PDGF, platelet derived growth factor; EGF, epidermal growth factor; VEGF-A, vascular endothelial growth factor-A; INK4, inhibitors of Cdk4; PBS, phosphate-buffered saline; pRb, retinoblastoma protein
21.  The p57 CDKi integrates stress signals into cell-cycle progression to promote cell survival upon stress 
The EMBO Journal  2012;31(13):2952-2964.
The p57 CDKi integrates stress signals into cell-cycle progression to promote cell survival upon stress
The stress-activated protein kinase p38 phosphorylates p57/Kip2, resulting in enhanced CDK2 inhibition and a cell-cycle delay that helps cells to survive under stress.
The p57Kip2 cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CDKi) has been implicated in embryogenesis, stem-cell senescence and pathologies, but little is known of its role in cell cycle control. Here, we show that p57Kip2 is targeted by the p38 stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK). Phosphorylation of p57Kip2 at T143 by p38 enhances its association with and inhibition of Cdk2, which results in cell-cycle delay upon stress. Genetic inactivation of the SAPK or the CDKi abolishes cell-cycle delay upon osmostress and results in decreased cell viability. Oxidative stress and ionomycin also induce p38-mediated phosphorylation of p57 and cells lacking p38 or p57 display reduced viability to these stresses. Therefore, cell survival to various stresses depends on p57 phosphorylation by p38 that inhibits CDK activity. Together, these findings provide a novel molecular mechanism by which cells can delay cell cycle progression to maximize cell survival upon stress.
PMCID: PMC3395087  PMID: 22569127
cell cycle; cell stress; cell survival; p38 SAPK; p57 CDKi
22.  Periodic Expression of the Cyclin-dependent Kinase Inhibitor p57Kip2 in Trophoblast Giant Cells Defines a G2-like Gap Phase of the Endocycle 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2000;11(3):1037-1045.
Endoreduplication is an unusual form of cell cycle in which rounds of DNA synthesis repeat in the absence of intervening mitoses. How G1/S cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) activity is regulated during the mammalian endocycle is poorly understood. We show here that expression of the G1/S Cdk inhibitor p57Kip2 is induced coincidentally with the transition to the endocycle in trophoblast giant cells. Kip2 mRNA is constitutively expressed during subsequent endocycles, but the protein level fluctuates. In trophoblast giant cells synchronized for the first few endocycles, the p57Kip2 protein accumulates only at the end of S-phase and then rapidly disappears a few hours before the onset of the next S-phase. The protein becomes stabilized by mutation of a C-terminal Cdk phosphorylation site. As a consequence, introduction of this stable form of p57Kip2 into giant cells blocks S-phase entry. These data imply that p57Kip2 is subject to phosphorylation-dependent turnover. Surprisingly, although this occurs in endoreduplicating giant cells, p57Kip2 is stable when ectopically expressed in proliferating trophoblast cells, indicating that these cells lack the mechanism for protein targeting and/or degradation. These data show that the appearance of p57Kip2 punctuates the completion of DNA replication, whereas its turnover is subsequently required to initiate the next round of endoreduplication in trophoblast giant cells. Cyclical expression of a Cdk inhibitor, by terminating G1/S Cdk activity, may help promote the resetting of DNA replication machinery.
PMCID: PMC14829  PMID: 10712518
23.  Characterization and Targeted Disruption of Murine Nup50, a p27Kip1-Interacting Component of the Nuclear Pore Complex 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(15):5631-5642.
p27Kip1 is a member of the Cip-Kip family of cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitors that binds to cyclin-Cdk complexes and inhibits their catalytic activity in response to antiproliferative stimuli. p27Kip1 is regulated by several posttranscriptional mechanisms, including subcellular localization. We have identified a component of the nuclear pore complex (NPC), termed Nup50, through its two-hybrid interactions with p27Kip1. Nup50 is a nucleoplasmically oriented component of the nuclear pore complex with a role in protein export (T. Guan, R. H. Kehlenbach, E. C. Schirmer, A. Kehlenbach, F. Fan, B. E. Clurman, N. Arnheim, and L. Gerace, Mol. Cell. Biol. 20:5619–5630, 2000). We found that murine Nup50 is a widely expressed nucleoporin and that Nup50 expression is highest in the developing neural tube and adult testes. We have also examined interactions between Nup50 and the NPC and found specific two-hybrid interactions between Nup50 and several well-defined components of the NPC, as well as coimmunoprecipitation of Nup50 with the nucleoporin Nup153 from transfected mammalian cells. In order to study Nup50 function in vivo, we cloned the mouse Nup50 genomic locus and created a targeted Nup50 deletion in the mouse germ line. Nup50 disruption resulted in a complex phenotype characterized by late embryonic lethality, neural tube defects, and intrauterine growth retardation. Although Nup50-null mouse embryo fibroblasts exhibited no defects in either cell cycle control or p27Kip1 regulation, Nup50 deletion was associated with abnormalities in p27Kip1 expression and cell proliferation in the developing neuroepithelium. We conclude that Nup50 is a nucleoporin with essential functions during mouse development.
PMCID: PMC86029  PMID: 10891500
24.  Multiple degradation pathways regulate versatile CIP/KIP CDK inhibitors 
Trends in Cell Biology  2011;22(1):33-41.
The mammalian CIP/KIP family of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors (CKIs) comprises three proteins – p21Cip1/WAF1, p27Kip1, and p57Kip2 – that bind and inhibit cyclin–CDK complexes, which are key regulators of the cell cycle. CIP/KIP CKIs have additional independent functions in regulating transcription, apoptosis and actin cytoskeletal dynamics. These divergent functions are performed in distinct cellular compartments and contribute to the seemingly contradictory observation that the CKIs can both suppress and promote cancer. Multiple ubiquitin ligases (E3s) direct the proteasome-mediated degradation of p21, p27 and p57. This review analyzes recent data highlighting our current understanding of how distinct E3 pathways regulate subpopulations of the CKIs to control their diverse functions.
PMCID: PMC3298816  PMID: 22154077
25.  Forced expression of the cell cycle inhibitor p57Kip2 in cardiomyocytes attenuates ischemia-reperfusion injury in the mouse heart 
BMC Physiology  2008;8:4.
Myocardial hypoxic-ischemic injury is the cause of significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. The cardiomyocyte response to hypoxic-ischemic injury is known to include changes in cell cycle regulators. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p57Kip2 is involved in cell cycle control, differentiation, stress signaling and apoptosis. In contrast to other cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, p57Kip2 expression diminishes during postnatal life and is reactivated in the adult heart under conditions of cardiac stress. Overexpression of p57Kip2 has been previously shown to prevent apoptotic cell death in vitro by inhibiting stress-activated kinases. Therefore, we hypothesized that p57Kip2 has a protective role in cardiomyocytes under hypoxic conditions. To investigate this hypothesis, we created a transgenic mouse (R26loxpTA-p57k/+) that expresses p57Kip2 specifically in cardiac tissue under the ventricular cardiomyocyte promoter Mlc2v.
Transgenic mice with cardiac specific overexpression of p57Kip2 are viable, fertile and normally active and their hearts are morphologically indistinguishable from the control hearts and have similar heart weight/body weight ratio. The baseline functional parameters, including left ventricular systolic pressure (LVSP), left ventricular end diastolic pressure (LVEDP), LVdp/dtmax, heart rate (HR) and rate pressure product (RPR) were not significantly different between the different groups as assessed by the Langendorff perfused heart preparation. However, after subjecting the heart ex vivo to 30 minutes of ischemia-reperfusion injury, the p57Kip2 overexpressing hearts demonstrated preserved cardiac function compared to control mice with higher left ventricular developed pressure (63 ± 15 vs 30 ± 6 mmHg, p = 0.05), rate pressure product (22.8 ± 4.86 vs 10.4 ± 2.1 × 103bpm × mmHg, p < 0.05) and coronary flow (3.5 ± 0.5 vs 2.38 ± 0.24 ml/min, p <0.05).
These data suggest that forced cardiac expression of p57Kip2 does not affect myocardial growth, differentiation and baseline function but attenuates injury from ischemia-reperfusion in the adult mouse heart.
PMCID: PMC2268709  PMID: 18312674

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