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1.  ErbB2 Potentiates Breast Tumor Proliferation through Modulation of p27Kip1-Cdk2 Complex Formation: Receptor Overexpression Does Not Determine Growth Dependency 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(9):3210-3223.
Overexpression of the ErbB2 receptor, a major component of the ErbB receptor signaling network, contributes to the development of a number of human cancers. ErbB2 presents itself, therefore, as a target for antibody-mediated therapies. In this respect, anti-ErbB2 monoclonal antibody 4D5 specifically inhibits the growth of tumor cells overexpressing ErbB2. We have analyzed the effect of 4D5-mediated ErbB2 inhibition on the cell cycle of the breast tumor cell line BT474. 4D5 treatment of BT474 cells resulted in a G1 arrest, preceded by rapid dephosphorylation of ErbB2, inhibition of cytoplasmic signal transduction pathways, accumulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1, and inactivation of cyclin-Cdk2 complexes. Time courses demonstrated that 4D5 treatment redirects p27Kip1 onto Cdk2 complexes, an event preceding increased p27Kip1 expression; this correlates with the downregulation of c-Myc and D-type cyclins (proteins involved in p27Kip1 sequestration) and the loss of p27Kip1 from Cdk4 complexes. Similar events were observed in ErbB2-overexpressing SKBR3 cells, which exhibited reduced proliferation in response to 4D5 treatment. Here, p27Kip1 redistribution resulted in partial Cdk2 inactivation, consistent with a G1 accumulation. Moreover, p27Kip1 protein levels remained constant. Antisense-mediated inhibition of p27Kip1 expression in 4D5-treated BT474 cells further demonstrated that in the absence of p27Kip1 accumulation, p27Kip1 redirection onto Cdk2 complexes is sufficient to inactivate Cdk2 and establish the G1 block. These data suggest that ErbB2 overexpression leads to potentiation of cyclin E-Cdk2 activity through regulation of p27Kip1 sequestration proteins, thus deregulating the G1/S transition. Moreover, through comparison with an ErbB2-overexpressing cell line insensitive to 4D5 treatment, we demonstrate the specificity of these cell cycle events and show that ErbB2 overexpression alone is insufficient to determine the cellular response to receptor inhibition.
PMCID: PMC85615  PMID: 10757805
2.  A new tumour suppression mechanism by p27Kip1: EGFR down-regulation mediated by JNK/c-Jun pathway inhibition 
Biochemical Journal  2014;463(Pt 3):383-392.
p27Kip1 is a potent inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases that drive G1-to-S cell-cycle transition. Reduced p27Kip1 expression is prevalent in a wide range of human tumours; however, the exact mechanism(s) of p27Kip1-mediated tumour suppression remains obscure. In the present study, we identified a close inverse relationship between p27Kip1 and EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) expression: the parental T24 human bladder cancer cells had high p27Kip1 expression but low EGFR expression and, in striking contrast, the metastatic derivative of T24 (T24T) had low p27Kip1 expression but high EGFR expression. This relationship was also found in various human cancer tissues, and was not only just correlative but also causal; depletion of p27Kip1 in MEF (mouse embryonic fibroblast) cells resulted in markedly elevated EGFR expression, a result reproducible with an Egfr promoter-luciferase reporter in both T24 and MEF cells, suggesting transcriptional repression of EGFR by p27Kip1. Indeed, p27Kip1 was found to regulate EGFR expression via the JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase)/c-Jun transcription factor: p27Kip1 deficiency activated JNK/c-Jun, whereas inhibition of JNK/c-Jun by dominant-negative mutants dramatically repressed Egfr transcription. Furthermore, the proximal promoter of the Egfr gene was crucial for its transcription, where the recruiting activity of c-Jun was much greater in p27Kip1−/− cells than in p27Kip1+/+ cells. Introduction of GFP–p27Kip1 into T24T cells suppressed JNK/c-Jun activation, EGFR expression and anchorage-independent growth. The results of the present study demonstrate that p27Kip1 suppresses JNK/c-Jun activation and EGFR expression in MEFs and human bladder cancer cells, and the results obtained are consistent with those from human cancer specimens. The present study provides new insights into p27Kip1 suppression of cancer cell growth, migration and metastasis.
An inverse relationship between p27Kip1 and EGFR expression in parental T24 human bladder cancer cells and various human cancer tissues was found. Depletion of p27Kip1 in cells markedly elevated EGFR expression through transcriptional repression of Egfr by p27Kip1 via the JNK/c-Jun cascade.
PMCID: PMC4209780  PMID: 25121353
bladder cancer; c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/c-Jun pathway; epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR); p27Kip1; signal transduction pathway; AP-1, activator protein 1; BME, basal medium Eagle; CDK, cyclin-dependent kinase; DMEM, Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium; EGFR, epidermal growth factor receptor; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; HSF-1, heat-shock factor 1; Hsp, heat-shock protein; IHC, immunohistochemistry; JNK, c-Jun N-terminal kinase; MEF, mouse embryonic fibroblast; RT, reverse transcription; SP1, specificity protein 1
3.  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
4.  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
5.  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
6.  MicroRNA-21 inhibits p57Kip2 expression in prostate cancer 
Molecular Cancer  2014;13:212.
p57Kip2, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, is considered to be a candidate tumor suppressor gene that has been implicated in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and sporadic cancers. In addition, decreased expression of p57Kip2 protein has been frequently observed in pancreatic, lung, breast, bladder, gastrointestinal tract and prostate cancers. However, p57Kip2 gene mutations are rare in these cancers suggesting that other unknown mechanisms might be at play in reducing its expression. The aim of this study was to investigate the molecular mechanism of down-regulation of p57Kip2 in prostate cancer.
We observed a significant negative correlation between the expression of p57Kip2 and microRNA-21 (miR-21) in prostate cancer samples and after androgen deprivation with castration in the CWR22 human prostate cancer xenograft model. We report that miR-21 targeted the coding region and decreased p57Kip2 mRNA and protein levels in prostate cancer cells. Conversely, inhibition of endogenous miR-21 by an anti-miR-21 inhibitor strongly induced p57Kip2 expression. Furthermore, we found that knockdown of p57Kip2 reversed the effects of the anti-miR-21 inhibitor on cell migration and anchorage-independent cell growth.
Our results indicate that miR-21 is able to downregulate p57Kip2 expression by targeting the coding region of the gene and is also able to attenuate p57Kip2 mediated functional responses. This is the first report demonstrating that p57Kip2 is a novel target of miR-21 in prostate cancer and revealing a novel oncogenic function of this microRNA.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1476-4598-13-212) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4168249  PMID: 25216674
p57Kip2; microRNA-21 and prostate cancer
7.  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
8.  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
9.  Phosphorylation of p27Kip1 by JAK2 directly links cytokine receptor signaling to cell cycle control 
Oncogene  2011;30(32):3502-3512.
Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) couples ligand activation of cell surface cytokine receptors to the regulation of cellular functions including cell cycle progression, differentiation and apoptosis. It thereby coordinates biological programs such as development and hematopoiesis. Unscheduled activation of JAK2 by point mutations or chromosomal translocations can induce hyperproliferation and hematological malignancies. Typical signal transduction by the JAK2 tyrosine kinase comprises phosphorylation of STAT transcription factors. In this study, we describe the identification of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p27Kip1 as a novel JAK2 substrate. JAK2 can directly bind and phosphorylate p27Kip1. Both, the JAK2 FERM domain and its kinase domain bind to p27Kip1. JAK2 phosphorylates tyrosine residue 88 (Y88) of p27Kip1. We previously reported that Y88 phosphorylation of p27Kip1 by oncogenic tyrosine kinases impairs p27Kip1-mediated CDK inhibition, and initiates its ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation. Consistently, we now find that active oncogenic JAK2V617F reduces p27Kip1 stability and protein levels in patient-derived cell lines harboring the mutant JAK2V617F allele. Moreover, tyrosine phosphorylation of p27Kip1 is impaired and p27Kip1 expression is restored upon JAK2V617F inactivation by small hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown or by the pyridone-containing tetracycle JAK inhibitor-I, indicating that direct phosphorylation of p27Kip1 can contribute to hyperproliferation of JAK2V617F-transformed cells. Activation of endogenous JAK2 by interleukin-3 (IL-3) induces Y88 phosphorylation of p27Kip1, thus unveiling a novel link between cytokine signaling and cell cycle control in non-transformed cells. Oncogenic tyrosine kinases could use this novel pathway to promote hyperproliferation in tumor cells.
PMCID: PMC3160490  PMID: 21423214
cell cycle control; CDK inhibitors; p27Kip1; tyrosine kinases; JAK2; JAK2V617F
10.  p21cip1 Degradation in Differentiated Keratinocytes Is Abrogated by Costabilization with Cyclin E Induced by Human Papillomavirus E7 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(13):6121-6134.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) E7 protein promotes S-phase reentry in a fraction of postmitotic, differentiated keratinocytes. Here we report that these cells contain an inherent mechanism that opposes E7-induced DNA replication. In organotypic raft cultures of primary human keratinocytes, neither cyclin E nor p21cip1 is detectable in situ. However, E7-transduced differentiated cells not in S phase accumulate abundant cyclin E and p21cip1. We show that normally p21cip1 protein is rapidly degraded by proteasomes. In the presence of E7 or E6/E7, p21cip1, cyclin E, and cyclin E2 proteins were all up-regulated. The accumulation of p21cip1 protein is a posttranscriptional event, and ectopic cyclin E expression was sufficient to trigger it. In constract, cdk2 and p27kip1 were abundant in normal differentiated cells and were not significantly affected by E7. Cyclin E, cdk2, and p21cip1 or p27kip1 formed complexes, and relatively little kinase activity was found associated with cyclin E or cdk2. In patient papillomas and E7 raft cultures, all p27kip1-positive cells were negative for bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation, but only some also contained cyclin E and p21cip1. In contrast, all cyclin E-positive cells also contained p27kip1. When the expression of p21cip1 was reduced by rottlerin, a PKC δ inhibitor, p27kip1- and BrdU-positive cells remained unchanged. These observations show that high levels of endogenous p27kip1 can prevent E7-induced S-phase reentry. This inhibition then leads to the stabilization of cyclin E and p21cip1. Since efficient initiation of viral DNA replication requires cyclin E and cdk2, its inhibition accounts for heterogeneous viral activities in productively infected lesions.
PMCID: PMC114328  PMID: 11390614
11.  Effect of hypoxia and Beraprost sodium on human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation: the role of p27kip1 
Respiratory Research  2007;8(1):77.
Hypoxia induces the proliferation of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell (PASMC) in vivo and in vitro, and prostacyclin analogues are thought to inhibit the growth of PASMC. Previous studies suggest that p27kip1, a kind of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, play an important role in the smooth muscle cell proliferation. However, the mechanism of hypoxia and the subcellular interactions between p27kip1 and prostacyclin analogues in human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell (HPASMC) are not fully understood.
We investigated the role of p27kip1 in the ability of Beraprost sodium (BPS; a stable prostacyclin analogue) to inhibit the proliferation of HPASMC during hypoxia. To clarify the biological effects of hypoxic air exposure and BPS on HPASMC, the cells were cultured in a hypoxic chamber under various oxygen concentrations (0.1–21%). Thereafter, DNA synthesis was measured as bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation, the cell cycle was analyzed by flow cytometry with propidium iodide staining. The p27kip1 mRNA and protein expression and it's stability was measured by real-time RT-PCR and Western blotting. Further, we assessed the role of p27kip1 in HPASMC proliferation using p27kip1 gene knockdown using small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection.
Although severe hypoxia (0.1% oxygen) suppressed the proliferation of serum-stimulated HPASMC, moderate hypoxia (2% oxygen) enhanced proliferation in accordance with enhanced p27kip1 protein degradation, whereas BPS suppressed HPASMC proliferation under both hypoxic and normoxic conditions by suppressing p27kip1 degradation with intracellular cAMP-elevation. The 8-bromo-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (8-Br-cAMP), a cAMP analogue, had similar action as BPS in the regulation of p27kip1. Moderate hypoxia did not affect the stability of p27kip1 protein expression, but PDGF, known as major hypoxia-induced growth factors, significantly decreased p27kip1 protein stability. We also demonstrated that BPS and 8-Br-cAMP suppressed HPASMC proliferation under both hypoxic and normoxic conditions by blocking p27kip1 mRNA degradation. Furthermore, p27kip1 gene silencing partially attenuated the effects of BPS and partially restored hypoxia-induced proliferation.
Our study suggests that moderate hypoxia induces HPASMC proliferation, which is partially dependent of p27kip1 down-regulation probably via the induction of growth factors such as PDGF, and BPS inhibits both the cell proliferation and p27kip1 mRNA degradation through cAMP pathway.
PMCID: PMC2164950  PMID: 17974037
12.  Requirement for p27KIP1 in Retinoblastoma Protein-Mediated Senescence 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2001;21(11):3616-3631.
In vivo and in vitro evidence indicate that cells do not divide indefinitely but instead stop growing and undergo a process termed cellular proliferative senescence. Very little is known about how senescence occurs, but there are several indications that the retinoblastoma protein (pRb) is involved, the most striking being that reintroduction of RB into RB−/− tumor cell lines induces senescence. In investigating the mechanism by which pRb induces senescence, we have found that pRb causes a posttranscriptional accumulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27KIP1 that is accompanied by an increase in p27KIP1 specifically bound to cyclin E and a concomitant decrease in cyclin E-associated kinase activity. In contrast, pRb-related proteins p107 and p130, which also decrease cyclin E-kinase activity, do not cause an accumulation of p27KIP1 and induce senescence poorly. In addition, the use of pRb proteins mutated in the pocket domain demonstrates that pRb upregulation of p27KIP1 and senescence induction do not require the interaction of pRb with E2F. Furthermore, ectopic expression of p21CIP1 or p27KIP1 induces senescence but not the morphology change associated with pRb-mediated senescence, uncoupling senescence from the morphological transformation. Finally, the ability of pRb to maintain cell cycle arrest and induce senescence is reversibly abrogated by ablation of p27KIP1 expression. These findings suggest that prolonged cell cycle arrest through the persistent and specific inhibition of cdk2 activity by p27KIP1 is critical for pRb-induced senescence.
PMCID: PMC86983  PMID: 11340156
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.  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
15.  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
16.  Transforming growth factor beta stabilizes p15INK4B protein, increases p15INK4B-cdk4 complexes, and inhibits cyclin D1-cdk4 association in human mammary epithelial cells. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1997;17(5):2458-2467.
The effects of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) were studied in closely related human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC), both finite-life-span 184 cells and immortal derivatives, 184A1S, and 184A1L5R, which differ in their cell cycle responses to TGF-beta but express type I and type II TGF-beta receptors and retain TGF-beta induction of extracellular matrix. The arrest-resistant phenotype was not due to loss of cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) inhibitors. TGF-beta was shown to regulate p15INK4B expression at at least two levels: mRNA accumulation and protein stability. In TGF-beta-arrested HMEC, there was not only an increase in p15 mRNA but also a major increase in p5INK4B protein stability. As cdk4- and cdk6-associated p15INK4B increased during TGF-beta arrest of sensitive cells, there was a loss of cyclin D1, p21Cip1, and p27Kip1 from these kinase complexes, and cyclin E-cdk2-associated p27Kip1 increased. In HMEC, p15INK4B complexes did not contain detectable cyclin. p15INK4B from both sensitive and resistant cells could displace in vitro cyclin D1, p21Cip1, and p27Kip1 from cdk4 isolated from sensitive cells. Cyclin D1 could not be displaced from cdk4 in the resistant 184A1L5R cell lysates. Thus, in TGF-beta arrest, p15INK4B may displace already associated cyclin D1 from cdks and prevent new cyclin D1-cdk complexes from forming. Furthermore, p27Kip1 binding shifts from cdk4 to cyclin E-cdk2 during TGF-beta-mediated arrest. The importance of posttranslational regulation of p15INK4B by TGF-beta is underlined by the observation that in TGF-beta-resistant 184A1L5R, although the p15 transcript increased, p15INK4B protein was not stabilized and did not accumulate, and cyclin D1-cdk association and kinase activation were not inhibited.
PMCID: PMC232094  PMID: 9111314
17.  Expression of constitutively active 4EBP-1 enhances p27Kip1 expression and inhibits proliferation of MCF7 breast cancer cells 
Eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) is essential for cap-dependent initiation of translation. Cell proliferation is associated with increased activity of eIF4E and elevated expression of eIF4E leads to tumorigenic transformation. Many tumors express very high levels of eIF4E and this may be a critical factor in progression of the disease. In contrast, overexpression of 4EBP, an inhibitor of eIF4E, leads to cell cycle arrest and phenotypic reversion of some transformed cells.
A constitutively active form of 4EBP-1 was inducibly expressed in the human breast cancer cell line MCF7. Induction of constitutively active 4EBP-1 led to cell cycle arrest. This was not associated with a general inhibition of protein synthesis but rather with changes in specific cell cycle regulatory proteins. Cyclin D1 was downregulated while levels of the CDK inhibitor p27Kip1 were increased. The levels of cyclin E and CDK2 were unaffected but the activity of CDK2 was significantly reduced due to increased association with p27Kip1. The increase in p27Kip1 did not reflect changes in p27Kip1 mRNA or degradation rates. Rather, it was associated with enhanced synthesis of the protein, even though 4EBP-1 is expected to inhibit translation. This could be explained, at least in part, by the ability of the p27Kip1 5'-UTR to mediate cap-independent translation, which was also enhanced by expression of constitutively active 4EBP-1.
Expression of active 4EBP-1 in MCF7 leads to cell cycle arrest which is associated with downregulation of cyclin D1 and upregulation of p27Kip1. Upregulation of p27Kip1reflects increased synthesis which corresponds to enhanced cap-independent translation through the 5'-UTR of the p27Kip1 mRNA.
PMCID: PMC151675  PMID: 12633504
18.  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
19.  Antitumour effect of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (p16INK4A, p18INK4C, p19INK4D, p21WAF1/CIP1 and p27KIP1) on malignant glioma cells 
British Journal of Cancer  2003;88(8):1277-1280.
Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKIs) are considered as novel anticancer agents because of their ability to induce growth arrest or apoptosis in tumour cells. It has not yet been fully determined, however, which CDKI is the best candidate for the treatment of malignant gliomas and whether normal brain tissues are affected by CDKI expression. Using recombinant adenoviral vectors that express CDKIs (p16INK4A, p18INK4C, p19INK4D, p21WAF1/CIP1 and p27KIP1), we compared the antitumour effect of CDKIs on malignant glioma cell lines (A172, GB-1, T98G, U87-MG, U251-MG and U373-MG). p27KIP1 showed higher ability to suppress the growth of all tumour cells tested than other CDKIs. Interestingly, overexpression of p27KIP1 induced autophagic cell death, but not apoptosis in tumour cells. On the other hand, p27KIP1 overexpression did not inhibit the viability of cultured astrocytes (RNB) nor induced autophagy. Overall, our findings suggest that gene transfer of p27KIP1 may be a promising approach for the therapy of malignant gliomas.
PMCID: PMC2747579  PMID: 12698196
cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors; p27KIP1; glioma; autophagy
20.  p27KIP1 Deletions in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  1999;1(3):253-261.
The p27KIP1 gene, which encodes a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor, has been assigned to chromosome band 12p12, a region often affected by cytogenetically apparent deletions or translocations in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). As described here, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis of 35 primary ALL samples with cytogenetic evidence of 12p abnormalities revealed hemizygous deletions of p27KIP1 in 29 cases. Further analysis of 19 of these cases with two additional gene-specific probes from the 12p region (hematopoietic cell phosphatase, HCP and cyclin D2, CCND2) showed that p27KIP1 is located more proximally on the short arm of chromosome 12 and is deleted more frequently than either HCP or CCND2. Of 16 of these cases with hemizygous deletion of p27KIP1, only eight showed loss of HCP or CCND2, whereas loss of either of the latter two loci was uniformly associated with loss of p27KIP1. Missense mutations or mutations leading to premature termination codons were not detected in the coding sequences of the retained p27KIP1 alleles in any of the 16 ALL cases examined, indicating a lack of homozygous inactivation. By Southern blot analysis, one case of primary T-cell ALL had hemizygous loss of a single p27KIP1 allele and a 34.5-kb deletion, including the second coding exon of the other allele. Despite homozygous inactivation of p27KIP1 in this case, our data suggest that haploinsufficiency for p27KIP1 is the primary consequence of 12p chromosomal deletions in childhood ALL. The oncogenic role of reduced, but not absent, levels of p27KIP1 is supported by recent studies in murine models and evidence that this protein not only inhibits the activity of complexes containing CDK2 and cyclin E, but also promotes the assembly and catalytic activity of CDK4 or CDK6 in complexes with cyclin D.
PMCID: PMC1508076  PMID: 10935480
acute lymphoblastic leukemia; p27KIP1; cell cycle inhibitor
21.  Patterns of p57Kip2 Expression in Embryonic Rat Brain Suggest Roles in Progenitor Cell Cycle Exit and Neuronal Differentiation 
Developmental neurobiology  2009;69(1):1-21.
In developing central nervous system, a variety of mechanisms couple cell cycle exit to differentiation during neurogenesis. The cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p57Kip2 controls the transition from proliferation to differentiation in many tissues, but roles in developing brain remain uncertain. To characterize possible functions, we defined p57Kip2 protein expression in embryonic day (E) 12.5 to 20.5 rat brains using immunohistochemistry combined with markers of proliferation and differentiation. p57Kip2 was localized primarily in cell nuclei and positive cells formed two distinct patterns including wide dispersion and laminar aggregation that were brain region-specific. From E12.5 to E16.5, p57Kip2 expression was detected mainly in ventricular (VZ) and/or mantle zones of hippocampus, septum, basal ganglia, thalamus, hypothalamus, midbrain and spinal cord. After E18.5, p57Kip2 was detected in select regions undergoing differentiation. p57Kip2 expression was also compared to regional transcription factors, including Ngn2, Nkx2.1 and Pax6. Time course studies performed in diencephalon showed that p57Kip2 immunoreactivity co-localized with BrdU at 8 hr in nuclei exhibiting the wide dispersion pattern, whereas co-localization in the laminar pattern occurred only later. Moreover, p57Kip2 frequently co-localized with neuronal marker, β-III tubulin. Finally, we characterized relationships of p57Kip2 to CDK inhibitor p27Kip1: In proliferative regions, p57Kip2 expression preceded p27Kip1 as cells underwent differentiation, though the proteins co-localized in substantial numbers of cells, suggesting potentially related yet distinct functions of Cip/Kip family members during neurogenesis. Our observations that p57Kip2 exhibits nuclear expression as precursors exit the cell cycle and begin expressing neuronal characteristics suggests that the CDK inhibitor contributes to regulating the transition from proliferation to differentiation during brain development.
PMCID: PMC2967216  PMID: 18814313
Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p57Kip2; Embryonic Development/physiology; Nervous System/cytology/*embryology; Brain/embryology; Neuronal Differentiation
22.  p57Kip2 Stabilizes the MyoD Protein by Inhibiting Cyclin E-Cdk2 Kinase Activity in Growing Myoblasts 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1999;19(11):7621-7629.
We show that expression of p57Kip2, a potent tight-binding inhibitor of several G1 cyclin–cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) complexes, increases markedly during C2C12 myoblast differentiation. We examined the effect of p57Kip2 on the activity of the transcription factor MyoD. In transient transfection assays, transcriptional transactivation of the mouse muscle creatine kinase promoter by MyoD was enhanced by the Cdk inhibitors. In addition, p57Kip2, p21Cip1, and p27Kip1 but not p16Ink4a induced an increased level of MyoD protein, and we show that MyoD, an unstable nuclear protein, was stabilized by p57Kip2. Forced expression of p57Kip2 correlated with hypophosphorylation of MyoD in C2C12 myoblasts. A dominant-negative Cdk2 mutant arrested cells at the G1 phase transition and induced hypophosphorylation of MyoD. Furthermore, phosphorylation of MyoD by purified cyclin E-Cdk2 complexes was inhibited by p57Kip2. In addition, the NH2 domain of p57Kip2 necessary for inhibition of cyclin E-Cdk2 activity was sufficient to inhibit MyoD phosphorylation and to stabilize it, leading to its accumulation in proliferative myoblasts. Taken together, our data suggest that repression of cyclin E-Cdk2-mediated phosphorylation of MyoD by p57Kip2 could play an important role in the accumulation of MyoD at the onset of myoblast differentiation.
PMCID: PMC84790  PMID: 10523650
23.  Cortactin Modulates RhoA Activation and Expression of Cip/Kip Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitors To Promote Cell Cycle Progression in 11q13-Amplified Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells ▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2010;30(21):5057-5070.
The cortactin oncoprotein is frequently overexpressed in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), often due to amplification of the encoding gene (CTTN). While cortactin overexpression enhances invasive potential, recent research indicates that it also promotes cell proliferation, but how cortactin regulates the cell cycle machinery is unclear. In this article we report that stable short hairpin RNA-mediated cortactin knockdown in the 11q13-amplified cell line FaDu led to increased expression of the Cip/Kip cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKIs) p21WAF1/Cip1, p27Kip1, and p57Kip2 and inhibition of S-phase entry. These effects were associated with increased binding of p21WAF1/Cip1 and p27Kip1 to cyclin D1- and E1-containing complexes and decreased retinoblastoma protein phosphorylation. Cortactin regulated expression of p21WAF1/Cip1 and p27Kip1 at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels, respectively. The direct roles of p21WAF1/Cip1, p27Kip1, and p57Kip2 downstream of cortactin were confirmed by the transient knockdown of each CDKI by specific small interfering RNAs, which led to partial rescue of cell cycle progression. Interestingly, FaDu cells with reduced cortactin levels also exhibited a significant diminution in RhoA expression and activity, together with decreased expression of Skp2, a critical component of the SCF ubiquitin ligase that targets p27Kip1 and p57Kip2 for degradation. Transient knockdown of RhoA in FaDu cells decreased expression of Skp2, enhanced the level of Cip/Kip CDKIs, and attenuated S-phase entry. These findings identify a novel mechanism for regulation of proliferation in 11q13-amplified HNSCC cells, in which overexpressed cortactin acts via RhoA to decrease expression of Cip/Kip CDKIs, and highlight Skp2 as a downstream effector for RhoA in this process.
PMCID: PMC2953065  PMID: 20805359
24.  DFMO/eflornithine inhibits migration and invasion downstream of MYCN and involves p27Kip1 activity in neuroblastoma 
International Journal of Oncology  2013;42(4):1219-1228.
Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial pediatric tumor. NB patients over 18 months of age at the time of diagnosis are often in the later stages of the disease, present with widespread dissemination, and often possess MYCN tumor gene amplification. MYCN is a transcription factor that regulates the expression of a number of genes including ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), a rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of polyamines. Inhibiting ODC in NB cells produces many deleterious effects including G1 cell cycle arrest, inhibition of cell proliferation, and decreased tumor growth, making ODC a promising target for drug interference. DFMO treatment leads to the accumulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 protein and causes p27Kip1/Rb-coupled G1 cell cycle arrest in MYCN-amplified NB tumor cells through a process that involves p27Kip1 phosphorylation at residues Ser10 and Thr198. While p27Kip1 is well known for its role as a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, recent studies have revealed a novel function of p27Kip1 as a regulator of cell migration and invasion. In the present study we found that p27Kip1 regulates the migration and invasion in NB and that these events are dependent on the state of phosphorylation of p27Kip1. DFMO treatments induced MYCN protein downregulation and phosphorylation of Akt/PKB (Ser473) and GSK3-β (Ser9), and polyamine supplementation alleviated the DFMO-induced effects. Importantly, we provide strong evidence that p27Kip1 mRNA correlates with clinical features and the survival probability of NB patients.
PMCID: PMC3622674  PMID: 23440295
DFMO; Kaplan-Meier survival plot; metastasis; MYCN; neuroblastoma; ornithine decarboxylase; polyamines; p27Kip
25.  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

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