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1.  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
2.  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
3.  Distinct Developmental Roles of Cell Cycle Inhibitors p57Kip2 and p27Kip1 Distinguish Pituitary Progenitor Cell Cycle Exit from Cell Cycle Reentry of Differentiated Cells▿ † 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2009;29(7):1895-1908.
Patterning and differentiation signals are often believed to drive the developmental program, including cell cycle exit of proliferating progenitors. Taking advantage of the spatial and temporal separation of proliferating and differentiated cells within the developing anterior pituitary gland, we investigated the control of cell proliferation during organogenesis. Thus, we identified a population of noncycling precursors that are uniquely marked by expression of the cell cycle inhibitor p57Kip2 and by cyclin E. In p57Kip2−/− mice, the developing pituitary is hyperplastic due to accumulation of proliferating progenitors, whereas overexpression of p57Kip2 leads to hypoplasia. p57Kip2-dependent cell cycle exit is not required for differentiation, and conversely, blockade of cell differentiation, as achieved in Tpit−/− pituitaries, does not prevent cell cycle exit but rather leads to accumulation of p57Kip2-positive precursors. Upon differentiation, p57Kip2 is replaced by p27Kip1. Accordingly, proliferating differentiated cells are readily detected in p27Kip1−/− pituitaries but not in wild-type or p57Kip2−/− pituitaries. Strikingly, all cells of p57Kip2−/−;p27Kip1−/− pituitaries are proliferative. Thus, during normal development, progenitor cell cycle exit is controlled by p57Kip2 followed by p27Kip1 in differentiated cells; these sequential actions, taken together with different pituitary outcomes of their loss of function, suggest hierarchical controls of the cell cycle that are independent of differentiation.
PMCID: PMC2655618  PMID: 19139274
4.  Partial hepatectomy in rats results in immediate down-regulation of p27Kip1 in residual liver tissue by transcriptional and post-translational processes 
Purpose: The cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p27Kip1 may be involved in regulating re-entry of residual hepatocytes into the cell cycle upon loss of liver tissue by partial hepatectomy (PH). As yet, changes in Kip1 expression during the initial period following PH are not well-characterized. We investigated immediate changes in Kip1 mRNA and protein levels as well as changes in Kip1 phosphorylation in liver tissue within the relevant time window between surgery and the onset of DNA synthesis at 10–12 h.
Methods: We used real-time PCR, quantitative Western blotting, and immune histochemistry on tissue samples of adult rats obtained during or between 2 and 10 h after surgical removal of two thirds of the liver to analyze Kip1 mRNA or protein levels, respectively, or to quantify nuclear expression of Kip1.
Results: Kip1 mRNA was down-regulated within 4 h after PH by 60% and remained unchanged thereafter up to 10 h. With a lag phase of 2–3 h, Kip1-protein was down-regulated to a level of 40% of the control. The level of Thr187-phosphorylated Kip1 started to increase at 4 h and reached a maximum level at 8–10 h after PH. Kip1 immunoreactivity was observed in 30% of the hepatocytes before PH. Within 6–8 h after PH, more than half of the hepatocytes lost nuclear Kip1 signals. Kip1-specific micro-RNAs (miRNA221, miRNA222) were not changed upon PH.
Conclusions: A portion of hepatocytes in adult rats constitutively express Kip1 and down-regulate Kip1 immediately upon PH. This response involves transcriptional processes (loss of Kip1 mRNA) as well as accelerated degradation of existing protein (increase in pThr187-phosphorylation mediating polyubiquitinylation and proteasomal degradation of Kip1). Kip1 down-regulation occurs precisely within the intervall between surgery and onset of DNA synthesis which supports the hypothesis that it mediates activation of G0/0S-phase Cdk/cyclin-complexes and re-entry of hepatocytes into the cell cycle.
PMCID: PMC3680744  PMID: 23781207
cell cycle regulator; cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor; Kip1; compensatory growth; liver regeneration; rat hepatocytes; cell proliferation
5.  A cell-autonomous requirement for Cip/Kip Cyclin-kinase inhibitors in regulating the timing of neuronal cell cycle exit but not differentiation in the developing spinal cord 
Developmental biology  2006;301(1):14-26.
Control over cell cycle exit is fundamental to the normal generation of the wide array of distinct cell types that comprise the mature vertebrate CNS. Here, we demonstrate a critical role for Cip/Kip class cyclin-kinase inhibitory (CKI) proteins in regulating this process during neurogenesis in the embryonic spinal cord. Using immunohistochemistry, we show that all three identified Cip/Kip CKI proteins are expressed in both distinct and overlapping populations of nascent and post-mitotic neurons during early neurogenesis, with p27Kip1 having the broadest expression, and both p57 kip2 and p21Cip1 showing transient expression in restricted populations. Loss- and gain-of-function approaches were used to establish the unique and redundant functions of these proteins in spinal cord neurogenesis. Using genetic lineage tracing, we provide evidence that, in the absence of p57, nascent neurons re-enter the cell cycle inappropriately but later exit to begin differentiation. Analysis of p57kip2; p27kip1double mutants, where p21 expression is confined to only a small population of interneurons, demonstrates that Cip/Kip CKI-independent factors initiate progenitor cell cycle exit for the majority of interneurons generated in the developing spinal cord. Our studies indicate that p57 plays a critical cell-autonomous role in timing cell cycle exit at G1/S by opposing the activity CyclinD1, which promotes cell cycle progression. These studies support a multi-step model for neuronal progenitor cell cycle withdrawal that involves p57kip2 in a central role opposing latent Cyclin D1 and other residual cell cycle promoting activities in progenitors targeted for differentiation.
PMCID: PMC1821088  PMID: 17123502
Neurogenesis; stem cells; proliferation; neural tube; differentiation; progenitor cyclin; p57kip2; p27kip1; p21Cip1
6.  Homeodomain Transcription Factor Phox2a, via Cyclic AMP-Mediated Activation, Induces p27Kip1 Transcription, Coordinating Neural Progenitor Cell Cycle Exit and Differentiation▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;26(23):8826-8839.
Mechanisms coordinating neural progenitor cell cycle exit and differentiation are incompletely understood. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 is transcriptionally induced, switching specific neural progenitors from proliferation to differentiation. However, neuronal differentiation-specific transcription factors mediating p27Kip1 transcription have not been identified. We demonstrate the homeodomain transcription factor Phox2a, required for central nervous system (CNS)- and neural crest (NC)-derived noradrenergic neuron differentiation, coordinates cell cycle exit and differentiation by inducing p27Kip1 transcription. Phox2a transcription and activation in the CNS-derived CAD cell line and primary NC cells is mediated by combined cyclic AMP (cAMP) and bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) signaling. In the CAD cellular model, cAMP and BMP2 signaling initially induces proliferation of the undifferentiated precursors, followed by p27Kip1 transcription, G1 arrest, and neuronal differentiation. Small interfering RNA silencing of either Phox2a or p27Kip1 suppresses p27Kip1 transcription and neuronal differentiation, suggesting a causal link between p27Kip1 expression and differentiation. Conversely, ectopic Phox2a expression via the Tet-off expression system promotes accelerated CAD cell neuronal differentiation and p27Kip1 transcription only in the presence of cAMP signaling. Importantly, endogenous or ectopically expressed Phox2a activated by cAMP signaling binds homeodomain cis-acting elements of the p27Kip1 promoter in vivo and mediates p27Kip1-luciferase expression in CAD and NC cells. We conclude that developmental cues of cAMP signaling causally link Phox2a activation with p27Kip1 transcription, thereby coordinating neural progenitor cell cycle exit and differentiation.
PMCID: PMC1636809  PMID: 16982676
7.  MAD1 and p27KIP1 Cooperate To Promote Terminal Differentiation of Granulocytes and To Inhibit Myc Expression and Cyclin E-CDK2 Activity 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2002;22(9):3014-3023.
To understand how cellular differentiation is coupled to withdrawal from the cell cycle, we have focused on two negative regulators of the cell cycle, the MYC antagonist MAD1 and the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27KIP1. Generation of Mad1/p27KIP1 double-null mice revealed a number of synthetic effects between the null alleles of Mad1 and p27KIP1, including embryonic lethality, increased proliferation, and impaired differentiation of granulocyte precursors. Furthermore, with granulocyte cell lines derived from the Mad1/p27KIP1 double-null mice, we observed constitutive Myc expression and cyclin E-CDK2 kinase activity as well as impaired differentiation following treatment with an inducer of differentiation. By contrast, similar treatment of granulocytes from Mad1 or p27KIP1 single-null mice resulted in differentiation accompanied by downregulation of both Myc expression and cyclin E-CDK2 kinase activity. In the double-null granulocytic cells, addition of a CDK2 inhibitor in the presence of differentiation inducer was sufficient to restore differentiation and reduce Myc levels. We conclude that Mad1 and p27KIP1 operate, at least in part, by distinct mechanisms to downregulate CDK2 activity and Myc expression in order to promote cell cycle exit during differentiation.
PMCID: PMC133749  PMID: 11940659
8.  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
9.  p27Kip1 is required to maintain proliferative quiescence in the adult cochlea and pituitary 
Cell Cycle  2011;10(8):1237-1248.
Cell cycle inhibitors, such as the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor proteins and retinoblastoma (Rb) family members, control exit from the cell cycle during the development of a variety of terminally differentiated tissues. It is unclear whether sustained expression of these proteins is required to prevent cell cycle re-entry in quiescent and terminally differentiated cells. The organ of Corti (cochlear sensory epithelium) and pars intermedia (intermediate lobe of the pituitary) are two tissues that share the characteristic of ongoing cell division in mice lacking either the p27Kip1 Cdk inhibitor, Ink4 proteins or Rb. Here, we use tamoxifen-inducible mouse models to delete p27Kip1 in postnatal animals and show this is sufficient to induce proliferation in both the organ of Corti and pars intermedia. Thus, these tissues remain sensitive to the presence of p27Kip1 even after their developmental exit from the cell cycle. The neonatal cochlea displayed heightened sensitivity to changes in p27Kip1 expression, with a proliferative response higher than that of constitutive null mice. In adults, the proliferative response was reduced but was accompanied by increased cell survival. In contrast, re-establishment of normal p27Kip1 expression in animals with established pituitary tumors, in an inducible “knock-on” model, led to cessation of pituitary tumor growth, indicating the cells had maintained their susceptibility to p27-mediated growth suppression. Although restoration of p27Kip1 did not induce apoptosis, it did lead to resolution of pathological features and normalization of gene expression. Our data underscore the importance of p27Kip1 expression in the maintenance of cellular quiescence and terminal differentiation.
PMCID: PMC3230534  PMID: 21403466
proliferation; cell cycle; p27; Cdk inhibitor; auditory; cochlea; pituitary
10.  p27KIP1 Regulates Neurogenesis in the Rostral Migratory Stream and Olfactory Bulb of the Postnatal Mouse 
Neuronal progenitor cells of the anterior subventricular zone (SVZa) migrate along the rostral migratory stream (RMS) to the olfactory bulb, where they exit the cell cycle and differentiate. The molecular mechanisms that regulate SVZa progenitor proliferation and cell cycle exit are largely undefined. We investigated the role of p27KIP1 in regulating cell proliferation and survival in the RMS and olfactory bulb between postnatal day 1 (P1) and P14, the peak period of olfactory bulb neuron generation. A large proportion of cells in the RMS and the olfactory bulb express cytoplasmic p27KIP1, but a small percentage display high nuclear p27KIP1 immunostaining, which exhibit a caudallow-rostralhigh gradient: lowest in the SVZa and highest in the glomerular layer of the olfactory bulb. p27KIP1 is also present in the nucleus and/or the cytoplasm of neuron-specific type III β-tubulin(+) cells. Cells with strong nuclear p27KIP1 expression are BrdU(−) and Ki67(−). The percentage of BrdU(+) cells in the SVZa, RMS and olfactory bulb is higher in p27KIP1 null than wild type (WT) mice at all ages analyzed. Consistent with these findings, p27KIP1 overexpression in cultured p27KIP1 null and WT SVZ cells reduced cell proliferation and self-renewal. Finally, in p27KIP1 null mice, the diameter of the horizontal limb of the RMS is larger than in WT mice, and development of the olfactory bulb granule cell layer is delayed, together with increased apoptotic cell density. Our results indicate that in the postnatal brain p27KIP1 regulates the proliferation and survival of neuronal cells in the RMS and olfactory bulb.
PMCID: PMC3488282  PMID: 19261886
cell differentiation; cell proliferation; cell survival; cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor; neuronal progenitor cells; subventricular zone
11.  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
12.  Hes1 Directly Controls Cell Proliferation through the Transcriptional Repression of p27Kip1 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2005;25(10):4262-4271.
A transcriptional regulator, Hes1, plays crucial roles in the control of differentiation and proliferation of neuronal, endocrine, and T-lymphocyte progenitors during development. Mechanisms for the regulation of cell proliferation by Hes1, however, remain to be verified. In embryonic carcinoma cells, endogenous Hes1 expression was repressed by retinoic acid in concord with enhanced p27Kip1 expression and cell cycle arrest. Conversely, conditional expression of a moderate but not maximal level of Hes1 in HeLa cells by a tetracycline-inducible system resulted in reduced p27Kip1 expression, which was attributed to decreased basal transcript rather than enhanced proteasomal degradation, with concomitant increases in the growth rate and saturation density. Hes1 induction repressed the promoter activity of a 5′ flanking basal enhancer region of p27Kip1 gene in a manner dependent on Hes1 expression levels, and this was mediated by its binding to class C sites in the promoter region. Finally, hypoplastic fetal thymi, as well as livers and brains of Hes1-deficient mice, showed significantly increased p27Kip1 transcripts compared with those of control littermates. These results have suggested that Hes1 directly contributes to the promotion of progenitor cell proliferation through transcriptional repression of a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, p27Kip1.
PMCID: PMC1087711  PMID: 15870295
13.  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
14.  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
15.  Phosphorylation of p27Kip1 at Thr187 by Cyclin-dependent Kinase 5 Modulates Neural Stem Cell Differentiation 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2010;21(20):3601-3614.
Cdk5 plays a role in nervous system development; its role in the initial stages of neural differentiation is poorly understood. We isolated neural stem cells from E13 Cdk5 WT and KO mouse and observed them as they switched from proliferating stage to neural differentiation. We show that Cdk5 phosphorylation of p27kip1 at Thr187 is crucial to neural differentiation.
Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) plays a key role in the development of the mammalian nervous system; it phosphorylates a number of targeted proteins involved in neuronal migration during development to synaptic activity in the mature nervous system. Its role in the initial stages of neuronal commitment and differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs), however, is poorly understood. In this study, we show that Cdk5 phosphorylation of p27Kip1 at Thr187 is crucial to neural differentiation because 1) neurogenesis is specifically suppressed by transfection of p27Kip1 siRNA into Cdk5+/+ NSCs; 2) reduced neuronal differentiation in Cdk5−/− compared with Cdk5+/+ NSCs; 3) Cdk5+/+ NSCs, whose differentiation is inhibited by a nonphosphorylatable mutant, p27/Thr187A, are rescued by cotransfection of a phosphorylation-mimicking mutant, p27/Thr187D; and 4) transfection of mutant p27Kip1 (p27/187A) into Cdk5+/+ NSCs inhibits differentiation. These data suggest that Cdk5 regulates the neural differentiation of NSCs by phosphorylation of p27Kip1 at theThr187 site. Additional experiments exploring the role of Ser10 phosphorylation by Cdk5 suggest that together with Thr187 phosphorylation, Ser10 phosphorylation by Cdk5 promotes neurite outgrowth as neurons differentiate. Cdk5 phosphorylation of p27Kip1, a modular molecule, may regulate the progress of neuronal differentiation from cell cycle arrest through differentiation, neurite outgrowth, and migration.
PMCID: PMC2954124  PMID: 20810788
16.  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
17.  Cyclin D- and E-Dependent Kinases and the p57KIP2 Inhibitor: Cooperative Interactions In Vivo 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1999;19(1):353-363.
This study examines in vivo the role and functional interrelationships of components regulating exit from the G1 resting phase into the DNA synthetic (S) phase of the cell cycle. Our approach made use of several key experimental attributes of the developing mouse lens, namely its strong dependence on pRb in maintenance of the postmitotic state, the down-regulation of cyclins D and E and up-regulation of the p57KIP2 inhibitor in the postmitotic lens fiber cell compartment, and the ability to target transgene expression to this compartment. These attributes provide an ideal in vivo context in which to examine the consequences of forced cyclin expression and/or of loss of p57KIP2 inhibitor function in a cellular compartment that permits an accurate quantitation of cellular proliferation and apoptosis rates in situ. Here, we demonstrate that, despite substantial overlap in cyclin transgene expression levels, D-type and E cyclins exhibited clear functional differences in promoting entry into S phase. In general, forced expression of the D-type cyclins was more efficient than cyclin E in driving lens fiber cells into S phase. In the case of cyclins D1 and D2, ectopic proliferation required their enhanced nuclear localization through CDK4 coexpression. High nuclear levels of cyclin E and CDK2, while not sufficient to promote efficient exit from G1, did act synergistically with ectopic cyclin D/CDK4. The functional differences between D-type and E cyclins was most evident in the p57KIP2-deficient lens wherein cyclin D overexpression induced a rate of proliferation equivalent to that of the pRb null lens, while overexpression of cyclin E did not increase the rate of proliferation over that induced by the loss of p57KIP2 function. These in vivo analyses provide strong biological support for the prevailing view that the antecedent actions of cyclin D/CDK4 act cooperatively with cyclin E/CDK2 and antagonistically with p57KIP2 to regulate the G1/S transition in a cell type highly dependent upon pRb.
PMCID: PMC83893  PMID: 9858559
18.  E Proteins and Id2 Converge on p57Kip2 To Regulate Cell Cycle in Neural Cells 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;26(11):4351-4361.
A precise balance between proliferation and differentiation must be maintained during neural development to obtain the correct proportion of differentiated cell types in the adult nervous system. The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors known as E proteins and their natural inhibitors, the Id proteins, control the timing of differentiation and terminal exit from the cell cycle. Here we show that progression into S phase of human neuroblastoma cells is prevented by E proteins and promoted by Id2. Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CKI) have been identified as key effectors of cell cycle arrest in differentiating cells. However, p57Kip2 is the only CKI that is absolutely required for normal development. Through the use of global gene expression analysis in neuroblastoma cells engineered to acutely express the E protein E47 and Id2, we find that p57Kip2 is a target of E47. Consistent with the role of Id proteins, Id2 prevents activation of p57Kip2 expression, and the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein, a known Id2 inhibitor, counters this activity. The strong E47-mediated inhibition of entry into S phase is entirely reversed in cells in which expression of p57Kip2 is silenced by RNA interference. During brain development, expression of p57Kip2 is opposite that of Id2. Our findings identify p57Kip2 as a functionally relevant target recruited by bHLH transcription factors to induce cell cycle arrest in developing neuroblasts and suggest that deregulated expression of Id proteins may be an epigenetic mechanism to silence expression of this CKI in neural tumors.
PMCID: PMC1489106  PMID: 16705184
19.  The negative cell cycle regulators, p27Kip1, p18Ink4c, and GSK-3, play critical role in maintaining quiescence of adult human pancreatic β-cells and restrict their ability to proliferate 
Islets  2013;5(4):156-169.
Adult human pancreatic β-cells are primarily quiescent (G0) yet the mechanisms controlling their quiescence are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate, by immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy, abundant levels of the critical negative cell cycle regulators, p27(Kip1) and p18(Ink4c), 2 key members of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor family, and glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3), a serine-threonine protein kinase, in islet β-cells of adult human pancreatic tissue. Our data show that p27(Kip1) localizes primarily in β-cell nuclei, whereas, p18(Ink4c) is mostly present in β-cell cytosol. Additionally, p-p27(S10), a phosphorylated form of p27(Kip1), which was shown to interact with and to sequester cyclinD-CDK4/6 in the cytoplasm, is present in substantial amounts in β-cell cytosol. Our immunofluorescence analysis displays similar distribution pattern of p27(Kip1), p-p27(S10), p18(Ink4c) and GSK-3 in islet β-cells of adult mouse pancreatic tissue. We demonstrate marked interaction of p27(Kip1) with cyclin D3, an abundant D-type cyclin in adult human islets, and vice versa as well as with its cognate kinase partners, CDK4 and CDK6. Likewise, we show marked interaction of p18(Ink4c) with CDK4. The data collectively suggest that inhibition of CDK function by p27(Kip1) and p18(Ink4c) contributes to human β-cell quiescence. Consistent with this, we have found by BrdU incorporation assay that combined treatments of small molecule GSK-3 inhibitor and mitogen/s lead to elevated proliferation of human β-cells, which is caused partly due to p27(Kip1) downregulation. The results altogether suggest that ex vivo expansion of human β-cells is achievable via increased proliferation for β-cell replacement therapy in diabetes.
PMCID: PMC4049839  PMID: 23896637
CDK inhibitors; GSK-3; adult human islets; adult pancreatic β-cell; p18(Ink4c); p27(Kip1); proliferation; quiescence
20.  Roles of p53 and p27 Kip1 in the regulation of neurogenesis in the murine adult subventricular zone 
The European journal of neuroscience  2011;34(7):1040-1052.
The tumor suppressor protein p53 (Trp53) and the cell cycle inhibitor p27 Kip1 (Cdknb1) have both been implicated in regulating proliferation of adult subventricular zone (aSVZ) cells. We previously reported that genetic ablation of Trp53 (Trp53 −/−) or Cdknb1 (p27 Kip1−/−) increased proliferation of cells in the aSVZ, but differentially affected the number of adult born neuroblasts. We therefore hypothesized that these molecules might play non-redundant roles. To test this hypothesis we generated mice lacking both genes (Trp53 −/−;p27 Kip1−/−) and analysed the consequences on aSVZ cells and adult neuroblasts. Proliferation and self-renewal of cultured aSVZ cells were increased in the double mutants compared with control, but the mice did not develop spontaneous brain tumors. In contrast, the number of adult-born neuroblasts in the double mutants was similar to wild-type animals and suggested a complementation of the p27 Kip1−/− phenotype due to loss of Trp53. Cellular differences detected in the aSVZ correlated with cellular changes in the olfactory bulb and behavioral data on novel odor recognition. The exploration time for new odors was reduced in p27 Kip1−/− mice, increased in Trp53 −/− mice and normalized in the double Trp53−/−;p27 Kip1−/− mutants. At the molecular level, Trp53 −/− aSVZ cells were characterized by higher levels of NeuroD and Math3 and by the ability to generate neurons more readily. In contrast, p27 Kip1−/− cells generated fewer neurons, due to enhanced proteasomal degradation of pro-neural transcription factors. Together, these results suggest that p27 Kip1 and p53 function non-redundantly to modulate proliferation and self-renewal of aSVZ cells and antagonistically in regulating adult neurogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3214596  PMID: 21899604
cell cycle; neurogenesis; neurons; proliferation; stem cell; sub-ventricular zone
21.  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
22.  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
23.  p27KIP1 is abnormally expressed in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphomas and is associated with an adverse clinical outcome 
British Journal of Cancer  1999;80(9):1427-1434.
Cell cycle progression is regulated by the combined action of cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), and CDK-inhibitors (CDKi), which are negative cell cycle regulators. p27KIP1 is a CDKi key in cell cycle regulation, whose degradation is required for G1/S transition. In spite of the absence of p27KIP1 expression in proliferating lymphocytes, some aggressive B-cell lymphomas have been reported to show an anomalous p27KIP1 staining. We analysed p27KIP1 expression in a series of Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCL), correlating it with the proliferative index and clinical outcome, to characterize the implications of this anomalous staining in lymphomagenesis in greater depth. For the above mentioned purposes, an immunohistochemical technique in paraffin-embedded tissues was employed, using commercially available antibodies, in a series of 133 patients with known clinical outcomes. Statistical analysis was performed in order to ascertain which clinical and molecular variables may influence outcome, in terms of disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). The relationships between p27KIP1 and MIB-1 (Ki-67) were also tested. An abnormally high expression of p27KIP1 was found in lymphomas of this type. The overall correlation between p27KIP1 and MIB-1 showed there to be no significant relationship between these two parameters, this differing from observations in reactive lymphoid and other tissues. Analysis of the clinical relevance of these findings showed that a high level of p27KIP1 expression in this type of tumour is an adverse prognostic marker, in both univariate and multivariate analysis. These results show that there is abnormal p27KIP1 expression in DLBCL, with adverse clinical significance, suggesting that this anomalous p27KIP1 protein may be rendered non-functional through interaction with other cell cycle regulator proteins. © 1999 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2363083  PMID: 10424746
p27KIP1; MIB1; CDK inhibitors; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; survival analysis
24.  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
25.  C/EBPβ Promotes Transition from Proliferation to Hypertrophic Differentiation of Chondrocytes through Transactivation of p57Kip2 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(2):e4543.
Although transition from proliferation to hypertrophic differentiation of chondrocytes is a crucial step for endochondral ossification in physiological skeletal growth and pathological disorders like osteoarthritis, the underlying mechanism remains an enigma. This study investigated the role of the transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ) in chondrocytes during endochondral ossification.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Mouse embryos with homozygous deficiency in C/EBPβ (C/EBPβ−/−) exhibited dwarfism with elongated proliferative zone and delayed chondrocyte hypertrophy in the growth plate cartilage. In the cultures of primary C/EBPβ−/− chondrocytes, cell proliferation was enhanced while hypertrophic differentiation was suppressed. Contrarily, retroviral overexpression of C/EBPβ in chondrocytes suppressed the proliferation and enhanced the hypertrophy, suggesting the cell cycle arrest by C/EBPβ. In fact, a DNA cell cycle histogram revealed that the C/EBPβ overexpression caused accumulation of cells in the G0/G1 fraction. Among cell cycle factors, microarray and real-time RT-PCR analyses have identified the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p57Kip2 as the transcriptional target of C/EBPβ. p57Kip2 was co-localized with C/EBPβ in late proliferative and pre-hypertrophic chondrocytes of the mouse growth plate, which was decreased by the C/EBPβ deficiency. Luciferase-reporter and electrophoretic mobility shift assays identified the core responsive element of C/EBPβ in the p57Kip2 promoter between −150 and −130 bp region containing a putative C/EBP motif. The knockdown of p57Kip2 by the siRNA inhibited the C/EBPβ-induced chondrocyte hypertrophy. Finally, when we created the experimental osteoarthritis model by inducing instability in the knee joints of adult mice of wild-type and C/EBPβ+/− littermates, the C/EBPβ insufficiency caused resistance to joint cartilage destruction.
C/EBPβ transactivates p57Kip2 to promote transition from proliferation to hypertrophic differentiation of chondrocytes during endochondral ossification, suggesting that the C/EBPβ-p57Kip2 signal would be a therapeutic target of skeletal disorders like growth retardation and osteoarthritis.
PMCID: PMC2638010  PMID: 19229324

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