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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.  Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation Induces Cell Cycle Arrest in Newborn Rat Lung 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(2):e16910.
The molecular mechanism(s) by which mechanical ventilation disrupts alveolar development, a hallmark of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, is unknown.
To determine the effect of 24 h of mechanical ventilation on lung cell cycle regulators, cell proliferation and alveolar formation in newborn rats.
Seven-day old rats were ventilated with room air for 8, 12 and 24 h using relatively moderate tidal volumes (8.5−1).
Measurement and Main Results
Ventilation for 24 h (h) decreased the number of elastin-positive secondary crests and increased the mean linear intercept, indicating arrest of alveolar development. Proliferation (assessed by BrdU incorporation) was halved after 12 h of ventilation and completely arrested after 24 h. Cyclin D1 and E1 mRNA and protein levels were decreased after 8–24 h of ventilation, while that of p27Kip1 was significantly increased. Mechanical ventilation for 24 h also increased levels of p57Kip2, decreased that of p16INK4a, while the levels of p21Waf/Cip1 and p15INK4b were unchanged. Increased p27Kip1 expression coincided with reduced phosphorylation of p27Kip1 at Thr157, Thr187 and Thr198 (p<0.05), thereby promoting its nuclear localization. Similar -but more rapid- changes in cell cycle regulators were noted when 7-day rats were ventilated with high tidal volume (40−1) and when fetal lung epithelial cells were subjected to a continuous (17% elongation) cyclic stretch.
This is the first demonstration that prolonged (24 h) of mechanical ventilation causes cell cycle arrest in newborn rat lungs; the arrest occurs in G1 and is caused by increased expression and nuclear localization of Cdk inhibitor proteins (p27Kip1, p57Kip2) from the Kip family.
PMCID: PMC3040197  PMID: 21359218
3.  Vitamin E δ-Tocotrienol Induces p27Kip1-Dependent Cell-Cycle Arrest in Pancreatic Cancer Cells via an E2F-1-Dependent Mechanism 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e52526.
Vitamin E δ-tocotrienol has been shown to have antitumor activity, but the precise molecular mechanism by which it inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells remains unclear. Here, we demonstrated that δ-tocotrienol exerted significant cell growth inhibition pancreatic ductal cancer (PDCA) cells without affecting normal human pancreatic ductal epithelial cell growth. We also showed that δ-tocotrienol-induced growth inhibition occurred concomitantly with G1 cell-cycle arrest and increased p27Kip1 nuclear accumulation. This finding is significant considering that loss of nuclear p27Kip1 expression is a well-established adverse prognostic factor in PDCA. Furthermore, δ-tocotrienol inactivated RAF-MEK-ERK signaling, a pathway known to suppress p27Kip1 expression. To determine whether p27Kip1 induction is required for δ-tocotrienol inhibition of PDCA cell proliferation, we stably silenced the CDKN1B gene, encoding p27Kip1, in MIAPaCa-2 PDCA cells and demonstrated that p27Kip1 silencing suppressed cell-cycle arrest induced by δ-tocotrienol. Furthermore, δ-tocotrienol induced p27Kip1 mRNA expression but not its protein degradation. p27Kip1 gene promoter activity was induced by δ-tocotrienol through the promoter's E2F-1 binding site, and this activity was attenuated by E2F-1 depletion using E2F-1 small interfering RNA. Finally, decreased proliferation, mediated by Ki67 and p27Kip1 expression by δ-tocotrienol, was confirmed in vivo in a nude mouse xenograft pancreatic cancer model. Our findings reveal a new mechanism, dependent on p27Kip1 induction, by which δ-tocotrienol can inhibit proliferation in PDCA cells, providing a new rationale for p27Kip1 as a biomarker for δ-tocotrienol efficacy in pancreatic cancer prevention and therapy.
PMCID: PMC3564846  PMID: 23393547
4.  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
5.  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
6.  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
7.  A Novel Mutation in the Upstream Open Reading Frame of the CDKN1B Gene Causes a MEN4 Phenotype 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(3):e1003350.
The CDKN1B gene encodes the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27KIP1, an atypical tumor suppressor playing a key role in cell cycle regulation, cell proliferation, and differentiation. Impaired p27KIP1 expression and/or localization are often observed in tumor cells, further confirming its central role in regulating the cell cycle. Recently, germline mutations in CDKN1B have been associated with the inherited multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 4, an autosomal dominant syndrome characterized by varying combinations of tumors affecting at least two endocrine organs. In this study we identified a 4-bp deletion in a highly conserved regulatory upstream ORF (uORF) in the 5′UTR of the CDKN1B gene in a patient with a pituitary adenoma and a well-differentiated pancreatic neoplasm. This deletion causes the shift of the uORF termination codon with the consequent lengthening of the uORF–encoded peptide and the drastic shortening of the intercistronic space. Our data on the immunohistochemical analysis of the patient's pancreatic lesion, functional studies based on dual-luciferase assays, site-directed mutagenesis, and on polysome profiling show a negative influence of this deletion on the translation reinitiation at the CDKN1B starting site, with a consequent reduction in p27KIP1 expression. Our findings demonstrate that, in addition to the previously described mechanisms leading to reduced p27KIP1 activity, such as degradation via the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway or non-covalent sequestration, p27KIP1 activity can also be modulated by an uORF and mutations affecting uORF could change p27KIP1 expression. This study adds the CDKN1B gene to the short list of genes for which mutations that either create, delete, or severely modify their regulatory uORFs have been associated with human diseases.
Author Summary
Gene expression can be modulated at different steps on the way from DNA to protein including control of transcription, translation, and post-translational modifications. An abnormality in the regulation of mRNA and protein expression is a hallmark of many human diseases, including cancer. In some eukaryotic genes translation can be influenced by small DNA sequences termed upstream open reading frames (uORFs). These elements located upstream to the gene start codon may either negatively influence the ability of the translational machinery to reinitiate translation of the main protein or, much less frequently, stimulate protein translation by enabling the ribosomes to bypass cis-acting inhibitory elements. CDKN1B, which encodes the cell cycle inhibitor p27KIP1, includes an uORF in its 5′UTR sequence. p27KIP1 expression is often reduced in cancer, and germline mutations have been identified in CDKN1B in patients affected with a syndrome (MEN4) characterized by varying combinations of tumors in endocrine glands. Here we show that a small deletion in the uORF upstream to CDKN1B reduces translation reinitiation efficiency, leading to underexpression of p27KIP1 and coinciding with tumorigenesis. This study describes a novel mechanism by which p27KIP1 could be underexpressed in human tumors. In addition, our data provide a new insight to the unique pathogenic potential of uORFs in human diseases.
PMCID: PMC3605397  PMID: 23555276
8.  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
9.  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
10.  Ornithine Decarboxylase Inhibition by DFMO Activates Opposing Signaling Pathways via Phosphorylation of both Akt/PKB and p27Kip1 in Neuroblastoma 
Cancer research  2008;68(23):9825-9831.
Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) is a key enzyme in mammalian polyamine biosynthesis that is upregulated in various types of cancer. We previously showed that treating human neuroblastoma (NB) cells with the ODC inhibitor α-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) depleted polyamine pools and induced G1 cell cycle arrest without causing apoptosis. However, the precise mechanism by which DFMO provokes these changes in NB cells remained unknown. Therefore, we further examined the effects of DFMO, alone and in combination with PI3K inhibitor LY294002 or Akt/PKB inhibitor IV on the regulation of cell survival and cell cycle-associated pathways in LAN-1 NB cells. In the present study, we found that the inhibition of ODC by DFMO promotes cell survival by inducing the phosphorylation of Akt/PKB at residue Ser473 and GSK-3β at Ser9. Intriguingly, DFMO also induced the phosphorylation of p27Kip1 at residues Ser10 (nuclear export) and Thr198 (protein stabilization), but not Thr187 (proteasomal degradation). The combined results from this study provide evidence for a direct cross-talk between ODC-dependent metabolic processes and well-established cell signaling pathways that are activated during NB tumorigenesis. The data suggest that inhibition of ODC by DFMO induces two opposing pathways in NB, one promoting cell survival by activating Akt/PKB via the PI3K/Akt pathway, and one inducing p27Kip1/Rb-coupled G1 cell cycle arrest via a mechanism that regulates the phosphorylation and stabilization of p27Kip1. This study presents new information that may explain the moderate efficacy of DFMO mono-therapy in clinical trials and reveals potential new targets for DFMO-based combination therapies for NB treatment.
PMCID: PMC2596629  PMID: 19047162
Akt/PKB; p27Kip1; DFMO; neuroblastoma; ornithine decarboxylase; polyamines
11.  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
12.  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
13.  The Kinesin-related Proteins, Kip2p and Kip3p, Function Differently in Nuclear Migration in Yeast 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1998;9(8):2051-2068.
The roles of two kinesin-related proteins, Kip2p and Kip3p, in microtubule function and nuclear migration were investigated. Deletion of either gene resulted in nuclear migration defects similar to those described for dynein and kar9 mutants. By indirect immunofluorescence, the cytoplasmic microtubules in kip2Δwere consistently short or absent throughout the cell cycle. In contrast, in kip3Δ strains, the cytoplasmic microtubules were significantly longer than wild type at telophase. Furthermore, in the kip3Δ cells with nuclear positioning defects, the cytoplasmic microtubules were misoriented and failed to extend into the bud. Localization studies found Kip2p exclusively on cytoplasmic microtubules throughout the cell cycle, whereas GFP-Kip3p localized to both spindle and cytoplasmic microtubules. Genetic analysis demonstrated that the kip2Δ kar9Δ double mutants were synthetically lethal, whereas kip3Δ kar9Δ double mutants were viable. Conversely, kip3Δ dhc1Δ double mutants were synthetically lethal, whereas kip2Δ dhc1Δ double mutants were viable. We suggest that the kinesin-related proteins, Kip2p and Kip3p, function in nuclear migration and that they do so by different mechanisms. We propose that Kip2p stabilizes microtubules and is required as part of the dynein-mediated pathway in nuclear migration. Furthermore, we propose that Kip3p functions, in part, by depolymerizing microtubules and is required for the Kar9p-dependent orientation of the cytoplasmic microtubules.
PMCID: PMC25458  PMID: 9693366
14.  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
15.  A Receptor-Specific Function for Notch2 in Mediating Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Growth Arrest Through p27kip1 
Circulation research  2013;113(8):10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.113.301272.
Deregulated vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation contributes to multiple vascular pathologies, and Notch signaling regulates VSMC phenotype.
Previous work focused on Notch1 and Notch3 in VSMC during vascular disease; however, the role of Notch2 is unknown. Because injured murine carotid arteries display increased Notch2 in VSMC as compared to uninjured arteries, we sought to understand the impact of Notch2 signaling in VSMC.
Methods and Results
In human primary VSMC, Jagged-1 (Jag-1) significantly reduced proliferation through specific activation of Notch2. Increased levels of p27kip1 were observed downstream of Jag-1/Notch2 signaling, and required for cell cycle exit. Jag-1 activation of Notch resulted in increased phosphorylation on serine 10, decreased ubiquitination and prolonged half-life of p27kip1. Jag-1/Notch2 signaling robustly decreased S-phase kinase associated protein (Skp2), an F-box protein that degrades p27kip1 during G1. Over expression of Skp2 prior to Notch activation by Jag-1 suppressed the induction of p27kip1. Additionally, increased Notch2 and p27kip1 expression was co-localized to the non-proliferative zone of injured arteries as indicated by co-staining with proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), whereas Notch3 was expressed throughout normal and injured arteries, suggesting Notch2 may negatively regulate lesion formation.
We propose a receptor specific function for Notch2 in regulating Jag-1-induced p27kip1 expression and growth arrest in VSMC. During vascular remodeling, co-localization of Notch2 and p27kip1 to the non-proliferating region supports a model where Notch2 activation may negatively regulate VSMC proliferation to lessen the severity of the lesion. Thus Notch2 is a potential target for control of VSMC hyperplasia.
PMCID: PMC3882755  PMID: 23965337
Smooth muscle cell; Notch receptor; proliferation; neointima; neointimal hyerplasia
16.  Skp2 Regulates G2/M Progression in a p53-dependent Manner 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2008;19(11):4602-4610.
Targeted proteasomal degradation mediated by E3 ubiquitin ligases controls cell cycle progression, and alterations in their activities likely contribute to malignant cell proliferation. S phase kinase-associated protein 2 (Skp2) is the F-box component of an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex that targets p27Kip1 and cyclin E1 to the proteasome. In human melanoma, Skp2 is highly expressed, regulated by mutant B-RAF, and required for cell growth. We show that Skp2 depletion in melanoma cells resulted in a tetraploid cell cycle arrest. Surprisingly, co-knockdown of p27Kip1 or cyclin E1 failed to prevent the tetraploid arrest induced by Skp2 knockdown. Enhanced Aurora A phosphorylation and repression of G2/M regulators cyclin B1, cyclin-dependent kinase 1, and cyclin A indicated a G2/early M phase arrest in Skp2-depleted cells. Furthermore, expression of nuclear localized cyclin B1 prevented tetraploid accumulation after Skp2 knockdown. The p53 status is most frequently wild type in melanoma, and the tetraploid arrest and down-regulation of G2/M regulatory genes were strongly dependent on wild-type p53 expression. In mutant p53 melanoma lines, Skp2 depletion did not induce cell cycle arrest despite up-regulation of p27Kip1. These data indicate that elevated Skp2 expression may overcome p53-dependent cell cycle checkpoints in melanoma cells and highlight Skp2 actions that are independent of p27Kip1 degradation.
PMCID: PMC2575176  PMID: 18716061
17.  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
18.  Cyclin D3-associated Kinase Activity Is Regulated by p27kip1 in BALB/c 3T3 Cells 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1998;9(8):2081-2092.
We report that cyclin D3/cdk4 kinase activity is regulated by p27kip1 in BALB/c 3T3 cells. The association of p27kip1 was found to result in inhibition of cyclin D3 activity as measured by immune complex kinase assays utilizing cyclin D3-specific antibodies. The ternary p27kip1/cyclin D3/cdk4 complexes do exhibit kinase activity when measured in immune complex kinase assays utilizing p27kip1-specific antibodies. The association of p27kip1 with cyclin D3 was highest in quiescent cells and declined upon mitogenic stimulation, concomitantly with declines in the total level of p27kip1 protein. The decline in this association could be elicited by PDGF treatment alone; this was not sufficient, however, for activation of cyclin D3 activity, which also required the presence of factors in platelet-poor plasma in the culturing medium. Unlike cyclin D3 activity, which was detected only in growing cells, p27kip1 kinase activity was present throughout the cell cycle. Since we found that the p27kip1 activity was dependent on cyclin D3 and cdk4, we compared the substrate specificity of the active ternary complex containing p27kip1 and the active cyclin D3 lacking p27kip1 by tryptic phosphopeptide mapping of GST-Rb phosphorylated in vitro and also by comparing the relative phosphorylation activity toward a panel of peptide substrates. We found that ternary p27kip1/cyclin D3/cdk4 complexes exhibited a different specificity than the active binary cyclin D3/cdk4 complexes, suggesting that p27kip1 has the capacity to both inhibit cyclin D/cdk4 activity as well as to modulate cyclin D3/cdk4 activity by altering its substrate preference.
PMCID: PMC25461  PMID: 9693368
19.  CDK inhibitor p57Kip2 is negatively regulated by COP9 signalosome subunit 6 
Cell Cycle  2012;11(24):4633-4641.
Subunit 6 of the COP9 signalosome complex, CSN6, is known to be critical to the regulation of the MDM2-p53 axis for cell proliferation and anti-apoptosis, but its many targets remain unclear. Here we show that p57Kip2 is a target of CSN6, and that CSN6 is a negative regulator of p57Kip2. CSN6 associates with p57Kip2, and its overexpression can decrease the steady-state expression of p57Kip2; accordingly, CSN6 deficiency leads to p57Kip2 stabilization. Mechanistic studies show that CSN6 associates with p57Kip2 and Skp2, a component of the E3 ligase, which, in turn, facilitates Skp2-mediated protein ubiquitination of p57Kip2. Loss of Skp2 compromised CSN6-mediated p57Kip2 destabilization, suggesting collaboration between Skp2 and CSN6 in degradation of p57Kip2. CSN6’s negative impact on p57Kip2 elevation translates into cell growth promotion, cell cycle deregulation and potentiated transformational activity. Significantly, univariate Kaplan-Meier analysis of tumor samples demonstrates that high CSN6 expression or low p57 expression is associated with poor overall survival. These data suggest that CSN6 is an important negative regulator of p57Kip2, and that overexpression of CSN6 in many types of cancer could lead to decreased expression of p57Kip2 and result in promoted cancer cell growth.
PMCID: PMC3562308  PMID: 23187808
COP9; CSN6; Skp2; cell cycle; p57
20.  p27Kip1 nuclear localization and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitory activity are regulated by glycogen synthase kinase-3 in human colon cancer cells 
Cell death and differentiation  2008;15(5):908-919.
The cellular mechanisms regulating intestinal differentiation are poorly understood. Sodium butyrate (NaBT), a short chain fatty acid, increases p27Kip1 expression and induces cell cycle arrest associated with intestinal cell differentiation. Here, we show that treatment of intestinal-derived cells with NaBT induced G0/G1 arrest and intestinal alkaline phosphatase, a marker of differentiation, activity and mRNA expression; this induction was attenuated by inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3). Moreover, treatment with NaBT increased the nuclear, but not the cytosolic, expression and activity of GSK-3β. NaBT decreased CDK2 activity and induced p27Kip1 expression; inhibition of GSK-3 rescued NaBT-inhibited CDK2 activity and blocked NaBT-induced p27Kip1 expression in the nucleus but not in the cytoplasm. In addition, we demonstrate that NaBT decreased the expression of Skp2 protein, and this decrease was attenuated by GSK-3 inhibition. Furthermore, NaBT increased p27Kip1 binding to CDK2 which was completely abolished by GSK-3 inhibition. Overexpression of an active form of GSK-3β reduced Skp2 expression, increased p27Kip1 in the nucleus and increased p27Kip1 binding to CDK2. Our results suggest that GSK-3 not only regulates nuclear p27Kip1 expression through the down-regulation of nuclear Skp2 expression but also functions to regulate p27Kip1 assembly with CDK2, thereby playing a critical role in the G0/G1 arrest associated with intestinal cell differentiation.
PMCID: PMC2432084  PMID: 18408738
p27Kip1; CDK; GSK-3; Skp2; human colon cancer cells; differentiation; NaBT
21.  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
22.  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
23.  MiRNA-221 negatively regulated downstream p27Kip1 gene expression involvement in pterygium pathogenesis 
Molecular Vision  2014;20:1048-1056.
MiRNAs are small noncoding RNAs that have been implicated in tumor development. They regulate target gene expression either by mRNA degradation or by translation repression. Activation of β-catenin has been linked to pterygium progression. Here, we hypothesize that β-catenin-associated miRNA, miRNA-221, and downstream p27Kip1 gene expression are correlated with the pathogenesis of pterygium.
We collected 120 pterygial and 120 normal conjunctival samples for this study. Immunohistochemistry and real-time reverse transcription (RT)–PCR were performed to determine β-catenin protein localization, miR-221, and p27Kip1 gene expression. Pterygium cell line (PECs) cell models were used to confirm the effect of β-catenin, miR-221, and p27Kip1 gene in the proliferation of pterygium cells.
Seventy-two (60.0%) pterygial specimens showed high miR-221 expression levels, which was significantly higher than the control groups (13 of 120, 10.8%, p<0.0001). MiR-221 expression was significantly higher in β-catenin-nuclear/cytoplasmic-positive groups than in β-catenin membrane-positive and negative groups (p=0.001). We also found that p27Kip1 gene expression in pterygium was negatively correlated with miR-221 expression (p=0.002). In the clinical association, miR-221 expression was significantly higher in the fleshy and intermediate groups than in the atrophic group (p=0.007). The association of miR-221, p27Kip1 and proliferation of pterygium were also confirmed in the PECs model.
Our study demonstrated that activation of β-catenin in pterygium may interact with miR-221, resulting in p27Kip1 gene downregulation that influences pterygium pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4105113  PMID: 25053875
24.  p27Kip1 localizes to detergent-insoluble microdomains within lymphocyte membranes. 
Molecular Medicine  2001;7(1):49-58.
BACKGROUND: Low levels of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 are associated with poor prognosis in cancer. It is unclear whether this is related strictly to p27Kip1-mediated cell cycle inhibition or to other, possibly extranuclear, roles of this protein. In this study, we examined p27Kip1 expression in quiescent and activated lymphocytes. T-cell membranes have been shown to possess sphingolipid and cholesterol-rich microdomains that are insoluble in non-ionic detergents. These "rafts" provide a scaffold for signaling proteins. Signal transduction coincides with coalescence of these microdomains into larger complexes. METHODS: Localization of p27Kip1 was studied by electron and confocal microscopy. Association of p27Kip1 with membrane microdomains in unstimulated and stimulated lymphocytes was determined using Western blots analysis of isolated membranes variably treated with detergents. RESULTS: We demonstrated that p27Kip1 was present in clusters associated with the plasma membrane in normal lymphocytes. The solubility profile of p27Kip1 in isolated membranes indicated that it was localized to raft structures. When lymphocytes were stimulated, however, p27Kip1 was excluded from aggregated raft complexes. CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies, for the first time, the localization of p27 within a membrane microdomain associated with signaling. Because some cell surface signaling complexes lose p27Kip1 upon cellular activation, p27Kip1 may play a functional role in modulating membrane signaling.
PMCID: PMC1949993  PMID: 11474127
25.  Prodigiosin down-regulates SKP2 to induce p27KIP1 stabilization and antiproliferation in human lung adenocarcinoma cells 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2012;166(7):2095-2108.
High levels of SKP2 are a poor prognostic factor in multiple human cancers and mostly correlate with low p27KIP1 levels. Prodigiosin is a bacterial tripyrrole pigment with strong pro-apoptotic activity. Induction of cell cycle blockade underlies one of its anticancer actions but the mechanisms involved are unclear. The aim of this study was to explore the role of the SKP2–p27KIP1 axis in prodigiosin's cytostatic effect on human lung adenocarcinoma cells.
Prodigiosin's effects on cell cycle progression and long-term cell proliferation of human lung adenocarcinoma cells were characterized by flow cytometry and colony formation assay, respectively. Real-time RT-PCR and promoter activity analyses were performed for assessing transcriptional control, while cycloheximide chase analysis evaluated protein stability. Immunoblotting was employed for mechanistic study.
Prodigiosin increased p27KIP1 expression mainly by stabilizing p27KIP1 through transcriptional repression of SKP2. Importantly, SKP2 overexpression or p27KIP1 depletion restored the colony forming capacity of prodigiosin-treated cells. Furthermore, prodigiosin induced PKB dephosphorylation, leading to PKB inhibition as revealed by decreased serine 9 phosphorylation of GSK-3β. Constitutive PKB activation reduced prodigiosin-induced SKP2 repression. Prodigiosin also down-regulated E2F1 (mediates PI3K/PKB-induced SKP2 transcription), but E2F1 overexpression failed to restore SKP2 expression in prodigiosin-treated cells.
Transcriptional repression of SKP2 and the consequent accumulation of p27KIP1 are essential for prodigiosin's antiproliferative action. Mechanistically, prodigiosin induces PKB inhibition to down-regulate SKP2 in a GSK-3β- and E2F1-independent manner. Our findings further implicate the potential for developing prodigiosin as a novel class of SKP2-targeting anticancer agent.
PMCID: PMC3402774  PMID: 22372491
prodigiosin; SKP2; p27KIP1; AKT; PKB; antiproliferation; lung adenocarcinoma

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