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.
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.
Expansion and fate choice of pluripotent stem cells along the neuroectodermal lineage is regulated by a number of signals, including EGF, retinoic acid, and NGF, which also control the proliferation and differentiation of central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS) neural progenitor cells. We report here the identification of a novel gene, REN, upregulated by neurogenic signals (retinoic acid, EGF, and NGF) in pluripotent embryonal stem (ES) cells and neural progenitor cell lines in association with neurotypic differentiation. Consistent with a role in neural promotion, REN overexpression induced neuronal differentiation as well as growth arrest and p27Kip1 expression in CNS and PNS neural progenitor cell lines, and its inhibition impaired retinoic acid induction of neurogenin-1 and NeuroD expression. REN expression is developmentally regulated, initially detected in the neural fold epithelium of the mouse embryo during gastrulation, and subsequently throughout the ventral neural tube, the outer layer of the ventricular encephalic neuroepithelium and in neural crest derivatives including dorsal root ganglia. We propose that REN represents a novel component of the neurogenic signaling cascade induced by retinoic acid, EGF, and NGF, and is both a marker and a regulator of neuronal differentiation.
EGF; NGF; retinoic acid; neurogenic bHLH; neural cell
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.
gliogenesis; in utero electroporation; neurite outgrowth; neurogenesis; transfection
The homeodomain protein Cux1 is highly expressed in the nephrogenic zone of the developing kidney where it functions to regulate cell proliferation. Here we show that Cux1 directly interacts with the co-repressor Grg4 (Groucho 4), a known effector of Notch signaling. Promoter reporter based luciferase assays revealed enhanced repression of p27kip1 promoter activity by Cux1 in the presence of Grg4. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays demonstrated the direct interaction of Cux1 with p27kip1 in newborn kidney tissue in vivo. ChIP assays also identified interactions of Cux1, Grg4, HDAC1, and HDAC3 with p27kip1 at two separate sites in the p27kip1 promoter. DNAse1 footprinting experiments revealed that Cux1 binds to the p27kip1 promoter on the sequence containing two Sp1 sites and a CCAAT box ~500 bp from the transcriptional start site, and to an AT rich sequence ~1.5 KB from the transcriptional start site. Taken together, these results identify Grg4 as an interacting partner for Cux1 and suggest a mechanism of p27kip1 repression by Cux1 during kidney development.
We constructed a dual regulated expression vector cassette (pDuoRex)
whereby two heterologous genes can be independently regulated via
streptogramin- and tetracycline-responsive promoters. Two different
constructs containing growth-promoting and growth-inhibiting genes
were stably transfected in recombinant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)
cells that express the streptogramin- and tetracycline-dependent
transactivators in a dicistronic configuration. An optimally balanced
heterologous growth control scenario was achieved by reciprocal
expression of the growth-inhibiting human cyclin-dependent kinase
inhibitor p27Kip1 in sense (p27Kip1S) and
antisense (p27Kip1AS) orientation. Exclusive expression
of p27Kip1S resulted in complete G1-phase-specific
growth arrest, while expression of only p27Kip1AS showed
significantly increased proliferation compared to control cultures
(both antibiotics present), presumably by decreasing host cell p27Kip1 expression.
In a second system, a derivative of pDuoRex encoding streptogramin-responsive expression
of the growth-promoting SV40 small T antigen (sT) and tetracycline-regulated
expression of p27Kip1 was stably transfected into CHO
cells. Expression of sT alone resulted in an increase in cell proliferation,
but the expression of p27Kip1 failed to provide the expected
G1-specific growth arrest despite having demonstrated
expression of the protein. This illustrates the difficulty in balancing
the complex pathways underlying cell proliferation control through
the expression of two functionally distinct genes involved in those
pathways, and how a single-gene sense/antisense approach
using pDuoRex can overcome this barrier to complete metabolic engineering
Cks1 is an activator of the SCFSkp2 ubiquitin ligase complex that targets the cell cycle inhibitor p27Kip1 for degradation. The loss of Cks1 results in p27Kip1 accumulation and decreased proliferation and inhibits tumorigenesis. We identify here a function of Cks1 in mammalian cell cycle regulation that is independent of p27Kip1. Specifically, Cks1−/−; p27Kip1−/− mouse embryonic fibroblasts retain defects in the G1-S phase transition that are coupled with decreased Cdk2-associated kinase activity and defects in proliferation that are associated with Cks1 loss. Furthermore, concomitant loss of Cks1 does not rescue the tumor suppressor function of p27Kip1 that is manifest in various organs of p27Kip1−/− mice. In contrast, defects in mitotic entry and premature senescence manifest in Cks1−/− cells are p27Kip1 dependent. Collectively, these findings establish p27Kip1-independent functions of Cks1 in regulating the G1-S transition.
The bHLH transcription factor MyoD, the prototypical master regulator of differentiation, directs a complex program of gene expression during skeletal myogenesis. The up-regulation of the cdk inhibitor p57kip2 plays a critical role in coordinating differentiation and growth arrest during muscle development, as well as in other tissues. p57kip2 displays a highly specific expression pattern and is subject to a complex epigenetic control driving the imprinting of the paternal allele. However, the regulatory mechanisms governing its expression during development are still poorly understood. We have identified an unexpected mechanism by which MyoD regulates p57kip2 transcription in differentiating muscle cells. We show that the induction of p57kip2 requires MyoD binding to a long-distance element located within the imprinting control region KvDMR1 and the consequent release of a chromatin loop involving p57kip2 promoter. We also show that differentiation-dependent regulation of p57kip2, while involving a region implicated in the imprinting process, is distinct and hierarchically subordinated to the imprinting control. These findings highlight a novel mechanism, involving the modification of higher order chromatin structures, by which MyoD regulates gene expression. Our results also suggest that chromatin folding mediated by KvDMR1 could account for the highly restricted expression of p57kip2 during development and, possibly, for its aberrant silencing in some pathologies.
To investigate the potential functional cooperation between p27Kip1 and p130 in vivo, we generated mice deficient for both p27Kip1 and p130. In p27Kip1−/−; p130−/− mice, the cellularity of the spleens but not the thymi is significantly increased compared with that of their p27Kip1−/− counterparts, affecting the lymphoid, erythroid, and myeloid compartments. In vivo cell proliferation is significantly augmented in the B and T cells, monocytes, macrophages, and erythroid progenitors in the spleens of p27Kip1−/−; p130−/− animals. Immunoprecipitation and immunodepletion studies indicate that p130 can compensate for the absence of p27Kip1 in binding to and repressing CDK2 and is the predominant CDK-inhibitor associated with the inactive CDK2 in the p27Kip1−/− splenocytes. The finding that the p27Kip1−/−; p130−/− splenic B cells are hypersensitive to mitogenic stimulations in vitro lends support to the concept that the hyperproliferation of splenocytes is not a result of the influence of their microenvironment. In summary, our findings provide genetic and molecular evidence to show that p130 is a bona fide cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor and cooperates with p27Kip1 to regulate hematopoietic cell proliferation in vivo.
To investigate the role for the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in controlling lens cell proliferation and differentiation and the regulation of the ubiquitin conjugation machinery during the differentiation process.
bFGF-induced lens cell proliferation and differentiation was monitored in rat lens epithelial explants by bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation and expression of crystallins and other differentiation markers. Levels of typical substrates for the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, p21WAF and p27Kip, were monitored during the differentiation process, as were levels and activities of the enzymes involved in ubiquitin conjugation.
Explants treated with bFGF initially underwent enhanced proliferation as indicated by BrdU incorporation. Then they withdrew from the cell cycle as indicated by diminished BrdU incorporation and accumulation of p21WAF and p27Kip. bFGF-induced cell proliferation was prohibited or delayed by proteasome inhibitors. Lens epithelial explants treated with bFGF for 7 days displayed characteristics of lens fibers, including expression of large quantities of crystallins. Whereas levels of E1 remained constant during the differentiation process, the levels of ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (Ubc)-1 increased approximately twofold, and the thiol ester form of Ubc1 increased approximately threefold on 7 days of bFGF treatment. Levels of Ubc2 increased moderately on bFGF treatment, and most of the Ubc2 was found in the thiol ester form. Although levels of total Ubc3 and -7 remained unchanged, the proportions of Ubc3 and -7 in the thiol ester form were significantly higher in the bFGF-treated explants. Levels of Ubc4/5 and -9 also increased significantly on treatment with bFGF, and more than 90% of Ubc9 was found in the thiol ester form in the bFGF-treated explants. In contrast, levels of Cul1, the backbone of the SCF type of E3s, decreased 50% to 70% in bFGF-treated explants.
The data show that proteolysis through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway is required for bFGF-induced lens cell proliferation and differentiation. Various components of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway are differentially regulated during lens cell differentiation. The downregulation of Cul1 appears to contribute to the accumulation of p21WAF and p27Kip, which play an important role in establishing a differentiated phenotype.
Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CKIs) and Notch receptor activation have been shown to influence adult stem cells and progenitors by altering stem cell self-renewal and proliferation. Yet, no interaction between these molecular pathways has been defined. Here we show that ligand-independent and ligand-dependent activation of Notch1 induces transcription of the S phase kinase–associated protein 2 (SKP2), the F-box subunit of the ubiquitin-ligase complex SCFSKP2 that targets proteins for degradation. Up-regulation of SKP2 by Notch signaling enhances proteasome-mediated degradation of the CKIs, p27Kip1 and p21Cip1, and causes premature entry into S phase. Silencing of SKP2 by RNA interference in G1 stabilizes p27Kip1 and p21Cip1 and abolishes Notch effect on G1-S progression. Thus, SKP2 serves to link Notch1 activation with the cell cycle machinery. This novel pathway involving Notch/SKP2/CKIs connects a cell surface receptor with proximate mediators of cell cycle activity, and suggests a mechanism by which a known physiologic mediator of cell fate determination interfaces with cell cycle control.
Aims: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) is an autoimmune disease in which both proliferation and apoptosis are enhanced. p27Kip1 protein protects tissues from disease mechanisms that involve excessive cell proliferation and apoptosis. This study investigated whether there is loss of p27Kip1 expression in HT and whether p27Kip1 immunoreactivity has any relation to the proliferative indicator Ki-67. Because p27Kip1 is regulated through either degradation, mediated by the S phase kinase associated protein 2 (Skp2), or sequestration, via D3 cyclin, the expression of these proteins was also investigated.
Methods: Immunohistochemistry was used to assess p27Kip1, Ki-67, Skp2, and cyclin D3 expression in 19 cases of HT and in 10 normal thyroids. The results were evaluated by image analysis and reported as labelling indices (LIs) in both groups.
Results: The p27Kip1 LI was lower in HT than in normal thyroid (28% v 75%; p < 0.001), whereas Ki-67 (1.13% v 0.13%), Skp2 (0.74% v 0.15%), and cyclin D3 (1.56% v 0.00%) LIs were higher in HT than in normal thyroids (p < 0.001). There was no correlation between p27Kip1 and the expression of Ki-67, Skp2, and cyclin D3.
Conclusions: p27Kip1 downregulation is not exclusive to tumours but occurs also in HT, independently of the proliferative status and of changes in Skp2 and cyclin D3 expression. Further investigation is required to understand the mechanisms leading to p27 deregulation because these observations suggest that the regulation of p27Kip1 expression in epithelial thyroid cells may play a role in HT pathogenesis.
thyroid; Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; p27Kip1; Ki-67; Skp2; cyclin D3
The lymphatic system plays a key role in tissue fluid homeostasis and lymphatic dysfunction due to genetic defects or lymphatic vessel obstruction can cause lymphedema, disfiguring tissue swellings often associated with fibrosis and recurrent infections without available cures to date. In this study, retinoic acids (RAs) were determined to be a potent therapeutic agent that is immediately applicable to reduce secondary lymphedema.
Methods and Results
We report that RAs promote proliferation, migration and tube formation of cultured lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) by activating FGF-receptor signaling. Moreover, RAs control the expression of cell-cycle checkpoint regulators such as p27Kip1, p57Kip2 and the aurora kinases through both an Akt-mediated non-genomic action and a transcription-dependent genomic action that is mediated by Prox1, a master regulator of lymphatic development. Moreover, 9-cisRA was found to activate in vivo lymphangiogenesis in animals based on mouse trachea, matrigel plug and cornea pocket assays. Finally, we demonstrate that 9-cisRA can provide a strong therapeutic efficacy in ameliorating the experimental mouse tail lymphedema by enhancing lymphatic vessel regeneration.
These in vitro and animal studies demonstrate that 9-cisRA potently activates lymphangiogenesis and promotes lymphatic regeneration in an experimental lymphedema model, presenting it as a promising novel therapeutic agent to treat human lymphedema patients.
lymphangiogenesis; lymphedema; retinoic acids; lymphatic regeneration; therapy
The universal cyclin-Cdk inhibitor p27Kip1 functions as a tumor suppressor and reduced levels of p27Kip1 connote poor prognosis in several human malignancies. p27Kip1 levels are predominately regulated by ubiquitin-mediated turnover of the protein, which is marked for destruction by the E3 ubiquitin ligase SCFSkp2 complex following its phosphorylation by the cyclin E-Cdk2 complex. Binding of phospho-p27Kip1 is directed by the Skp2 F-box protein, and this is greatly augmented by its allosteric regulator Cks1. We have established that programmed expression of c-Myc in the B cells of Eμ-Myc transgenic mice triggers p27Kip1 destruction by inducing Cks1, that this response controls Myc-driven proliferation, and that loss of Cks1 markedly delays Myc-induced lymphomagenesis and cancels the dissemination of these tumors. Here, we report that elevated levels of Skp2 are a characteristic of Eμ-Myc lymphomas and of human Burkitt lymphoma that bear MYC/immunoglobulin chromosomal translocations. As expected, Myc-mediated suppression of p27Kip1 was abolished in Skp2-null Eμ-Myc B cells. However, the impact of Skp2 loss on Myc-driven proliferation and lymphomagenesis was surprisingly modest compared to the effects of Cks1 loss. Collectively these findings suggest that Cks1 targets in addition to p27Kip1 are critical for Myc-driven proliferation and tumorigenesis.
Myc; Skp2; p27Kip1; lymphomagenesis
Contact inhibition is a fundamental process in multicellular organisms aimed at inhibiting proliferation at high cellular densities through poorly characterized intracellular signals, despite availability of growth factors. We have previously identified the protein kinase p38α as a novel regulator of contact inhibition, as p38α is activated upon cell-cell contacts and p38α-deficient cells are impaired in both confluence-induced proliferation arrest and p27Kip1 accumulation. Here, we establish that p27Kip1 plays a key role downstream of p38α to arrest proliferation at high cellular densities. Surprisingly, p38α does not directly regulate p27Kip1 expression levels but leads indirectly to confluent upregulation of p27Kip1 and cell cycle arrest via the inhibition of mitogenic signals originating from the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Hence, confluent activation of p38α uncouples cell proliferation from mitogenic stimulation by inducing EGFR degradation through downregulation of the EGFR-stabilizing protein Sprouty2 (Spry2). Accordingly, confluent p38α-deficient cells fail to downregulate Spry2, providing them in turn with sustained EGFR signaling that facilitates cell overgrowth and oncogenic transformation. Our results provide novel mechanistic insight into the role of p38α as a sensor of cell density, which induces confluent cell cycle arrest via the Spry2-EGFR-p27Kip1 network.
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.
cell differentiation; cell proliferation; cell survival; cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor; neuronal progenitor cells; subventricular zone
The histone demethylase lysine demethylase 5b (KDM5b) specifically demethylates lysine 4 of histone H3 (meH3K4), thereby repressing gene transcription. KDM5b regulates cell cycle control genes in cancer and is expressed in the early epiblast. This suggests that KDM5b plays a developmental role by maintaining uncommitted progenitors. Here we show that transient overexpression of KDM5b in embryonic stem cells decreases the expression of at least three different modulators of cell fate decisions, Egr1, p27KIP1, and BMI1, by demethylation of their promoters. Constitutively increased KDM5b expression results in an increased mitotic rate and a decreased global 3meH3K4 but no change in cell identity. Results of two separate differentiation assays, neural differentiation and embryoid body EB (EB) formation, showed that KDM5b reduced the terminally differentiated cells and increased proliferating progenitors. These were achieved by two mechanisms, blocking of the upregulation of cell lineage markers and maintenance of cyclins, that allowed cells to escape differentiation and remain uncommitted. Additionally, EBs maintain high levels of Oct4 and Nanog and can be dissociated to reestablish highly proliferative cultures. The persistence of uncommitted progenitors may be due to the direct regulation of the Tcf/Lef family member mTcf3/hTcf7L1, an upstream regulator of Nanog expression. These findings demonstrate a role for KDM5b in the choice between proliferation and differentiation during development.
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.
Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p57Kip2; Embryonic Development/physiology; Nervous System/cytology/*embryology; Brain/embryology; Neuronal Differentiation
p27kip1 (p27) is a cell cycle inhibitor and tumor suppressor whose expression is tightly regulated in the cell. Translational control of p27 mRNA has emerged as a prominent mechanism to regulate p27 expression during differentiation, quiescence, and cancer progression. The microRNAs miR-221 and miR-222 repress p27 expression in various cancer cells, and this repression promotes tumor cell proliferation. In addition, the presence of an internal ribosome entry site in the 5′ untranslated region (UTR) of p27 mRNA has been reported. Here, we show that p27 mRNA is translated via a cap-dependent mechanism in HeLa and HL60 cells and that the previously reported IRES activity can be attributed to cryptic promoters in the sequence corresponding to the p27 5′ UTR. Furthermore, cap-dependent translation of p27 mRNA is repressed by miR-181a in undifferentiated HL60 cells. Repression by miR-181a is relieved during differentiation of HL60 into monocyte-like cells, allowing the accumulation of p27, which is necessary to fully block cell cycle progression and reach terminal differentiation. These results identify miR-181a as a regulator of p27 mRNA translation during myeloid cell differentiation.
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.
p27kip1 is a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that regulates progression from G1 into S phase. Aberrations in cell cycle control are often observed in tumors and might even be necessary in tumor development. Recent reports showed that low p27kip1 expression is associated with poor prognosis in several tumors and leukemia. To investigate the expression of p27kip1 in malignant lymphomas and elucidate the role of p27kip1 as a possible prognostic indicator, the authors performed an immunohistochemical staining of p27kip1 correlated with Ki-67 labelling index and clinical parameters. p27kip1 expression was reduced variably in most malignant lymphomas and inversely correlated with Ki-67 labelling index (p=0.0151). Regarding chemotherapeutic response, p271kip1 expression in the complete remission group showed statistically significant difference in expression compared to the progressive disease group (p=0.0021). There were significant differences in survival between cases with low and high p27kip1 expression (p=0.0071). In a multivariate Cox analysis, p27kip1 expression was independent prognostic factors as well as other known prognostic factors including age, grade, stage and chemotherapeutic response. In conclusion, the study suggests that reduced expression of p27kip1 protein may play a role in the pathogenesis and biologically aggressive behavior of malignant lymphomas.
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.
The mammalian CIP/KIP family of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors (CKIs) comprises three proteins – p21Cip1/WAF1, p27Kip1, and p57Kip2 – that bind and inhibit cyclin–CDK complexes, which are key regulators of the cell cycle. CIP/KIP CKIs have additional independent functions in regulating transcription, apoptosis and actin cytoskeletal dynamics. These divergent functions are performed in distinct cellular compartments and contribute to the seemingly contradictory observation that the CKIs can both suppress and promote cancer. Multiple ubiquitin ligases (E3s) direct the proteasome-mediated degradation of p21, p27 and p57. This review analyzes recent data highlighting our current understanding of how distinct E3 pathways regulate subpopulations of the CKIs to control their diverse functions.
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.
p27Kip1 levels increase in many cells as they leave the cell cycle and begin to differentiate. The increase in p27Kip1 levels generally precedes the expression of differentiation-specific genes. Previous studies from our laboratory showed that the overexpression of p27Kip1 enhances myelin basic protein (MBP) promoter activity. This activation is specific to p27Kip1. Additionally, inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinase activity alone is not sufficient to increase MBP expression. In this study, we focused on understanding how p27Kip1 can activate gene transcription by using the MBP gene in oligodendrocytes as a model. We show that the enhancement of MBP promoter activity by p27Kip1 is mediated by a proximal region of the MBP promoter that contains a conserved GC box binding sequence. This sequence binds transcription factors Sp1 and Sp3. Increased expression of p27Kip1 increases the level of Sp1 promoter binding to the GC box but does not change the level of Sp3 binding. The binding of Sp1 to this element activates the MBP promoter. p27Kip1 leads to increased Sp1 binding through a decrease in Sp1 protein turnover. Enhancement of MBP promoter activity by an increase in the level of p27Kip1 involves a novel mechanism that is mediated through the stabilization and binding of transcription factor Sp1.