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1.  A single-nucleotide polymorphism in the human p27kip1 gene (-838C>A) affects basal promoter activity and the risk of myocardial infarction 
BMC Biology  2004;2:5.
Excessive proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells and leukocytes within the artery wall is a major event in the development of atherosclerosis. The growth suppressor p27kip1 associates with several cyclin-dependent kinase/cyclin complexes, thereby abrogating their capacity to induce progression through the cell cycle. Recent studies have implicated p27kip1 in the control of neointimal hyperplasia. For instance, p27kip1 ablation in apolipoprotein-E-null mice enhanced arterial cell proliferation and accelerated atherogenesis induced by dietary cholesterol. Therefore, p27kip1 is a candidate gene to modify the risk of developing atherosclerosis and associated ischaemic events (i.e., myocardial infarction and stroke).
In this study we found three common single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the human p27kip1 gene (+326T>G [V109G], -79C>T, and -838C>A). The frequency of -838A carriers was significantly increased in myocardial infarction patients compared to healthy controls (odds ratio [OR] = 1.73, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] = 1.12–2.70). In addition, luciferase reporter constructs driven by the human p27kip1 gene promoter containing A at position -838 had decreased basal transcriptional activity when transiently transfected in Jurkat cells, compared with constructs bearing C in -838 (P = 0.04).
These data suggest that -838A is associated with reduced p27kip1 promoter activity and increased risk of myocardial infarction.
PMCID: PMC400507  PMID: 15061869
myocardial infarction; p27kip1; single-nucleotide polymorphisms
2.  Regulation of expression by promoters versus internal ribosome entry site in the 5′-untranslated sequence of the human cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27kip1 
Nucleic Acids Research  2005;33(12):3763-3771.
p27kip1 regulates cell proliferation by binding to and inhibiting the activity of cyclin-dependent kinases and its expression oscillates with cell cycle. Recently, it has been suggested from studies using the traditional dicistronic DNA assay that the expression of p27kip1 is regulated by internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-mediated translation initiation, and several RNA-binding protein factors were thought to play some role in this regulation. Considering the inevitable drawbacks of the dicistronic DNA assay, which could mislead a promoter activity or alternative splicing to IRES as previously demonstrated, we decided to reanalyze the 5′-untranslated region (5′-UTR) sequence of p27kip1 and test whether it contains an IRES element or a promoter using more stringent methods, such as dicistronic RNA and promoterless dicistronic and monocistronic DNA assays. We found that the 5′-UTR sequence of human p27kip1 does not have any significant IRES activity. The previously observed IRES activities are likely generated from the promoter activities present in the 5′-UTR sequences of p27kip1. The findings in this study indicate that transcriptional regulation likely plays an important role in p27kip1 expression, and the mechanism of regulation of p27 expression by RNA-binding factors needs to be re-examined. The findings in this study also further enforce the importance that more stringent studies, such as promoterless dicistronic and monocistronic DNA and dicistronic RNA tests, are required to safeguard any future claims of cellular IRES.
PMCID: PMC1174905  PMID: 16006622
3.  The Sp1 Family of Transcription Factors Is Involved in p27Kip1-Mediated Activation of Myelin Basic Protein Gene Expression 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2003;23(12):4035-4045.
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.
PMCID: PMC156141  PMID: 12773549
4.  Polypyrimidine Tract-Binding Protein Enhances the Internal Ribosomal Entry Site-Dependent Translation of p27Kip1 mRNA and Modulates Transition from G1 to S Phase 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2005;25(4):1283-1297.
The p27Kip1 protein plays a critical role in the regulation of cell proliferation through the inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinase activity. Translation of p27Kip1 is directed by an internal ribosomal entry site (IRES) in the 5′ nontranslated region of p27Kip1 mRNA. Here, we report that polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB) specifically enhances the IRES activity of p27Kip1 mRNA through an interaction with the IRES element. We found that addition of PTB to an in vitro translation system and overexpression of PTB in 293T cells augmented the IRES activity of p27Kip1 mRNA but that knockdown of PTB by introduction of PTB-specific small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) diminished the IRES activity of p27Kip1 mRNA. Moreover, the G1 phase in the cell cycle (which is maintained in part by p27Kip1) was shortened in cells depleted of PTB by siRNA knockdown. 12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced differentiation in HL60 cells was used to examine PTB-induced modulation of p27Kip1 protein synthesis during differentiation. The IRES activity of p27Kip1 mRNA in HL60 cells was increased by TPA treatment (with a concomitant increase in PTB protein levels), but the levels of p27Kip1 mRNA remained unchanged. Together, these data suggest that PTB modulates cell cycle and differentiation, at least in part, by enhancing the IRES activity of p27Kip1 mRNA.
PMCID: PMC548013  PMID: 15684381
5.  CUG-binding protein represses translation of p27Kip1 mRNA through its internal ribosomal entry site 
RNA Biology  2011;8(3):365-371.
The cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 plays an important role in controlling the eukaryotic cell cycle. The 5′-untranslated region of the p27 mRNA harbors an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) which may facilitate synthesis of p27 in certain conditions. In this study, the RNA-associated protein CUGBP1 was shown to interact with the human p27 5′-untranslated region. Overexpression of CUGBP1 inhibited endogenous p27 expression and reduced translation initiation through the p27 IRES. In contrast, repression of CUGBP1 by siRNA transfection enhanced p27 protein levels and stimulated p27 IRES activity. Addition of recombinant CUGBP1 repressed p27 IRES reporter mRNA translation in vitro. At last, our finding showed that cytosolic form of CUGBP1 binds efficiently to the p27 5′-untranslated region.
PMCID: PMC3218506  PMID: 21508681
p27Kip1; cell cycle; IRES; CUGBP1; 5′-untranslated region
6.  Expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27kip1 in malignant lymphomas. 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2000;15(4):399-406.
p27kip1 is a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that regulates progression from G1 into S phase. Aberrations in cell cycle control are often observed in tumors and might even be necessary in tumor development. Recent reports showed that low p27kip1 expression is associated with poor prognosis in several tumors and leukemia. To investigate the expression of p27kip1 in malignant lymphomas and elucidate the role of p27kip1 as a possible prognostic indicator, the authors performed an immunohistochemical staining of p27kip1 correlated with Ki-67 labelling index and clinical parameters. p27kip1 expression was reduced variably in most malignant lymphomas and inversely correlated with Ki-67 labelling index (p=0.0151). Regarding chemotherapeutic response, p271kip1 expression in the complete remission group showed statistically significant difference in expression compared to the progressive disease group (p=0.0021). There were significant differences in survival between cases with low and high p27kip1 expression (p=0.0071). In a multivariate Cox analysis, p27kip1 expression was independent prognostic factors as well as other known prognostic factors including age, grade, stage and chemotherapeutic response. In conclusion, the study suggests that reduced expression of p27kip1 protein may play a role in the pathogenesis and biologically aggressive behavior of malignant lymphomas.
PMCID: PMC3054650  PMID: 10983687
7.  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
8.  Tumor suppression and inhibition of aneuploid cell accumulation in human brain tumor cells by ectopic overexpression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27KIP1. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1996;97(8):1983-1988.
To investigate how overexpression of p27KIP1, a downstream effector of TGF-beta and a universal cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor could influence the malignant phenotype of malignant human brain tumor cells, an adenovirus vector system was used to transfer the human p27KIP1 gene (Adp27KIP1) into the human astrocytoma cell line, U-373MG. Inhibition of CDK activity in Adp27KIP1-infected cells was indicated by inhibition of [3H]thymidine incorporation, an increase in cell doubling time and by cell cycle arrest in G1. Notably, ectopic overexpression of p27KIP1 was associated with a marked decrease in the accumulation of aneuploid cells. Diminished malignant potential of Adp27KIP1-infected cells was manifested by the loss of anchorage-independent growth in soft agar and by the inability to induce tumorgenesis in a xenograft model. These studies suggest that p27KIP1 is a tumor suppressor gene and supports the use of Adp27KIP1 for gene therapy of human brain tumors.
PMCID: PMC507269  PMID: 8621784
9.  Streptogramin- and tetracycline-responsive dual regulated expression of p27Kip1 sense and antisense enables positive and negative growth control of Chinese hamster ovary cells 
Nucleic Acids Research  2001;29(4):e19.
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 control.
PMCID: PMC29626  PMID: 11160939
10.  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
11.  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
12.  Analysis of wild-type and mutant p21WAF-1 gene activities. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1996;16(4):1786-1793.
The p21WAF-1 gene is positively regulated by the wild-type p53 protein. p21WAF-1 has been shown to interact with several cyclin-dependent kinase complexes and block the activity of G1 cyclin-dependent kinases (cdks). Mutational analysis with the p21WAF-1 gene localized a site, at amino acid residues 21 and 24 in the amino terminus of the protein, for p21WAF-1 binding to cyclins D and E. This region of the protein is conserved (residues 21 to 26) in other p21WAF-1 family members, p27kip-1 and p57kip-2. The same p21WAF-121,24 mutant also fails to bind to cyclin D1-cdk 4 or cyclin E-cdk 2 complexes in vitro, suggesting that amino acid residues 21 and 24 are important for p21WAF-1-cdk-cyclin trimeric complex interactions. The p21WAF-1 wild-type protein will suppress tumor cell growth in culture while p21WAF-1 mutant proteins with defects in residues 21 and 24 fail to suppress tumor cell growth. The overexpression of cyclin D or E in these cells will partially overcome the growth suppression of wild-type p21WAF-1 protein in cells. These results provide evidence that p21WAF-1 acts through cyclin D1-cdk4 and cyclin E-cdk2 complexes in vivo to induce the growth suppression. The p21WAF-1 binding sites for cyclins (residues 21 to 26), cdk2 (residues 49 to 71), and proliferating-cell nuclear antigen (residues 124 to 164) have all been mapped to discrete sites on the protein.
PMCID: PMC231165  PMID: 8657154
13.  miR-181a Regulates Cap-Dependent Translation of p27kip1 mRNA in Myeloid Cells▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2009;29(10):2841-2851.
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.
PMCID: PMC2682024  PMID: 19273599
14.  Skp2 directs Myc-mediated suppression of p27Kip1 yet has modest effects on Myc-driven lymphomagenesis 
Molecular cancer research : MCR  2010;8(3):353-362.
The universal cyclin-Cdk inhibitor p27Kip1 functions as a tumor suppressor and reduced levels of p27Kip1 connote poor prognosis in several human malignancies. p27Kip1 levels are predominately regulated by ubiquitin-mediated turnover of the protein, which is marked for destruction by the E3 ubiquitin ligase SCFSkp2 complex following its phosphorylation by the cyclin E-Cdk2 complex. Binding of phospho-p27Kip1 is directed by the Skp2 F-box protein, and this is greatly augmented by its allosteric regulator Cks1. We have established that programmed expression of c-Myc in the B cells of Eμ-Myc transgenic mice triggers p27Kip1 destruction by inducing Cks1, that this response controls Myc-driven proliferation, and that loss of Cks1 markedly delays Myc-induced lymphomagenesis and cancels the dissemination of these tumors. Here, we report that elevated levels of Skp2 are a characteristic of Eμ-Myc lymphomas and of human Burkitt lymphoma that bear MYC/immunoglobulin chromosomal translocations. As expected, Myc-mediated suppression of p27Kip1 was abolished in Skp2-null Eμ-Myc B cells. However, the impact of Skp2 loss on Myc-driven proliferation and lymphomagenesis was surprisingly modest compared to the effects of Cks1 loss. Collectively these findings suggest that Cks1 targets in addition to p27Kip1 are critical for Myc-driven proliferation and tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC3095030  PMID: 20197382
Myc; Skp2; p27Kip1; lymphomagenesis
15.  Kinesin-related proteins required for assembly of the mitotic spindle 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1992;118(1):95-108.
We identified two new Saccharomyces cerevisiae kinesin-related genes, KIP1 and KIP2, using polymerase chain reaction primers corresponding to highly conserved regions of the kinesin motor domain. Both KIP proteins are expressed in vivo, but deletion mutations conferred no phenotype. Moreover, kip1 kip2 double mutants and a triple mutant with kinesin- related kar3 had no synthetic phenotype. Using a genetic screen for mutations that make KIP1 essential, we identified another gene, KSL2, which proved to be another kinesin-related gene, CIN8. KIP1 and CIN8 are functionally redundant: double mutants arrested in mitosis whereas the single mutants did not. The microtubule organizing centers of arrested cells were duplicated but unseparated, indicating that KIP1 or CIN8 is required for mitotic spindle assembly. Consistent with this role, KIP1 protein was found to colocalize with the mitotic spindle.
PMCID: PMC2289520  PMID: 1618910
16.  High-Throughput Screening Reveals Alsterpaullone, 2-Cyanoethyl as a Potent p27Kip1 Transcriptional Inhibitor 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91173.
p27Kip1 is a cell cycle inhibitor that prevents cyclin dependent kinase (CDK)/cyclin complexes from phosphorylating their targets. p27Kip1 is a known tumor suppressor, as the germline loss of p27Kip1 results in sporadic pituitary formation in aged rodents, and its presence in human cancers is indicative of a poor prognosis. In addition to its role in cancer, loss of p27Kip1 results in regenerative phenotypes in some tissues and maintenance of stem cell pluripotency, suggesting that p27Kip1 inhibitors could be beneficial for tissue regeneration. Because p27Kip1 is an intrinsically disordered protein, identifying direct inhibitors of the p27Kip1 protein is difficult. Therefore, we pursued a high-throughput screening strategy to identify novel p27Kip1 transcriptional inhibitors. We utilized a luciferase reporter plasmid driven by the p27Kip1 promoter to transiently transfect HeLa cells and used cyclohexamide as a positive control for non-specific inhibition. We screened a “bioactive” library consisting of 8,904 (4,359 unique) compounds, of which 830 are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved. From this screen, we successfully identified 111 primary hits with inhibitory effect against the promoter of p27Kip1. These hits were further refined using a battery of secondary screens. Here we report four novel p27Kip1 transcriptional inhibitors, and further demonstrate that our most potent hit compound (IC50 = 200 nM) Alsterpaullone 2-cyanoethyl, inhibits p27Kip1 transcription by preventing FoxO3a from binding to the p27Kip1 promoter. This screen represents one of the first attempts to identify inhibitors of p27Kip1 and may prove useful for future tissue regeneration studies.
PMCID: PMC3960108  PMID: 24646893
17.  ZAC, LIT1 (KCNQ1OT1) and p57KIP2 (CDKN1C) are in an imprinted gene network that may play a role in Beckwith–Wiedemann syndrome 
Nucleic Acids Research  2005;33(8):2650-2660.
Loss of genomic imprinting is involved in a number of developmental abnormalities and cancers. ZAC is an imprinted gene expressed from the paternal allele of chromosome 6q24 within a region known to harbor a tumor suppressor gene for several types of neoplasia. p57KIP2 (CDKN1C) is a maternally expressed gene located on chromosome 11p15.5 which encodes a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that may also act as a tumor suppressor gene. Mutations in ZAC and p57KIP2 have been implicated in transient neonatal diabetes mellitus (TNDB) and Beckwith–Wiedemann syndrome, respectively. Patients with these diseases share many characteristics. Here we show that mouse Zac1 and p57Kip2 have a strikingly similar expression pattern. ZAC, a sequence-specific DNA-binding protein, binds within the CpG island of LIT1 (KCNQ1OT1), a paternally expressed, anti-sense RNA thought to negatively regulate p57KIP2 in cis. ZAC induces LIT1 transcription in a methylation-dependent manner. Our data suggest that ZAC may regulate p57KIP2 through LIT1, forming part of a novel signaling pathway regulating cell growth. Mutations in ZAC may, therefore, contribute to Beckwith–Wiedemann syndrome. Furthermore, we find changes in DNA methylation at the LIT1 putative imprinting control region in two patients with TNDB.
PMCID: PMC1097765  PMID: 15888726
18.  PCAF regulates the stability of the transcriptional regulator and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;40(14):6520-6533.
P27Kip1 (p27) is a member of the Cip/Kip family of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors. Recently, a new function of p27 as transcriptional regulator has been reported. It has been shown that p27 regulates the expression of target genes mostly involved in splicing, cell cycle, respiration and translation. We report here that p27 directly binds to the transcriptional coactivator PCAF by a region including amino acids 91–120. PCAF associates with p27 through its catalytic domain and acetylates p27 at lysine 100. Our data showed that overexpression of PCAF induces the degradation of p27 whereas in contrast, the knockdown of PCAF stabilizes the protein. A p27 mutant in which K100 was substituted by arginine (p27-K100R) cannot be acetylated by PCAF and has a half-life much higher than that of p27WT. Moreover, p27-K100R remains stable along cell-cycle progression. Ubiquitylation assays and the use of proteasome inhibitors indicate that PCAF induces p27 degradation via proteasome. We also observed that knockdown of skp2 did not affect the PCAF induced degradation of p27. In conclusion, our data suggest that the p27 acetylation by PCAF regulates its stability.
PMCID: PMC3413142  PMID: 22547391
19.  Multiple Mechanisms Regulate Imprinting of the Mouse Distal Chromosome 7 Gene Cluster 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1998;18(6):3466-3474.
Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic process that results in the preferential silencing of one of the two parental copies of a gene. Although the precise mechanisms by which genomic imprinting occurs are unknown, the tendency of imprinted genes to exist in chromosomal clusters suggests long-range regulation through shared regulatory elements. We characterize a 800-kb region on the distal end of mouse chromosome 7 that contains a cluster of four maternally expressed genes, H19, Mash2, Kvlqt1, and p57Kip2, as well as two paternally expressed genes, Igf2 and Ins2, and assess the expression and imprinting of Mash2, Kvlqt1, and p57Kip2 during development in embryonic and extraembryonic tissues. Unlike Igf2 and Ins2, which depend on H19 for their imprinting, Mash2, p57Kip2, and Kvlqt1 are unaffected by a deletion of the H19 gene region, suggesting that these more telomeric genes are not regulated by the mechanism that controls H19, Igf2, and Ins2. Mutations in human p57Kip2 have been implicated in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, a disease that has also been associated with loss of imprinting of IGF2. We find, however, that a deletion of the gene has no effect on imprinting within the cluster. Surprisingly, the three maternally expressed genes are regulated very differently by DNA methylation; p57Kip2 is activated, Kvlqt1 is silenced, and Mash2 is unaffected in mice lacking DNA methyltransferase. We conclude that H19 is not a global regulator of imprinting on distal chromosome 7 and that the telomeric genes are imprinted by a separate mechanism(s).
PMCID: PMC108927  PMID: 9584186
20.  Chemical genetics approach to restoring p27Kip1 reveals novel compounds with antiproliferative activity in prostate cancer cells 
BMC Biology  2010;8:153.
The cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p27Kip1 is downregulated in a majority of human cancers due to ectopic proteolysis by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. The expression of p27 is subject to multiple mechanisms of control involving several transcription factors, kinase pathways and at least three different ubiquitin ligases (SCFSKP2, KPC, Pirh2), which regulate p27 transcription, translation, protein stability and subcellular localization. Using a chemical genetics approach, we have asked whether this control network can be modulated by small molecules such that p27 protein expression is restored in cancer cells.
We developed a cell-based assay for measuring the levels of endogenous nuclear p27 in a high throughput screening format employing LNCaP prostate cancer cells engineered to overexpress SKP2. The assay platform was optimized to Z' factors of 0.48 - 0.6 and piloted by screening a total of 7368 chemical compounds. During the course of this work, we discovered two small molecules of previously unknown biological activity, SMIP001 and SMIP004, which increase the nuclear level of p27 at low micromolar concentrations. SMIPs (small molecule inhibitors of p27 depletion) also upregulate p21Cip1, inhibit cellular CDK2 activity, induce G1 delay, inhibit colony formation in soft agar and exhibit preferential cytotoxicity in LNCaP cells relative to normal human fibroblasts. Unlike SMIP001, SMIP004 was found to downregulate SKP2 and to stabilize p27, although neither SMIP is a proteasome inhibitor. Whereas the screening endpoint - nuclear p27 - was robustly modulated by the compounds, SMIP-mediated cell cycle arrest and apoptosis were not strictly dependent on p27 and p21 - a finding that is explained by parallel inhibitory effects of SMIPs on positive cell cycle regulators, including cyclins E and A, and CDK4.
Our data provide proof-of-principle that the screening platform we developed, using endogenous nuclear p27 as an endpoint, presents an effective means of identifying bioactive molecules with cancer selective antiproliferative activity. This approach, when applied to larger and more diverse sets of compounds with refined drug-like properties, bears the potential of revealing both unknown cellular pathways globally impinging on p27 and novel leads for chemotherapeutics targeting a prominent molecular defect of human cancers.
PMCID: PMC3025922  PMID: 21182779
21.  Accelerated turnover of taste bud cells in mice deficient for the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 
BMC Neuroscience  2011;12:34.
Mammalian taste buds contain several specialized cell types that coordinately respond to tastants and communicate with sensory nerves. While it has long been appreciated that these cells undergo continual turnover, little is known concerning how adequate numbers of cells are generated and maintained. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 has been shown to influence cell number in several developing tissues, by coordinating cell cycle exit during cell differentiation. Here, we investigated its involvement in the control of taste cell replacement by examining adult mice with targeted ablation of the p27Kip1 gene.
Histological and morphometric analyses of fungiform and circumvallate taste buds reveal no structural differences between wild-type and p27Kip1-null mice. However, when examined in functional assays, mutants show substantial proliferative changes. In BrdU incorporation experiments, more S-phase-labeled precursors appear within circumvallate taste buds at 1 day post-injection, the earliest time point examined. After 1 week, twice as many labeled intragemmal cells are present, but numbers return to wild-type levels by 2 weeks. Mutant taste buds also contain more TUNEL-labeled cells and 50% more apoptotic bodies than wild-type controls. In normal mice, p27 Kip1 is evident in a subset of receptor and presynaptic taste cells beginning about 3 days post-injection, correlating with the onset of taste cell maturation. Loss of gene function, however, does not alter the proportions of distinct immunohistochemically-identified cell types.
p27Kip1 participates in taste cell replacement by regulating the number of precursor cells available for entry into taste buds. This is consistent with a role for the protein in timing cell cycle withdrawal in progenitor cells. The equivalence of mutant and wild-type taste buds with regard to cell number, cell types and general structure contrasts with the hyperplasia and tissue disruption seen in certain developing p27Kip1-null sensory organs, and may reflect a compensatory capability inherent in the regenerative taste system.
PMCID: PMC3110126  PMID: 21507264
22.  Defects in retinal pigment epithelium cell proliferation and retinal attachment in mutant mice with p27Kip1 gene ablation 
Molecular Vision  2007;13:273-286.
Little is known about the mechanisms that regulate cell cycle withdrawal of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) during development, or about the mechanisms maintaining epithelial cell quiescence in adult retinas. The present study examines the potential role of the negative cell cycle regulator p27Kip1 in controlling RPE proliferation, using mice with targeted ablation of the p27Kip1 gene.
Ocular tissues were obtained from wild-type and p27Kip1-null mice at several postnatal ages. Following aldehyde fixation, eyes were processed intact for JB-4 histology and electron microscopy. Alternatively, tissues were removed by manual or enzymatic dissection in order to obtain flat-mounts of the RPE attached to either the choroid-sclera or neural retina, respectively. Epithelial flat-mounts were either left unlabeled, in which case melanin pigment provided internal contrast, or labeled with Alexa Fluor 488-phalloidin and propidium iodide to visualize cell boundaries and nuclei, respectively.
Morphometric analysis using transverse plastic sections revealed a 96% increase in nuclear density and a 12% increase in thickness (apical to basal) for mutant vs. normal epithelia at postnatal day 35 (P35). These changes were not restricted to central or peripheral regions, and were uncorrelated with focal areas of dysplasia seen in the mutant neural retina. When similar tissues were viewed as flat-mounts, an observed 100% increase in nuclear density was accompanied by only a 46% enhancement in cellular density. This resulted in a larger proportion of multinucleated cells in the nullizygous RPE as compared with the wild-type epithelium (91 versus 47%). Such a pattern was achieved relatively early in development since, at P7 when the increase in RPE nuclear density was essentially complete, cellular density was augmented by only 39%. In addition to these proliferative changes, individual epithelial cells sometimes exhibited structural abnormalities, including an altered cortical actin cytoskeleton and displacement of nuclei from their normal central position. Surprisingly, while the RPE cells of null animals were similar ultrastructurally to those of the wild-type, interdigitation of their microvillous processes with outer segments was incomplete. Quantitative analysis revealed that such areas of detachment characterize, on average, 42% of the nullizygous retina, and that there is little correlation between detachment and neural retina dysplasia from one eye to another. Together with parallel evidence demonstrating a substantial decline in the apparent adhesiveness of mutant retinas relative to the normal tissue, the data is strongly indicative of an altered epithelium-photoreceptor interaction following gene ablation.
The absence of a functional p27Kip1 gene results in enhanced RPE nuclear division, without a commensurate increase in cell division. Although the mutant epithelium as a whole appears structurally normal, individual cells exhibit cytoskeletal changes and their interaction with the neural retina is compromised.
PMCID: PMC2633469  PMID: 17356514
23.  Forced expression of the cell cycle inhibitor p57Kip2 in cardiomyocytes attenuates ischemia-reperfusion injury in the mouse heart 
BMC Physiology  2008;8:4.
Myocardial hypoxic-ischemic injury is the cause of significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. The cardiomyocyte response to hypoxic-ischemic injury is known to include changes in cell cycle regulators. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p57Kip2 is involved in cell cycle control, differentiation, stress signaling and apoptosis. In contrast to other cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, p57Kip2 expression diminishes during postnatal life and is reactivated in the adult heart under conditions of cardiac stress. Overexpression of p57Kip2 has been previously shown to prevent apoptotic cell death in vitro by inhibiting stress-activated kinases. Therefore, we hypothesized that p57Kip2 has a protective role in cardiomyocytes under hypoxic conditions. To investigate this hypothesis, we created a transgenic mouse (R26loxpTA-p57k/+) that expresses p57Kip2 specifically in cardiac tissue under the ventricular cardiomyocyte promoter Mlc2v.
Transgenic mice with cardiac specific overexpression of p57Kip2 are viable, fertile and normally active and their hearts are morphologically indistinguishable from the control hearts and have similar heart weight/body weight ratio. The baseline functional parameters, including left ventricular systolic pressure (LVSP), left ventricular end diastolic pressure (LVEDP), LVdp/dtmax, heart rate (HR) and rate pressure product (RPR) were not significantly different between the different groups as assessed by the Langendorff perfused heart preparation. However, after subjecting the heart ex vivo to 30 minutes of ischemia-reperfusion injury, the p57Kip2 overexpressing hearts demonstrated preserved cardiac function compared to control mice with higher left ventricular developed pressure (63 ± 15 vs 30 ± 6 mmHg, p = 0.05), rate pressure product (22.8 ± 4.86 vs 10.4 ± 2.1 × 103bpm × mmHg, p < 0.05) and coronary flow (3.5 ± 0.5 vs 2.38 ± 0.24 ml/min, p <0.05).
These data suggest that forced cardiac expression of p57Kip2 does not affect myocardial growth, differentiation and baseline function but attenuates injury from ischemia-reperfusion in the adult mouse heart.
PMCID: PMC2268709  PMID: 18312674
24.  MyoD regulates p57kip2 expression by interacting with a distant cis-element and modifying a higher order chromatin structure 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;40(17):8266-8275.
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.
PMCID: PMC3458561  PMID: 22740650
25.  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

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