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1.  In utero PCP exposure alters oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination in developing rat frontal cortex 
Brain research  2008;1234:137-147.
Several neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, autism, ADD/ADHD and dyslexia are believed to originate during gestation and involve white matter abnormalities. Modulation of glutamate environments and glutamate receptors has also been implicated in alteration of oligodendrocytes, the myelin forming cells of the CNS. To begin to understand how modulation of the glutamate system affects the maturation of oligodendrocytes, developing rats were subjected to prenatal blockade of the NMDA receptor with phencyclidine (PCP). Oligodendrocyte development and differentiation were then examined postnatally by measuring markers for early, middle and late stage cells. The results indicate that, while the level of marker proteins for neurons and astrocytes remains the same, early oligodendrocyte progenitor cell markers are decreased in rat brains prenatally exposed to PCP. Labeling of cells of intermediate, immature cell stages is elevated. Late stage markers for myelinating oligodendrocytes are subsequently decreased. These data suggest that prenatal NMDA receptor blockade reduces the level of progenitors and that the surviving cells are arrested at an immature stage. This premature arrest appears to result in fewer fully differentiated, mature oligodendrocytes that are capable of producing myelin. These results have interesting implications for the role of glutamate and glutamate receptors in white matter abnormalities in neurodevelopmental disorders.
doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2008.06.126
PMCID: PMC2572227  PMID: 18675260
NMDA receptor; neurodevelopment; glutamate excitotoxicity; myelination
2.  Cap-independent translation through the p27 5′-UTR 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;35(14):4767-4778.
Several recent publications have explored cap-independent translation through an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) in the 5′-UTR of the mRNA encoding the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27. The major experimental tool used in these reports was the use of bicistronic reporter constructs in which the 5′-UTR was inserted between the upstream and downstream cistrons. None of these reports has completely ruled out the possibility that the 5′-UTR has either cryptic promoter activity or a cryptic splice acceptor site. Either of these possibilities could result in expression of a monocistronic mRNA encoding the downstream cistron and false identification of an IRES. Indeed, Liu et al. recently published data suggesting that the p27 5′-UTR harbors cryptic promoter activity which accounts for its putative IRES activity. In this report, we have explored this potential problem further using promoterless bicistronic constructs coupled with RNase protection assays, siRNA knockdown of individual cistrons, RT-PCR to detect mRNA encoded by the bicistronic reporter with high sensitivity, direct transfection of bicistronic mRNAs, and insertion of an iron response element into the bicistronic reporter. The results do not support the conclusion that the p27 5′-UTR has significant functional promoter activity or cryptic splice sites, but rather that it is able to support cap-independent initiation of translation.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkm512
PMCID: PMC1950543  PMID: 17617641
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.
doi:10.1128/MCB.23.12.4035-4045.2003
PMCID: PMC156141  PMID: 12773549
4.  Expression of constitutively active 4EBP-1 enhances p27Kip1 expression and inhibits proliferation of MCF7 breast cancer cells 
Background
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1475-2867-3-2
PMCID: PMC151675  PMID: 12633504
5.  The major transcription initiation site of the p27Kip1 gene is conserved in human and mouse and produces a long 5'-UTR 
Background
The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 is essential for proper control of cell cycle progression. The levels of p27Kip1 are regulated by several mechanisms including transcriptional and translational controls. In order to delineate the molecular details of these regulatory mechanisms it is important to identify the transcription initiation site within the p27Kip1 gene, thereby defining the promoter region of the gene and the 5'-untranslated region of the p27Kip1 mRNA. Although several previous studies have attempted to map p27Kip1 transcription start sites, the results vary widely for both the mouse and human genes. In addition, even though the mouse and human p27Kip1 gene sequences are very highly conserved, the reported start sites are notably different.
Results
In this report, using a method that identifies capped ends of mRNA molecules together with RNase protection assays, we demonstrate that p27Kip1 transcription is initiated predominantly from a single site which is conserved in the human and mouse genes. Initiation at this site produces a 5'-untranslated region of 472 nucleotides in the human p27Kip1 mRNA and 502 nucleotides in the mouse p27Kip1 mRNA. In addition, several minor transcription start sites were identified for both the mouse and human genes.
Conclusions
These results demonstrate that the major transcription initiation sites in the mouse and human p27Kip1 genes are conserved and that the 5'-UTR of the p27Kip1 mRNA is much longer than generally believed. It will be important to consider these findings when designing experiments to identify elements that are involved in regulating the cellular levels of p27Kip1.
doi:10.1186/1471-2199-2-12
PMCID: PMC59625  PMID: 11696240
6.  Control of Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27 Expression by Cap-Independent Translation 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2001;21(15):4960-4967.
p27 is a key regulator of cell proliferation through inhibition of G1 cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) activity. Translation of the p27 mRNA is an important control mechanism for determining cellular levels of the inhibitor. Nearly all eukaryotic mRNAs are translated through a mechanism involving recognition of the 5′ cap by eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E). In quiescent cells eIF4E activity is repressed, leading to a global decline in translation rates. In contrast, p27 translation is highest during quiescence, suggesting that it escapes the general repression of translational initiation. We show that the 5′ untranslated region (5′-UTR) of the p27 mRNA mediates cap-independent translation. This activity is unaffected by conditions in which eIF4E is inhibited. In D6P2T cells, elevated cyclic AMP levels cause a rapid withdrawal from the cell cycle that is correlated with a striking increase in p27. Under these same conditions, cap-independent translation from the p27 5′-UTR is enhanced. These results indicate that regulation of internal initiation of translation is an important determinant of p27 protein levels.
doi:10.1128/MCB.21.15.4960-4967.2001
PMCID: PMC87223  PMID: 11438653

Results 1-6 (6)