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Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Aug;20(16):6147-58.

Functional collaboration between different cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors suppresses tumor growth with distinct tissue specificity.

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  • 1Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7295, USA.


The presence of two families of seven distinct mammalian cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor genes is thought to mediate the complexity of connecting a variety of cellular processes to the cell cycle control pathway. The distinct pattern of tissue expression of CDK inhibitor genes suggests that they may function as tumor suppressors with different tissue specificities. To test this hypothesis, we have characterized two strains of double mutant mice lacking either p18(INK4c) and p27(KIP1) or p18(INK4c) and p21(CIP1/WAF1). Loss of both p18 and p27 function resulted in the spontaneous development by 3 months of age of at least eight different types of hyperplastic tissues and/or tumors in the pituitary, adrenals, thyroid, parathyroid, testes, pancreas, duodenum, and stomach. Six of these hyperplastic tissues and tumors were in endocrine organs, and several types of tumors routinely developed within the same animal, a phenotype reminiscent of that seen in combined human multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes. The p18-p21 double null mice, on the other hand, developed pituitary adenomas, multifocal gastric neuroendocrine hyperplasia, and lung bronchioalveolar tumors later in life. G(1) CDK2 and CDK4 kinase activities were increased in both normal and neoplastic tissues derived from mice lacking individual CDK inhibitors and were synergistically stimulated by the simultaneous loss of two CDK inhibitors. This indicates that an increase in G(1) CDK kinase activity is a critical step during but is not sufficient for tumor growth. Our results suggest that functional collaborations between distinct CDK inhibitor genes are tissue specific and confer yet another level of regulation in cell growth control and tumor suppression.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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