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Mol Cell. 2008 May 9;30(3):303-14. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2008.04.002.

The metastasis-associated gene Prl-3 is a p53 target involved in cell-cycle regulation.

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  • 1Division of Radiation and Cancer Biology, Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


The p53 tumor suppressor restricts tumorigenesis through the transcriptional activation of target genes involved in cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. Here, we identify Prl-3 (phosphatase of regenerating liver-3) as a p53-inducible gene. Whereas previous studies implicated Prl-3 in metastasis because of its overexpression in metastatic human colorectal cancer and its ability to promote invasiveness and motility, we demonstrate here that Prl-3 is an important cell-cycle regulator. Consistent with a role in DNA damage-induced cell-cycle arrest, Prl-3 overexpression induces G(1) arrest downstream of p53 by triggering a PI3K-Akt-activated negative feedback loop. Surprisingly, attenuation of Prl-3 expression also elicits an arrest response, suggesting that basal level Prl-3 expression is pivotal for normal cell-cycle progression. Our findings highlight key dose-dependent functions of Prl-3 in both positive and negative regulation of cell-cycle progression and provide insight into Prl-3's role in cancer progression.

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