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Genes Dev. 1998 Sep 15;12(18):2899-911.

CDK inhibitors p18(INK4c) and p27(Kip1) mediate two separate pathways to collaboratively suppress pituitary tumorigenesis.

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


INK4 and CIP/KIP are two distinct families of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors implicated in mediating a wide range of cell growth control signals. We have created p18(INK4c)-deficient mice. These mice develop gigantism and widespread organomegaly. The pituitary gland, spleen, and thymus are disproportionately enlarged and hyperplastic. T and B lymphocytes develop normally in p18-deficient mice, but both exhibit increased cellularity and a higher proliferative rate upon mitogenic stimulation. Loss of p18, like that of p27, but not other CDK inhibitor genes, leads to a gradual progression from intermediate lobe pituitary hyperplasia in young mice to an adenoma by 10 months of age with a nearly complete penetrance. Mice lacking both p18 and p27, like mice chimeric for Rb deficiency, invariably died from pituitary adenomas by 3 months. Hence, p18 and p27 mediate two separate pathways to collaboratively suppress pituitary tumorigenesis, likely by controlling the function of Rb.

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