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Oncogene. 1999 Jun 3;18(22):3324-33.

Evidence for a p23 caspase-cleaved form of p27[KIP1] involved in G1 growth arrest.

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U364 INSERM Immunologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire, Faculté de Médecine, Nice, France.


p27[KIP1] (p27) is a cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor, involved in the negative regulation of G1 progression in response to a number of anti-proliferative signals. In this study we show, in growing mouse hybridoma (7TD1) and human myeloma (U266) cell lines, that p27 is highly expressed but slightly upregulated when cells are arrested, regardless to the phases of the cell cycle. In contrast, the specific blockade of these cells in early G1 phase reveals the induction of a protein of 23 kDa (p23) specifically recognized by polyclonal anti-p27 antibodies raised against the NH2 terminal part of p27 but not by anti-p21[CIP1] antibodies. Experiments using caspase inhibitors strongly suggest that p23 results from the proteolysis of p27 by a 'caspase-3-like' protease. This cleavage leads to the cytosolic sequestration of p23 but does not alter its binding properties to CDK2 and CDK4 kinases. Indeed, p23 associated in vivo with high molecular weight complexes and coprecipitated with CDK2 and CDK4. We demonstrate by transfection experiments in SaOS-2 cells that p23 induces a G1 phase growth arrest by inhibition of cyclin/CDK2 activity. In summary we describe here a caspase-cleaved form of p27, induced in absence of detectable apoptosis and likely involved in cell cycle regulation.

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