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J Cell Biochem. 1999 Dec;76(2):270-9.

Cell cycle arrest induced by ectopic expression of p27 is not sufficient to promote oligodendrocyte differentiation.

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Department of Neurology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


Oligodendrocyte differentiation is accompanied by dramatic changes in gene expression as well as cell cycle arrest. To determine whether cell cycle arrest is sufficient to induce the changes in cell phenotype associated with differentiation, we inhibited oligodendrocyte precursor proliferation in vitro by overexpressing p27, a cyclin kinase inhibitor, using a recombinant adenovirus. Ectopic expression of p27 efficiently inhibited oligodendrocyte precursor cell division, even in the presence of exogenous mitogens, by blocking the activity of the cyclin-dependent kinase, cdk2. Although the cells had stopped dividing, they did not express galactocerebroside (GalC) or myelin basic protein (MBP), changes associated with oligodendrocyte differentiation, suggesting that they had not differentiated. After removal of exogenous mitogens, however, adenovirus-expressing oligodendrocyte precursors differentiated with a temporal profile similar to that of control, uninfected oligodendrocytes, as indicated by expression of GalC and MBP. We conclude that cell cycle arrest is not sufficient to induce differentiation of dividing oligodendrocyte precursors, and that modulation of additional, as yet unknown, signaling pathways is required for this to occur.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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