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Hum Pathol. 2000 Jun;31(6):751-60.

Cell cycle regulators in bladder cancer: a multivariate survival study with emphasis on p27Kip1.

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Department of Pathology, National University of Athens, Greece.


Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CKIs) prevent cyclin-dependent kinases from phosphorylating critical substrates such as retinoblastoma gene protein (pRb), hence blocking the cascade of events leading to cell proliferation. Currently, the list of CKIs includes p21WAF1/Cip1, p27Kip1, p57Kip2 (the Cip/Kip family), p15/ INK4b, p16/INK4a, p18/INK4c, and p19/INK4d (the INK4 family). Among them, p27 plays a crucial role linking extracellular growth-regulatory signals to progression to or exit from the cell cycle. Unlike p53, p16, and Rb, mutations in Kip1 and WAF1 genes are distinctly rare in bladder cancer. We analyzed immunohistochemically the expression of p27 and other interacting G1 proteins (ie, p21, p16, pRb, p53) in 120 consecutive cases of transitional cell carcinomas (TCCs) and related it to proliferation rate, clinicopathologic parameters, and survival. p27 levels were significantly higher in low-grade (P = .001), superficial (Ta-T1) (P = .001), papillary (P < .001), and slowly proliferating TCCs (rs = -0.235, P = .05). p27 also positively correlated with p16 expression (rs = 0.212, P = .05). In univariate analysis, decreased p27 expression was associated with poor overall (P = .0109) and postrelapse (P = .0344) survival, especially if combined to increased Ki-67 expression (P = .0004 and P = .036, respectively). Furthermore, in multivariate analysis, Ki-67/p27 status had the strongest bearing on the overall survival of muscle-invasive TCCs (P = .0019). Our results indicate that low p27 expression is more common in poorly differentiated muscle-invasive TCCs and is a major player in cell cycle control in these neoplasms. More importantly, the combined Ki-67/p27 expression provides prognostic information beyond that provided by conventional parameters or other cell cycle-related proteins, concerning overall survival in muscle-invasive TCCs.

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