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Cancer Detect Prev. 2000;24(2):107-18.

Deregulation of the cell cycle in cancer.

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Division of Cancer Biology Research, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Science Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Mitogenic and growth-inhibitory signals influence cell-cycle progression through their action on a family of cyclin-dependent kinases (cdks). The activity of cdk complexes is regulated in part by the association of a cyclin partner that acts as a positive effector and by two families of cdk inhibitors, the kinase inhibitor proteins (KIP) and the inhibitors of cdk4 (INK4), which act as negative effectors. In human malignancies, increased expression of cyclins is frequently observed. Cyclin D1 and E are frequently overexpressed in breast cancers, and cyclin E overexpression has been correlated with a poor prognostic outcome. The abrogated expression or the acquisition of mutations that render cdk inhibitors functionally inactive have similarly been found in human malignancies. The p16 gene is frequently deleted or mutated in cancers. Although normal epithelial cells express high levels of p27 protein, reduced levels of p27 have been observed in several human cancers, and this has been consistently correlated with a poor prognostic outcome. In this review, we will provide a brief overview of the cell cycle regulators and then discuss their deregulation in cancers.

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