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Oncogene. 2001 Jul 27;20(33):4554-67.

Adhesion-regulated G1 cell cycle arrest in epithelial cells requires the downregulation of c-Myc.

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Department of Cell Biology, Vincent T Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, 3970 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA.


Adhesion to the extracellular matrix is required for the expression and activation of the cyclin-cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) complexes, and for G1 phase progression of non-transformed cells. However, in non-adherent cells no molecular mechanism has yet been proposed for the cell adhesion-dependent up-regulation of the p27 cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CKI), and the associated inhibition of cyclin E-CDK2. We now show that in epithelial cells the expression of c-Myc is tightly regulated by cell-substrate adhesion. When deprived of adhesion, two independently derived mammary epithelial cell lines, 184A1N4 and MCF-10A, rapidly decrease their level of c-Myc mRNA and protein. This decrease in levels of c-Myc correlates with G1 phase arrest, as indicated by hypophosphorylation of pRb and inhibition of the activity of the cyclin E-CDK2 complex. In 184A1N4 cells, cell-substrate adhesion is required for the suppression of p27, and induction of cyclin E, E2F-1, but not cyclins D1 and D3. Enforced expression of c-Myc in non-adherent 184A1N4 and MCF-10A cells reverses the adhesion-dependent inhibition of cell cycle progression. Restoration of c-Myc in non-adherent cells induces the expression of E2F-1, and hyperphosphorylation of pRb in response to EGF treatment. In addition, expression of c-Myc results in the anchorage-independent activation of the CDK2 complex, the associated upregulation of cyclin E, and the destabilization and degradation of p27 by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Our study thus suggests that c-Myc is the link between cell adhesion and the regulation of p27 and cyclin E-CDK2. Furthermore, we describe a role for c-Myc in adhesion-mediated regulation of E2F-1.

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