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Cancer Res. 2001 Dec 1;61(23):8564-8.

Transient expression of cyclin D1 is sufficient to promote hepatocyte replication and liver growth in vivo.

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Department of Medicine, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415, USA.


Cyclin D1 regulates mitogen-dependent progression through G(1) phase in cultured cells, and its overexpression in malignant cells is thought to contribute to autonomous proliferation in vivo. However, previous studies in cell lines have not demonstrated that cyclin D1 is sufficient to trigger cell replication. In this study, we found that transient transfection of adult hepatocytes with cyclin D1 stimulated assembly of active cyclin D1/cdk4 complexes, robust hepatocyte proliferation, and liver growth in the intact animal. After several days, hepatocyte proliferation was inhibited despite the persistence of high levels of cyclin D1 and cyclin E, suggesting that endogenous antiproliferative mechanisms were induced. Our data suggest that this antiproliferative response includes the marked up-regulation of p21, which in turn inhibits cyclin D1/cdk4 and cyclin E/cdk2 complexes. This study offers further evidence that cyclin D1 plays a pivotal role in the regulation of hepatocyte proliferation in the liver. Furthermore, this model may offer a unique system to study the normal cellular response to cyclin D1 expression in vivo.

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