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Exp Cell Res. 2004 Nov 1;300(2):427-39.

P27 expression is regulated by separate signaling pathways, downstream of Ras, in each cell cycle phase.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, The Lerner Research Institute, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


The cyclin inhibitory protein p27Kip1 (p27) plays a vital role in regulating cell proliferation in response to the extracellular growth environment. Active proliferation requires the suppression of p27 levels throughout the cell cycle. Late in the cell cycle, p27 degradation requires phosphorylation of Thr 187 by cyclin dependent kinase 2, leading to recognition by the SCF ubiquitin ligase containing the Skp2 F-box protein. Suppression of p27 is also essential for cell proliferation early in the cell cycle, but this occurs independently of Skp2, whose expression is suppressed during G1 phase. In this study, we use a time lapse and quantitative imaging approach to study the connection between proliferative signaling and the degradation of p27 during each cell cycle period in actively cycling cells. Ras activity was required for the suppression of p27 levels throughout the cell cycle, but separate pathways downstream of Ras signaling were required in different cell cycle periods. For example, inhibitors of MEK and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase induced p27 expression primarily in G1 phase, while inhibitors of AKT activity stimulated these levels primarily in S phase. Skp2 was expressed in a Ras-dependent manner at higher levels late in the cell cycle. Its ablation resulted in higher p27 levels primarily in G2 phase as expected. The fact that separate signaling pathways downstream of Ras function in each cell cycle phase to suppress p27 levels helps explain the vital connection between proliferative signaling, cell cycle control, and p27 expression.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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