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Oncogene. 2007 Oct 18;26(48):6948-53. Epub 2007 May 7.

p53 and SCFFbw7 cooperatively restrain cyclin E-associated genome instability.

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Division of Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109-1024, USA.


Cancers often exhibit high levels of cyclin E expression, and aberrant cyclin E activity causes genomic instability and increased tumorigenesis. Two tumor suppressor pathways protect cells against cyclin E deregulation. The p53 pathway is induced by excess cyclin E in primary cells and opposes cyclin E activity through induction of p21Cip1. In contrast, the Fbw7 pathway targets cyclin E for degradation, and Fbw7 mutations occur commonly in cancers. We investigated the cooperativity of these two pathways in countering cyclin E-induced genomic instability in primary human cells. We find that loss of p53 and Fbw7 synergistically unmasks cyclin E-induced instability. In normal cells, impaired cyclin E degradation produces genome instability, but this is rapidly mitigated by induction of p53 and p21. In contrast, p53 loss allows the high level of cyclin E kinase activity that results from Fbw7 loss to persist and continuously drive genome instability. Moreover, p21 plays a critical role in suppressing cyclin E when Fbw7 is disabled, and in the absence of p21, sustained cyclin E activity induces rapid cell death via apoptosis. These data directly demonstrate the cooperative roles of these Fbw7 and p53 pathways in restraining cyclin E activity and its associated genome instability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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