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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Sep 1;106(35):14932-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0902408106. Epub 2009 Aug 19.

Mutation of p107 exacerbates the consequences of Rb loss in embryonic tissues and causes cardiac and blood vessel defects.

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  • 1David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


The retinoblastoma tumor-suppressor protein, pRb, is a member of the pocket protein family that includes p107 and p130. These proteins have well-defined roles in regulating entry into and exit from the cell cycle and also have cell cycle-independent roles in facilitating differentiation. Here we investigate the overlap between pocket protein's function during embryonic development by using conditional mutant alleles to generate Rb;p107 double-mutant embryos (DKOs) that develop in the absence of placental defects. These DKOs die between e13.5 and e14.5, much earlier than either the conditional Rb or the germline p107 single mutants, which survive to birth or are largely viable, respectively. Analyses of the e13.5 DKOs shows that p107 mutation exacerbates the phenotypes resulting from pRb loss in the central nervous system and lens, but not in the peripheral nervous system. In addition, these embryos exhibit novel phenotypes, including increased proliferation of blood vessel endothelial cells, and heart defects, including double-outlet right ventricle (DORV). The DORV is caused, at least in part, by a defect in blood vessel endothelial cells and/or heart mesenchymal cells. These findings demonstrate novel, overlapping functions for pRb and p107 in numerous murine tissues.

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