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Genes Dev. 1995 Mar 15;9(6):650-62.

p57KIP2, a structurally distinct member of the p21CIP1 Cdk inhibitor family, is a candidate tumor suppressor gene.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030 USA.


Cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) are positive regulators of cell proliferation, whereas Cdk inhibitors (CKIs) inhibit proliferation. We describe a new CKI, p57KIP2, which is related to p21CIP1 and p27KIP1. p57KIP2 is a potent, tight-binding inhibitor of several G1 cyclin/Cdk complexes, and its binding is cyclin dependent. Unlike CIP1, KIP2 is not regulated by p53. Overexpression of p57KIP2 arrests cells in G1. p57KIP2 proteins have a complex structure. Mouse p57KIP2 consists of four structurally distinct domains: an amino-terminal Cdk inhibitory domain, a proline-rich domain, an acidic-repeat region, and a carboxy-terminal domain conserved with p27KIP1. Human p57KIP2 appears to have conserved the amino- and carboxy-terminal domains but has replaced the internal regions with sequences containing proline-alanine repeats. In situ hybridization during mouse embryogenesis revealed that KIP2 mRNA displays a striking pattern of expression during development, showing high level expression in skeletal muscle, brain, heart, lungs, and eye. Most of the KIP2-expressing cells are terminally differentiated, suggesting that p57KIP2 is involved in decisions to exit the cell cycle during development and differentiation. Human KIP2 is located at 11p15.5, a region implicated in both sporadic cancers and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, a familial cancer syndrome, marking it as a candidate tumor suppressor. The discovery of a new member of the p21CIP1 inhibitor family with novel structural features and expression patterns suggests a complex role for these proteins in cell cycle control and development.

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