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J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1997 Mar;56(3):291-300.

Cyclin and cyclin-dependent kinase expression in human astrocytoma cell lines.

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Brain Tumor Research Laboratory, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The expression of cyclins (A, B1, D1, D3, E), cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK2(3), CDK4), and the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKIs) p16(INK4A) and p21(CIP1) was studied in 9 malignant human astrocytoma cell lines using northern blot analysis, immunocytochemistry, and immunoblotting to see if their altered expression contributed to astrocytoma proliferation. Steady state cell cycle mRNA expression was analyzed in unsynchronized tumor cells, and cell cycle phase-specific gene expression was analyzed in 3 synchronized cell lines. Analysis of steady state expression revealed increased levels of several different cyclin transcripts and CDKs in a number of astrocytoma cell lines compared with normal human brain tissue or cultured fibroblasts. We confirm previous reports identifying loss of p16(INK4A) in astrocytomas, as a p16(INK4A) transcript was identified in only 2 cell lines and protein in 1 cell line. However, we now show that p21(CIP1) expression was also diminished relative to normal fibroblasts in all astrocytoma cell lines studied regardless of p53 mutation status. Analysis of synchronized astrocytoma cells revealed altered timing of mRNA expression of several cyclins. Immunocytochemistry revealed a generalized increase in immunoreactivity of astrocytoma cells for most cyclins and CDKs compared with human fibroblasts. Immunoblotting also revealed increased expression of cyclin proteins in a number of astrocytoma cell lines. These data suggest that increased expression of cyclins and CDKs, and decreased expression of CDKIs by human astrocytoma cell lines may contribute to their increased proliferative state. In addition, our data show that alterations in cell cycle genes in astrocytomas are not confined to the cyclin D1-CDK4-pRb axis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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