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Publications (2)17.1 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: For proper development and tissue homeostasis, cell cycle progression is controlled by multilayered mechanisms. Recent studies using knock-out mice have shown that animals can develop relatively normally with deficiency for each of the G1/S-regulatory proteins, D-type and E-type cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (Cdk4), and Cdk2. Although Cdk4-null mice show no embryonic lethality, they exhibit specific endocrine phenotypes, i.e. dwarfism, infertility, and diabetes. Here we have demonstrated that Cdk4 plays an essential non-redundant role in postnatal proliferation of the anterior pituitary. Pituitaries from wild-type and Cdk4-null embryos at embryonic day 17.5 are morphologically indistinguishable with similar numbers of cells expressing a proliferating marker, Ki67, and cells expressing a differentiation marker, growth hormone. In contrast, anterior pituitaries of Cdk4-null mice at postnatal 8 weeks are extremely hypoplastic with markedly decreased numbers of Ki67+ cells, suggesting impaired cell proliferation. Pituitary hyperplasia induced by transgenic expression of human growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) is significantly diminished in the Cdk4+/- genetic background and completely abrogated in the Cdk4-/- background. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown of Cdk4 inhibits GHRH-induced proliferation of GH3 somato/lactotroph cells with restored expression of GHRH receptors. Cdk4 siRNA also inhibits estrogen-dependent cell proliferation in GH3 cells and closely related GH4 cells. In contrast, Cdk6 siRNA does not diminish proliferation of these cells. Furthermore, Cdk4 siRNA does not affect GHRH-induced proliferation of mouse embryonic fibroblasts or estrogen-dependent proliferation of mammary carcinoma MCF-7 cells. Taken together, Cdk4 is dispensable for prenatal development of the pituitary or proliferation of other non-endocrine tissues but indispensable specifically for postnatal proliferation of somato/lactotrophs.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2005; 279(49):51100-6. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A large number of human cancers display alterations in the Ink4a/cyclin D/Cdk4 genetic pathway, suggesting that activation of Cdk4 plays an important role in oncogenesis. Here we report that Cdk4-null mouse embryonic fibroblasts are resistant to transformation in response to Ras activation with dominant-negative (DN) p53 expression or in the Ink4a/Arf-null background, judged by foci formation, anchorage-independent growth, and tumorigenesis in athymic mice. Cdk4-null fibroblasts proliferate at normal rates during early passages. Whereas Cdk4(+/+)Ink4a/Arf(-/-) cells are immortal in culture, Cdk4(-/-)Ink4a/Arf(-/-) cells undergo senescence during continuous culture, as do wild-type cells. Activated Ras also induces premature senescence in Cdk4(-/-)Ink4a/Arf(-/-) cells and Cdk4(-/-) cells with DNp53 expression. Thus, Cdk4 deficiency causes senescence in a unique Arf/p53-independent manner, which accounts for the loss of transformation potential. Cdk4-null cells express high levels of p21(Cip1/Waf1) with increased protein stability. Suppression of p21(Cip1/Waf1) by small interfering RNA (siRNA), as well as expression of HPV-E7 oncoprotein, restores immortalization and Ras-mediated transformation in Cdk4(-/-)Ink4a/Arf(-/-) cells and Cdk4(-/-) cells with DNp53 expression. Therefore, Cdk4 is essential for immortalization, and suppression of Cdk4 could be a prospective strategy to recruit cells with inactive Arf/p53 pathway to senescence.
    Genes & Development 12/2002; 16(22):2923-34. · 12.44 Impact Factor