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ABSTRACT: Vascular remodeling due to pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell (PASMC) proliferation is central to the development of pulmonary hypertension. Cell proliferation requires the coordinated interaction of cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases (cdk) to drive cells through the cell cycle. Cdk inhibitors can bind cyclin-cdk complexes and cause G(1) arrest. To determine the importance of the cdk inhibitor p27(Kip1) in PASMC proliferation we studied [(3)H]thymidine incorporation, changes in cell cycle, cell proliferation, and protein expression of p27(Kip1) following serum stimulation in early passage rat PASMC. p27(Kip1) expression decreased to 40% of baseline after serum stimulation, which was associated with an increase in both [(3)H]thymidine incorporation and the percent of cells in S phase. p27(Kip1) binding to cyclin E decreased at 24 h, and this correlated with an increase in phosphorylation of retinoblastoma both in vivo and in vitro. Overexpression of p27(Kip1) decreased [(3)H]thymidine incorporation and reduced cell counts at 5 d compared with controls. PASMC obtained from p27(Kip1-/-) mice showed a 2-fold increase in [(3)H]thymidine incorporation (at 24 h) and cell proliferation compared with p27(Kip1+/+) PASMC when cultured in 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). These results suggest an important role for p27(Kip1) in regulating PASMC mitogenesis and proliferation.
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 12/2001; 25(5):652-8. · 4.15 Impact Factor