Transgenic Expression of Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4 Results in Epidermal Hyperplasia, Hypertrophy, and Severe Dermal Fibrosis

Department of Carcinogenesis, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Smithville, Texas 78957, USA.
American Journal Of Pathology (Impact Factor: 4.59). 08/2001; 159(1):369-79. DOI: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)61703-8
Source: PubMed


In a previous report we have described the effects of expression of D-type cyclins in epithelial tissues of transgenic mice. To study the involvement of the D-type cyclin partner cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) in epithelial growth and differentiation, transgenic mice were generated carrying the CDK4 gene under the control of a keratin 5 promoter. As expected, transgenic mice showed expression of CDK4 in the epidermal basal-cell layer. Epidermal proliferation increased dramatically and basal cell hyperplasia and hypertrophy were observed. The hyperproliferative phenotype of these transgenic mice was independent of D-type cyclin expression because no overexpression of these proteins was detected. CDK4 and CDK2 kinase activities increased in transgenic animals and were associated with elevated binding of p27(Kip1) to CDK4. Expression of CDK4 in the epidermis results in an increased spinous layer compared with normal epidermis, and a mild hyperkeratosis in the cornified layer. In addition to epidermal changes, severe dermal fibrosis was observed and part of the subcutaneous adipose tissue was replaced by connective tissue. Also, abnormal expression of keratin 6 associated with the hyperproliferative phenotype was observed in transgenic epidermis. This model provides in vivo evidence for the role of CDK4 as a mediator of proliferation in epithelial cells independent of D-type cyclin expression.

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    • "Recently, it was reported in case of skin carcinogenesis that forced expression of CDK4 in keratinocytes can induce hyperproliferation [19] [20], but overexpression of CDK2 alone is not sufficient to induce keratinocyte hyperproliferation [21]. However, interestingly, Cdk2 disruption in keratin-5 promoter-driven CDK4 transgenic mice reduced the formation of malignant squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) [22]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The concept of targeting G(1) cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) in breast cancer treatments is supported by the fact that the genetic ablation of Cdk4 had minimal impacts on normal cell proliferation in majority of cell types, resulting in near-normal mouse development, whereas such loss of Cdk4 completely abrogated ErbB-2/neu-induced mammary tumorigenesis in mice. In most human breast cancer tissues, another G(1)-regulatory CDK, CDK2, is also hyperactivated by various mechanisms and is believed to be an important therapeutic target. In this report, we provide genetic evidence that CDK2 is essential for proliferation and oncogenesis of murine mammary epithelial cells. We observed that 87% of Cdk2-null mice were protected from ErbB-2-induced mammary tumorigenesis. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts isolated from Cdk2-null mouse showed resistance to various oncogene-induced transformation. Previously, we have reported that hemizygous loss of Cdc25A, the major activator of CDK2, can also protect mice from ErbB-2-induced mammary tumorigenesis [Cancer Res (2007) 67(14): 6605-11]. Thus, we propose that CDC25A-CDK2 pathway is critical for the oncogenic action of ErbB-2 in mammary epithelial cells, in a manner similar to Cyclin D1/CDK4 pathway.
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    • "Similarly targeted cdk4 expression resulted in increased keratinocyte proliferation and epidermal thickness characterized by expansion of the differentiated spinous and granular layers, indicating that differentiation responses are operative in these animals. Sequestration of p27 by cdk4 with concomitant activation of cdk2/cyclin E complexes appears to mediate these effects 71. "
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    ABSTRACT: The epidermis is the outermost layer in the skin, and it is the first line of defence against the environment. The epidermis also provides a barrier against loss of fluids and electrolytes, which is crucial for life. Essential in the maintenance of this tissue is its ability to continually self-renew and regenerate after injury. These two characteristics are critically dependent on the ability of the principal epidermal cell type, the keratinocyte, to proliferate and to respond to differentiation cues. Indeed, the epidermis is a multilayered tissue composed of keratinocyte stem cells and their differentiated progeny. Central for the control of cell proliferation is the E2F transcription factor regulatory network. This signaling network also includes cyclins, cdk, cdk inhibitors and the retinoblastoma (pRb) family of proteins. The biological importance of the E2F/pRb pathway is emphasized by the fact that a majority of human tumours exhibit alterations that disrupt the ability of pRb proteins to inhibit E2F, leading to permanent activation of the latter. Further, E2F is essential for normal epidermal regeneration after injury. Other member of the E2F signaling pathway are also involved in epidermal development and pathophysiology. Thus, whereas the pRb family of proteins is essential for epidermal morphogenesis, abnormal regulation of cyclins and E2F proteins results in tumorgenesis in this tissue. In this review, we discuss the role of each member of this important growth regulatory network in epidermal formation, homeostasis and carcinogenesis.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2005 · International journal of biological sciences
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    • "This study again supported the notion that defects in CDK4 could lead to disruption of cell cycle control. Further support for the proliferative properties of CDK4 comes from transgenic mice over-expressing the CDK4 gene under a keratin 5 promoter (Miliani de Marval et al. 2001). Figure 3 Sequencing traces from a pituitary adenoma (no mutation) and the two positive control samples (heterozygote R24C and R24H mutation). "
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    ABSTRACT: Cell cycle dysregulation is one of the defining features of cancer. Cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4), together with its regulatory subunit cyclin D, governs cell cycle progression through the G1 phase. Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, including p16(INK4A) (encoded by CDKN2A), in turn regulate CDK4. In particular, dysregulation of the p16/CDK4/cyclin D complex has been established in a variety of types of human tumours. Dominant activating mutations affecting codon 24 of the CDK4 gene (replacement of Arg24 by Cys or His) render CDK4 insensitive to p16(INK4) inhibition and are responsible for melanoma susceptibility in some kindreds. However, 'knock-in' mice homozygous for the CDK4(R24C) mutation were noted to develop multiple neoplasia, most commonly including endocrine tumours: pituitary adenomas, insulinomas and Leydig cell testicular tumours. We therefore speculated that sporadic human endocrine tumours might also harbour such mutations. The aim of the current study was to analyze the CDK4 gene for the two characterized activating mutations, R24C and R24H, in sporadic human pituitary adenomas, insulinomas and Leydig cell tumours. We used DNA extracted from 61 pituitary adenomas, and paired tumorous and neighboring normal genomic DNA extracted from 14 insulinoma and 6 Leydig cell tumour samples. Genomic DNA from patients with familial melanoma harbouring the R24C or the R24H mutations served as positive controls. All samples were subjected to PCR, mutation-specific restriction digests and/or sequencing. Both methodologies failed to detect mutations at these two sites in any of the sporadic endocrine tumours including pituitary adenomas, benign or malignant insulinomas or Leydig cell tumours, while the positive controls showed the expected heterozygote patterns. Protein expression of CDK4 was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting in pituitary and pancreatic samples. These data suggest that the changes in the regulatory 'hot-spot' on the CDK4 gene, causing various endocrine tumours in CDK4(R24C/R24C )mice, are not a major factor in sporadic pituitary, insulin beta-cell or Leydig cell tumorigenesis.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2003 · Journal of Endocrinology
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