P27kip1: A target for tumor therapies?

Institute for Molecular Biology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.
Cell Division (Impact Factor: 3.53). 02/2007; 2(1):13. DOI: 10.1186/1747-1028-2-13
Source: PubMed


The cyclin kinase inhibitor p27kip1 acts as a potent tumor supressor protein in a variety of human cancers. Its expression levels correlate closely with the overall prognosis of the affected patient and often predict the outcome to different treatment modalities. In contrast to other tumor suppressor proteins p27 expression levels in tumor cells are frequently regulated by ubiquitin dependent proteolysis. Re-expression of p27 in cancer cells therefore does not require gene therapy but can be achieved by interfering with the protein turnover machinery. In this review we will summarize experimental results which highlight the potential use of p27 as a target for oncological therapies.

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    • "The intimate link between p27 depletion and cancers deriving from the prostate and many other tissues renders pathways controlling p27 abundance attractive targets for the development of novel cancer therapeutics [48]. At the same time, the complexity and apparent redundancy of p27 regulatory pathways raises doubts as to whether targeting a single enzyme or proximal regulator can lead to sustained p27 accumulation in tumour cells. "
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    ABSTRACT: The cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p27(Kip)¹ is downregulated in a majority of human cancers due to ectopic proteolysis by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. The expression of p27 is subject to multiple mechanisms of control involving several transcription factors, kinase pathways and at least three different ubiquitin ligases (SCF(SKP)², KPC, Pirh2), which regulate p27 transcription, translation, protein stability and subcellular localization. Using a chemical genetics approach, we have asked whether this control network can be modulated by small molecules such that p27 protein expression is restored in cancer cells. We developed a cell-based assay for measuring the levels of endogenous nuclear p27 in a high throughput screening format employing LNCaP prostate cancer cells engineered to overexpress SKP2. The assay platform was optimized to Z' factors of 0.48 - 0.6 and piloted by screening a total of 7368 chemical compounds. During the course of this work, we discovered two small molecules of previously unknown biological activity, SMIP001 and SMIP004, which increase the nuclear level of p27 at low micromolar concentrations. SMIPs (small molecule inhibitors of p27 depletion) also upregulate p21(Cip)¹, inhibit cellular CDK2 activity, induce G1 delay, inhibit colony formation in soft agar and exhibit preferential cytotoxicity in LNCaP cells relative to normal human fibroblasts. Unlike SMIP001, SMIP004 was found to downregulate SKP2 and to stabilize p27, although neither SMIP is a proteasome inhibitor. Whereas the screening endpoint - nuclear p27 - was robustly modulated by the compounds, SMIP-mediated cell cycle arrest and apoptosis were not strictly dependent on p27 and p21 - a finding that is explained by parallel inhibitory effects of SMIPs on positive cell cycle regulators, including cyclins E and A, and CDK4. Our data provide proof-of-principle that the screening platform we developed, using endogenous nuclear p27 as an endpoint, presents an effective means of identifying bioactive molecules with cancer selective antiproliferative activity. This approach, when applied to larger and more diverse sets of compounds with refined drug-like properties, bears the potential of revealing both unknown cellular pathways globally impinging on p27 and novel leads for chemotherapeutics targeting a prominent molecular defect of human cancers.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · BMC Biology
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    • "Similar findings have been reported in other tumor types [17]. In some genetic contexts, however, p27Kip1 may not need to be inactivated for tumors to develop, and could possibly even take on oncogenic functions according to recent results [18,19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The molecular heterogeneity of human cancer cells at the level of signaling protein activities remains poorly understood. Using a panel of 64 colorectal (CRC) cancer cell lines the activity status of the MAP kinases Erk1 and Erk2 was investigated. Erk1/2 activity varied greatly within the CRC cell line panel and was not detectably associated with the speed of cell growth in 10 CRC lines analyzed. As expected, mutations in K-Ras or B-Raf were often, albeit not always, linked to high Erk1/2 activity. The phosphorylation of several known Erk1/2 targets investigated did not generally reflect Erk1/2 activity in the 10 CRC lines analyzed. However, the reduction of Erk1/2 activity with MEK inhibitors generally abolished cell growth but only led to an increase of cellular p27Kip1 levels in CRC cells with high Erk1/2 activity levels. The results indicate that high Erk1/2 activation is utilized by some CRC lines to override the cell cycle brake p27Kip1, while others presumably rely on different mechanisms in order to inactivate this important cell cycle brake. Such detailed knowledge of the molecular diversity of cancer cell signaling mechanisms may eventually help to develop molecularly targeted, patient-specific therapeutic strategies and treatments.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · Cell Communication and Signaling
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    • "The p27 Kip1 and p57 Kip1 proteins are members of the Kip/Cip family of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, similar to the CDKN1A. Both the p27 kip1 (Nickeleit et al., 2007) and p57 kip1 (Puhalla et al., 2007) proteins are involved in cell cycle regulation and are implicated in various cancers. "
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    ABSTRACT: The TP53 tumor suppressor gene is the most frequently inactivated gene in human cancer identified to date. However, TP53 mutations are rare in human mesotheliomas, as well as in many other types of cancer, suggesting that aberrant TP53 function may be due to alterations in its regulatory pathways. Mouse double minute 4 (MDM4) has been shown to be a key regulator of TP53 activity, both independently as well as in concert with its structural homolog, Mouse Double Minute 2 (MDM2). The purpose of this study was to characterize the effects of MDM4 suppression on TP53 and other proteins involved in cell cycle control before and after ultraviolet (UV) exposure in MeT5a cells, a nonmalignant human mesothelial line. Short hairpin RNA (shRNA) was used to investigate the impact of MDM4 on TP53 function and cellular transcription. Suppression of MDM4 was confirmed by Western blot. MDM4 suppressed cells were analyzed for cell cycle changes with and without exposure to UV. Changes in cell growth as well as differences in the regulation of direct transcriptional targets of TP53, CDKN1A (cyclin-dependent kinase 1alpha, p21) and BAX, suggest a shift from cell cycle arrest to apoptosis upon increasing UV exposure. These results demonstrate the importance of MDM4in cell cycle regulation as well as a possible role inthe pathogenesis of mesothelioma-type cancers.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2009 · Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis
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