Deregulated expression of p27(Kip1) in human breast cancers

Alessandro Sgambato, Yu Jing Zhang, Nadir Arber, Hanina Hibshoosh, Yuichiro Doki, Marco Ciaparrone, Regina M. Santella, Achilles Cittadini, I. Bernard Weinstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Protein complexes composed of cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases control the orderly progression of mammalian cells through the cell cycle. The p27(Kip1) protein belongs to a family of cyclin-dependent kinase- inhibitory proteins that are negative regulators of cell cycle progression and have been proposed as candidate tumor suppressor genes. However, the p27(Kip1) gene is only rarely mutated in human primary breast carcinomas and breast cancer cell lines. To further address the role of p27(Kip1) in the development of human tumors, we determined by Western blot analysis the levels of expression of the p27(Kip1) protein in a series of human cancer cell lines and found that this protein is expressed at high levels in many of these cell lines, even during exponential growth. The levels of p27(Kip1) were significantly associated with the levels of cyclins D1 and E. In contrast to the high level of p27(Kip1) in breast cancer cell lines, three cell lines established from normal mammary epithelium expressed low levels of this protein. Cell synchronization studies demonstrated deregulation of the expression of p27(Kip1) throughout the cell cycle in two breast cancer cell lines but normal regulation in a normal mammary epithelial cell line. Immunohistochemical studies on p27(Kip1) expression in 52 primary human breast cancers indicated that this protein was also expressed at relatively high levels in 44% of the tumor samples, but it was barely detectable or undetectable in the remaining 56% of the samples. Additional studies are required to determine why some breast cancer cells express relatively high levels of p27(Kip1) despite its known role as an inhibitor of cell cycle progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1879-1887
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1997
Externally publishedYes


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