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Cell Growth & Differentiation Vol. 12, 285-295, June 2001
© 2001 American Association for Cancer Research

Cyclin-dependent Kinase (cdk) Inhibitors/cdk4/cdk2 Complexes in Early Stages of Mouse Mammary Preneoplasia1

Thenaa K. Said2, Ricardo C. B. Moraes, Uma Singh, Francis S. Kittrell and Daniel Medina

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030

The level of circulating ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone) alone or in combination with pituitary hormones have a potent mitogenic impact in the normal mammary gland, and they also play a pivotal role in the development and progression of mammary carcinoma. The differential effects of hormones on the molecular components of cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) complexes in mammary epithelium of the hormone-dependent ductal outgrowth line, EL11, and the hormone-independent alveolar outgrowth line, TM2L, were the focus of this study. The two outgrowth lines, which represent early stages in mammary hyperplasia, were compared with normal mammary gland at different hormonal conditions: control, hormone stimulated by pituitary isograft, and hormone depleted by ovariectomy. Hormonal stimulation by a pituitary isograft resulted in DNA synthesis and lobuloalveolar development of normal mammary ducts, DNA synthesis but no lobuloalveolar development in the EL11 ductal outgrowth, and no changes either in DNA synthesis or in lobuloalveolar morphology in the TM2L outgrowth. The levels of cdk4- and cyclin D1-associated kinase activities were correlated with cell proliferation in only the alveolar phenotypes (i.e., in only hormonally stimulated normal virgin gland and in alveolar mammary outgrowth), whereas cyclin D2-dependent kinase activity was correlated with cell proliferation in only the alveolar preneoplasia. p16INK4a and p21Cip1 protein levels were decreased at the earliest stages of preneoplasia, i.e., at immortalization, and were independent from changes in cyclin D1, which occurred later in preneoplasia. Although all cdk inhibitors changed in concordance with hormonal status reflected by proliferation levels, p27Kip1 was the only cdk inhibitor that was up-regulated at the earliest stages of preneoplasia and may have a unique role in blocking alveolar differentiation in response to the loss of one or more of the cell cycle-negative regulators. We hypothesize that up-regulation of p27Kip1 prevents immortalized ductal outgrowths (EL11) from progressing to the neoplastic state, even under hormonal stimulation.




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Cancer Research Clinical Cancer Research
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
Molecular Cancer Research Cell Growth & Differentiation
Copyright © 2001 by the American Association of Cancer Research.