Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), together with cyclins, their regulatory subunits, govern cell-cycle progression in eukaryotic cells. p27(Kip1) is a member of a family of CDK inhibitors (CDIs) that bind to cyclin/CDK complexes and arrest cell division. There is considerable evidence that p27(Kip1) plays an important role in multiple fundamental cellular processes, including cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and apoptosis. Moreover, p27(Kip1) is a putative tumor-suppressor gene that appears to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of several human malignancies and its reduced expression has been shown to correlate with poor prognosis in cancer patients. This study reviews current information on the functions of p27(Kip1), its abnormalities found in human tumors, and the possible clinical implications of these findings with respect to the management of cancer patients.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.