Expression of p27kip1 and p53 in medulloblastoma: relationship with cell proliferation and survival

Pathol Res Pract. 2000;196(4):243-50. doi: 10.1016/s0344-0338(00)80073-4.


p27kip1 and p21cip1 are cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) inhibitors which along with p53 play critical roles in the control of cell cycle progression. Accumulation of p27kip1 in post-mitotic neurons is a major event of neurogenesis. We hypothesized that a dysregulation of the expression of p53 and these cdk inhibitors underlies cellular proliferation in medulloblastomas, and tested this hypothesis by investigating p27kip1, p21cip1, Bcl2 and p53 immunoreactivity in 14 medulloblastoma tumors. We noted an inverse relationship between p27kip1 expression and cellular proliferation (MIB1). Focal islands of neuroblastic or glial differentiation expressed high levels of p27kip1, while the undifferentiated, highly-proliferative population of tumor cells showed no detectable p27kip1 expression, thus suggesting a role for p27kip1 in cell cycle control in medulloblastoma. In addition, there was no detectable p21cip1 expression in any of the medulloblastomas studied. The low level of apoptosis displayed by these tumors was not associated with the expression of Bcl-2. A significant relationship was found between detection of p53 protein and poor survival. Since, p21cip1 and p27kip1 are often co-expressed with other INK4 family of cdk inhibitors during the induction of cellular differentiation and are synergistic in their effect, a deregulation of their coordinate expression may underlie the lack of complete differentiation in medulloblastoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Cycle Proteins*
  • Cell Division
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant
  • Medulloblastoma / metabolism*
  • Medulloblastoma / pathology
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / analysis
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / analysis
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / biosynthesis*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27