P27 in cell cycle control and cancer

Leuk Lymphoma. 2000 Sep;39(1-2):19-27. doi: 10.3109/10428190009053535.


In order to survive, cells need tight control of cell cycle progression. The control mechanisms are often lost in human cancer cells. The cell cycle is driven forward by cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). The CDK inhibitors (CKIs) are important regulators of the CDKs. As the name implies, CKIs were initially shown to negatively regulate CDK activity. However, recent data indicates that the members of the Kip/Cip family of CKIs, including p27, exert both positive and negative regulation of CDK activity at the G1/S phase transition. Mutations of Kip/Cip genes are rare, but p27 knockout mice are tumor prone when challenged with carcinogenic stimuli. Numerous studies of various human non-hematological tumors have identified low expression of p27 as a predictor of poor prognosis. In non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), we and others have also shown the independent prognostic value of p27 expression. In distinct NHL entities however, shortened survival seems to correlate with high expression of p27. For definitive assessment of the role played by p27 in lymphomagenesis, and the prognostic value of p27 in these tumors, further studies of distinct NHL entities are needed. This review addresses the function of p27 and the other Kip/Cip proteins in G1/S phase transition and their possible role in tumorigenesis with emphasis on p27 and NHL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / pharmacology
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • G1 Phase / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / metabolism
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / pharmacology
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / physiology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases