Pten and p27KIP1 cooperate in prostate cancer tumor suppression in the mouse

Nat Genet. 2001 Feb;27(2):222-4. doi: 10.1038/84879.


The genetic bases underlying prostate tumorigenesis are poorly understood. Inactivation of the tumor-suppressor gene PTEN and lack of p27(KIP1) expression have been detected in most advanced prostate cancers. But mice deficient for Cdkn1b (encoding p27(Kip1)) do not develop prostate cancer. PTEN activity leads to the induction of p27(KIP1) expression, which in turn can negatively regulate the transition through the cell cycle. Thus, the inactivation of p27(KIP1) may be epistatic to PTEN in the control of the cell cycle. Here we show that the concomitant inactivation of one Pten allele and one or both Cdkn1b alleles accelerates spontaneous neoplastic transformation and incidence of tumors of various histological origins. Cell proliferation, but not cell survival, is increased in Pten(+/-)/Cdkn1b(-/-) mice. Moreover, Pten(+/-)/Cdkn1b(-/-) mice develop prostate carcinoma at complete penetrance within three months from birth. These cancers recapitulate the natural history and pathological features of human prostate cancer. Our findings reveal the crucial relevance of the combined tumor-suppressive activity of Pten and p27(Kip1) through the control of cell-cycle progression.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics*
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins*


  • Cdkn1b protein, mouse
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase