Loss of the cell cycle inhibitors p21(Cip1) and p27(Kip1) enhances tumorigenesis in knockout mouse models

Oncogene. 2002 Dec 5;21(55):8486-97. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1205946.


Events that contribute to tumor formation include mutations in the ras gene and loss or inactivation of cell cycle inhibitors such as p21(Cip1) and p27(Kip1). In our previous publication, we showed that mice expressing the MMTV/v-Ha-ras transgene developed tumors earlier and at higher multiplicities in the absence than in the presence of p21(Cip1). To further evaluate the combinatorial role of genetic alterations and loss of cell cycle inhibitors in tumorigenesis, we performed two companion studies. In the first study, wild type and p21(Cip1)-null mice were exposed to the chemical carcinogen, urethane. Similar to its effects in v-Ha-ras mice, loss of p21(Cip1) accelerated tumor onset and increased tumor multiplicity in urethane-treated mice. Lung tumors were the predominant tumor type in urethane-treated mice regardless of p21(Cip1) status. In the second study, tumor formation was monitored in v-Ha-ras mice expressing or lacking p27(Kip1). Unlike p21(Cip1), the absence of p27(Kip1) had no effect on the timing or multiplicity of tumor formation, which was largely restricted to mammary and salivary glands. However, once tumors appeared, they grew faster in p27(Kip1)-null mice than in p27(Kip1)-wild type mice. Increases in growth rate were particularly striking for salivary tumors in ras/p27(-/-) mice. Loss of p21(Cip1), on the other hand, had no effect on tumor growth rate in v-Ha-ras mice. Collectively, our data suggest that p21(Cip1) suppresses tumor formation elicited by multiple agents and that p21(Cip1) and p27(Kip1) suppress tumor formation in different ways.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27
  • Cyclins / deficiency
  • Cyclins / genetics
  • Cyclins / physiology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / deficiency
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / physiology*
  • Urethane / toxicity


  • Cdkn1a protein, mouse
  • Cdkn1b protein, mouse
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Cyclins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27
  • Urethane