Inactivation of p27Kip1 promotes chemical mouse liver tumorigenesis in the resistant strain C57BL/6J

Daqian Sun, Hao Ren, Michael Oertel, Rani S. Sellers, David A. Shafritz, Liang Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The biochemical function of p27Kip1 as an inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases is well-established, but the role of p27 as a tumor suppressor depends on specific cellular contexts. Previous studies using p27 knockout mice on mixed C57BL/6J x 129/Sv strain background did not find a tumor suppressor role of p27 in the liver. An important feature of mouse liver tumorigenesis is strain-dependent tumor susceptibility. Here, we determined the role of p27 in liver tumorigenesis in C57BL/6J mice, a liver tumor resistant strain, in response to a diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and phenolbarbital (PB) two-stage carcinogenesis protocol. At 6 mo of age, while livers of DEN-PB treated p27+/+ and p27-/- C57BL/6J mice appeared morphologically normal, p27-/- livers, but not p27+/+ livers, contained readily detectable glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase)-deficient foci. At the 9-mo time point, p27-/- mice developed significantly enhanced liver tumor phenotypes than p27+/+ mice as demonstrated by increased numbers and sizes of liver surface nodules, increased liver-to-body weight ratios, and increased numbers of G6Pase-deficient nodules and histologically diagnosed foci and adenomas in liver sections. Hepatic lesions in p27-/- livers contained more proliferating hepatocytes than lesions in p27+/+ livers, while the numbers of apoptotic cells appeared similar in lesions of both genotypes. Unexpectedly, tumors in p27-/- livers contained only slightly elevated Cdk2 kinase activity compared with normal livers. These results reveal a liver tumor suppressor role of p27 in this resistant mouse strain, and the need to further study the role of Cdk2 kinase in liver tumor promotion by p27 inactivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Carcinogenesis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Cdk
  • Chemical carcinogenesis
  • Cyclin E
  • DEN
  • Liver tumor
  • p27Kip1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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