P14ARF post-transcriptional regulation of nuclear cyclin D1 in MCF-7 breast cancer cells: Discrimination between a good and bad prognosis?

Eileen M. McGowan, Nham Tran, Nikki Alling, Daniel Yagoub, Lisa M. Sedger, Rosetta Martiniello-Wilks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


As part of a cell's inherent protection against carcinogenesis, p14ARF is upregulated in response to hyperproliferative signalling to induce cell cycle arrest. This property makes p14ARF a leading candidate for cancer therapy. This study explores the consequences of reactivating p14ARF in breast cancer and the potential of targeting p14ARF in breast cancer treatment. Our results show that activation of the p14ARF-p53-p21-Rb pathway in the estrogen sensitive MCF-7 breast cancer cells induces many hallmarks of senescence including a large flat cell morphology, multinucleation, senescence-associated-β-gal staining, and rapid G1 and G2/M phase cell cycle arrest. P14ARF also induces the expression of the proto-oncogene cyclin D1, which is most often associated with a transition from G1-S phase and is highly expressed in breast cancers with poor clinical prognosis. In this study, siRNA knockdown of cyclin D1, p21 and p53 show p21 plays a pivotal role in the maintenance of high cyclin D1 expression, cell cycle and growth arrest post-p14ARF induction. High p53 and p14ARF expression and low p21/cyclin D1 did not cause cell-cycle arrest. Knockdown of cyclin D1 stops proliferation but does not reverse senescence-associated cell growth. Furthermore, cyclin D1 accumulation in the nucleus post-p14ARF activation correlated with a rapid loss of nucleolar Ki-67 protein and inhibition of DNA synthesis. Latent effects of the p14ARF-induced cellular processes resulting from high nuclear cyclin D1 accumulation included a redistribution of Ki-67 into the nucleoli, aberrant nuclear growth (multinucleation), and cell proliferation. Lastly, downregulation of cyclin D1 through inhibition of ER abrogated latent recurrence. The mediation of these latent effects by continuous expression of p14ARF further suggests a novel mechanism whereby dysregulation of cyclin D1 could have a double-edged effect. Our results suggest that p14ARF induced-senescence is related to late-onset breast cancer in estrogen responsive breast cancers and/or the recurrence of more aggressive breast cancer post-therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere42246
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2012


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