In vivo interference with Skp1 function leads to genetic instability and neoplastic transformation

Roberto Piva, Jian Liu, Roberto Chiarle, Antonello Podda, Michele Pagano, Giorgio Inghirami

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44 Scopus citations


Skp1 is involved in a variety of crucial cellular functions, among which the best understood is the formation together with Cul1 of Skp1-cullin-F-box protein ubiquitin ligases. To investigate the role of Skp1, we generated transgenic (Tg) mice expressing a Cul1 deletion mutant (Cul1-N252) able to sequestrate and inactivate Skp1. In vivo interference with Skp1 function through expression of the Cul1-N252 mutant into the T-cell lineage results in lymphoid organ hypoplasia and reduced proliferation. Nonetheless, after a period of latency, Cul1-N252 Tg mice succumb to T-cell lymphomas with high penetrance (> 80%). Both T-cell depletion and the neoplastic phenotype of Cul1-N252 Tg mice are largely rescued in Cul1-N252, Skp1 double-Tg mice, indicating that the effects of Cul1-N252 are due to a sequestration of the endogenous Skp1. Analysis of Cul1-N252 lymphomas demonstrates striking karyotype heterogeneity associated with c-myc amplification and c-Myc overexpression. We show that the in vitro expression of the Cul1-N252 mutant causes a pleiotrophic phenotype, which includes the formation of multinucleated cells, centrosome and mitotic spindle abnormalities, and impaired chromosome segregation. Our findings support a crucial role for Skp1 in proper chromosomal segregation, which is required for the maintenance of euploidy and suppression of transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8375-8387
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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