p27 as Jekyll and Hyde: Regulation of cell cycle and cell motility

Michelle D. Larrea, Seth A. Wander, Joyce M. Slingerland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


p27 is a key regulator of cell proliferation. While it opposes cell cycle progression by binding to and inhibiting cyclin E-Cdk2, T157/T198 phosphorylation of p27 promotes its assembly of D-type cyclin-CDKs. In addition to its actions on the cell cycle, p27 regulates CDK-independent cytoplasmic functions. In human cancers, oncogenic activation of the PI3K signaling pathway often results in cytoplasmic mislocalization of p27. Cytoplasmic p27 plays an important role in cell motility and migration; it binds RhoA and modulates activation of the RhoA/ROCK cascade. p27:RhoA binding is facilitated by p27 phosphorylation at threonine 198. Accumulation of cytoplasmic p27 leads to increased cellular motility, a critical event in tumor metastasis. Further characterization of post-translational modifications governing p27 localization and its action on RhoA and the actin cytoskeleton may provide critical insights into human cancer metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3455-3461
Number of pages7
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009


  • CDK inhibition
  • Cell cycle
  • Cell motility
  • Metastasis
  • mTOR
  • p27
  • Phosphorylation
  • PI3K
  • PKB
  • RhoA
  • RSK
  • SGK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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