Cytoplasmic mislocalization of p27Kip1 protein is associated with constitutive phosphorylation of Akt or protein kinase B and poor prognosis in acute myelogenous leukemia

Min YH, Cheong JW, Kim JY, Eom JI, Lee ST, Hahn JS, Ko YW and Lee MH
Source: Cancer Res
Publication Date: (2004)
Issue: 64(15): 5225-5231
Cells used in publication:
Species: human
Tissue Origin: blood
Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 functions at the nuclear level by binding to cyclin E/cyclin-dependent kinase-2. It was shown that Akt or protein kinase B (Akt/PKB)-dependent phosphorylation of p27Kip1 led to the cytoplasmic mislocalization of p27Kip1, suggesting the potential abrogation of its activity. Here, we evaluated the localization of p27Kip1 protein in leukemic blasts in relation to Akt/PKB phosphorylation and clinical outcomes in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Western blot analysis of the nuclear and cytoplasmic fractions revealed a heterogenous localization pattern of p27Kip1 in AML. Cytoplasmic mislocalization of p27Kip1 was significantly associated with the constitutive serine(473) Akt/PKB phosphorylation in AML cells (P < 0.05). Transfection of U937 cells with an expression construct encoding the constitutively active form of Akt/PKB resulted in a remarkable increase in the levels of cytoplasmic p27Kip1. Whereas the transfection of U937 cells with a construct encoding dominant-negative Akt/PKB resulted in a recovery of nuclear localization of p27Kip1. Both the disease-free survival and overall survival are significantly shorter in AML cases with high cytoplasmic to nuclear ratio of p27Kip1 localization compared with the cases with low cytoplasmic to nuclear ratio (P = 0.0353, P = 0.0023, respectively). Multivariate analysis indicated that the cytoplasmic to nuclear ratio of p27Kip1 localization was an independent prognostic variable for both disease-free survival and overall survival (P = 0.043, P = 0.008, respectively). These findings additionally extend our understanding of the role of p27Kip1 in AML, and buttress the case of p27Kip1 mislocalization as a prognostic indicator and Akt/PKB/p27Kip1 pathway as a ready target for antileukemia therapy.