Cell cycle progression is negatively regulated by the pocket proteins pRb, p107, and p130. However, the mechanisms responsible for this inhibition are not fully understood. Here, we show that overexpression of p107 in fibroblasts inhibits Cdk2 activation and delays S phase entry. The inhibition of Cdk2 activity is correlated with the accumulation of p27, consequent to a decreased degradation of the protein, with no change of Thr187 phosphorylation. Instead, we observed a marked decrease in the abundance of the F-box receptor Skp2 in p107-overexpressing cells. Reciprocally, Skp2 accumulates to higher levels in p107-/- embryonic fibroblasts. Ectopic expression of Skp2 restores p27 down-regulation and DNA synthesis to the levels observed in parental cells, whereas inactivation of Skp2 abrogates the inhibitory effect of p107 on S phase entry. We further show that the serum-dependent increase in Skp2 half-life observed during G1 progression is impaired in cells overexpressing p107. We propose that p107, in addition to its interaction with E2F, inhibits cell proliferation through the control of Skp2 expression and the resulting stabilization of p27.
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