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Liver tumors escape negative control of proliferation via PI3K/Akt-mediated block of C/EBP alpha growth inhibitory activity.

Wang G.L., Iakova P., Wilde M., Awad S., Timchenko N.A.

Liver tumor cells arise from normal hepatocytes that escape negative control of proliferation. The transcription factor C/EBPalpha maintains quiescence of hepatocytes through two pathways: inhibition of cdks and repression of E2F. Nevertheless, liver tumors and cultured hepatoma cell lines proliferate in the presence of C/EBPalpha. In this paper, we present evidence that the activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway in liver tumor cells blocks the growth inhibitory activity of C/EBPalpha through the PP2A-mediated dephosphorylation of C/EBPalpha on Ser 193, leading to a failure of C/EBPalpha to interact with and inhibit cdks and E2F. Mutation of Ser 193 to Ala also abolishes the ability of C/EBPalpha to cause growth arrest because of a lack of interactions with cdk2 and E2F-Rb complexes. These data provide a molecular basis for the development of liver tumors in which the activation of PI3K/Akt pathway neutralizes C/EBPalpha growth inhibitory activity.

Genes Dev. 18:912-925(2004) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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