Altered G1 phase regulation in osteosarcoma

M. Serena Benassi, Lara Molendini, Gabriella Gamberi, M. Rosa Sollazzo, Paola Ragazzini, Mara Merli, Giovanna Magagnoli, Luca Sangiorgi, Patrizia Bacchini, Franco Bertoni, Piero Picci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alterations in the normal cell cycle lead to abnormal cell proliferation and to tumor development. To explore the role of the cyclin D/Cdk4 complex and the retinoblastoma protein (pRb) in the growth and spread of osteoblastic osteosarcoma (OS), 40 tumor samples were selected. In 17 of these cases, lung metastases occurred during follow-up. Expression of pRb, cyclin DI and its catalytic subunit, Cdk4, was studied by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting. As controls, non-neoplastic tissues surrounding the tumor were used. The expression level and pattern were compared to clinical outcome. Cdk4 was over-expressed in 80% of OS, independently of clinical outcome, and showed an intense and uniform distribution in tumor cells compared to normal cells. However, co-immunoprecipitation of Cdk4 with cyclin DI revealed low levels of cyclin D/Cdk4 complex; 20 of 40 OS examined had a negative or minimal immunostaining for active pRb. The probability of relapse was significantly higher in pRb-negative than in the -positive patients (p <0.05). The ratio of unphosphorylated/hyperphosphorylated pRb was lower in relapsed patients than in patients with no evident disease, though the difference was not statistically significant. High levels of pRb/cyclin DI were found in all samples exhibiting functional pRb expression. Our results show that G1 phase deregulation is involved in formation and development of OS. The expression levels of both pRb and cyclin DI had a clear correlation with clinical outcome, suggesting that these parameters could be used as prognostic markers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-522
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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