Cell division cycle control in embryonal and alveolar rhabdomyosarcomas

A. Moretti, A. Borriello, F. Monno, M. Criscuolo, A. Rosolen, G. Esposito, R. Dello Iacovo, F. Della Ragione, A. Iolascon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we investigated the mRNA level of several genes involved in cell cycle regulation in alveolar (ARMS) and embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas (ERMS). p21Cip1, Cyclin D1, Cyclin D2, Cyclin D3, CDK2, and CDK4 were evaluated by RT-PCR. All (13 out of 13) ERMS expressed the p21Cip1 gene compared with only 40% (4 out of 10) of the ARMS. Moreover, the amount of p21Cip1 mRNA was noticeably higher in the ERMS samples than in the positive ARMS specimens. p27Kip1 protein were analysed by immunohistochemical and immunoblotting. A noticeable difference was observed, in that ERMS had higher amounts of the cell cycle inhibitor compared with the ARMS. Finally, treatment of two rhabdomyosarcoma cell lines, RH-30 and RD, with butyrate, resulted in complete growth inhibition and in the upregulation of the p21Cip1 and p27Kip1 levels. Our results demonstrate that ERMS have a much higher level of p27Kip1 and p21Cip1 than the alveolar types, explaining, at least in part, the distinct features and outcomes (i.e. a poor prognosis of the alveolar type) of the two forms of this childhood solid cancer. Moreover, the data on butyrate-treated cell lines suggest that the two genes are potential novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of rhabdomyosarcomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2290-2299
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002


  • Cell cycle controlling genes
  • Cell division cycle
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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