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p16(INK4a) prevents centrosome dysfunction and genomic instability in primary cells.

  • Author(s): McDermott, Kimberly
  • Zhang, Jianmin
  • Holst, Charles
  • Kozakiewicz, B
  • Singla, Veena
  • Tlsty, Thea
  • et al.
Abstract

Aneuploidy, frequently observed in premalignant lesions, disrupts gene dosage and contributes to neoplastic progression. Theodor Boveri hypothesized nearly 100 years ago that aneuploidy was due to an increase in centrosome number (multipolar mitoses) and the resultant abnormal segregation of chromosomes. We performed immunocytochemistry, quantitative immunofluorescence, karyotypic analysis, and time-lapse microscopy on primary human diploid epithelial cells and fibroblasts to better understand the mechanism involved in the production of supernumerary centrosomes (more than two microtubule nucleating bodies) to directly demonstrate that the presence of supernumerary centrosomes in genomically intact cells generates aneuploid daughter cells. We show that loss of p16(INK4a) generates supernumerary centrosomes through centriole pair splitting. Generation of supernumerary centrosomes in human diploid epithelial cells was shown to nucleate multipolar spindles and directly drive production of aneuploid daughter cells as a result of unequal segregation of the genomic material during mitosis. Finally, we demonstrate that p16(INK4a) cooperates with p21 through regulation of cyclin-dependent kinase activity to prevent centriole pair splitting. Cells with loss of p16(INK4a) activity have been found in vivo in histologically normal mammary tissue from a substantial fraction of healthy, disease-free women. Demonstration of centrosome dysfunction in cells due to loss of p16(INK4a) suggests that, under the appropriate conditions, these cells can become aneuploid. Gain or loss of genomic material (aneuploidy) may provide the necessary proproliferation and antiapoptotic mechanisms needed for the earliest stages of tumorigenesis.

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