The RASSF1A tumor suppressor blocks cell cycle progression and inhibits cyclin D1 accumulation

Latha Shivakumar, John Minna, Toshiyuki Sakamaki, Richard Pestell, Michael A. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

351 Scopus citations


The RASSF1A locus at 3p21.3 is epigenetically inactivated at high frequency in a variety of solid tumors. Expression of RASSF1A is sufficient to revert the tumorigenicity of human cancer cell lines. We show here that RASSF1A can induce cell cycle arrest by engaging the Rb family cell cycle checkpoint. RASSF1A inhibits accumulation of native cyclin D1, and the RASSF1A-induced cell cycle arrest can be relieved by ectopic expression of cyclin D1 or of other downstream activators of the G1/S-phase transition (cyclin A and E7). Regulation of cyclin D1 is responsive to native RASSF1A activity, because RNA interference-mediated down-regulation of endogenous RASSF1A expression in human epithelial cells results in abnormal accumulation of cyclin D1 protein. Inhibition of cyclin D1 by RASSF1A occurs posttranscriptionally and is likely at the level of translational control. Rare alleles of RASSF1A, isolated from tumor cell lines, encode proteins that fail to block cyclin D1 accumulation and cell cycle progression. These results strongly suggest that RASSF1A is an important human tumor suppressor protein acting at the level of G1/S-phase cell cycle progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4309-4318
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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