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Open Access Review

p107 in the public eye: an Rb understudy and more

Stacey E Wirt12 and Julien Sage12*

Author Affiliations

1 Departments of Pediatrics and Genetics, Stanford Medical School, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

2 Program in Cancer Biology, Stanford Medical School, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA

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Cell Division 2010, 5:9  doi:10.1186/1747-1028-5-9

Published: 2 April 2010

Abstract

p107 and its related family members Rb and p130 are critical regulators of cellular proliferation and tumorigenesis. Due to the extent of functional overlap within the Rb family, it has been difficult to assess which functions are exclusive to individual members and which are shared. Like its family members, p107 can bind a variety of cellular proteins to affect the expression of many target genes during cell cycle progression. Unlike Rb and p130, p107 is most highly expressed during the G1 to S phase transition of the cell cycle in actively dividing cells and accumulating evidence suggests a role for p107 during DNA replication. The specific roles for p107 during differentiation and development are less clear, although emerging studies suggest that it can cooperate with other Rb family members to control differentiation in multiple cell lineages. As a tumor suppressor, p107 is not as potent as Rb, yet studies in knockout mice have revealed some tumor suppressor functions in mice, depending on the context. In this review, we identify the unique and overlapping functions of p107 during the cell cycle, differentiation, and tumorigenesis.