Understanding The pRb Pathway

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 12:30

Since DNA-damage can lead to the development of tumours, these antibodies are widely used in cancer studies. Cyclin dependent kinases (CDKs), which interact with regulatory cyclins, are essential to the progression of the cell cycle. However, tumours can develop if CDK/cyclin disruption leads to unregulated cell reproduction. Therefore these two proteins are carefully regulated.

p16INK4A is one of several proteins in the INK family which performs this function. It forms part of the pRb (p16-pRb-cyclin D1) pathway. Detailed antibody studies have revealed this pathway is the product of several protein interactions: pRb/E2F, p16INK4A and cyclin D/CDK. CDK inhibits pRb, a tumour suppressor which controls cell cycle progression by E2F inhibition. The E2F transcription factors promote cell replication.

It can be seen that the cell cycle is a complicated network of interactions involving numerous checkpoints. The “traffic flow” leading to the final stage of mitosis is very carefully controlled and can be manipulated to account for changes in cellular and extracellular environments. Any one of these pathways can be implicated in tumour development. Antibody research is heavily involved in working out which pathway/s are involved for particular tumours.

For example, the pRb and p53 (p53-MDM2-p21) pathways are both implicated in tumorigenesis. To establish which proteins were responsible for a particular tumour, assays were conducted using pRb and p53 antibodies specific to the proteins in these pathways. ESCCs (oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma) cells were analysed using IHC assays.

Western Blot: p53 Antibody Western Blot: p53 Antibody

MDM2, p53 and cyclin-D1 were overexpressed, while p21, p16 and pRb were depleted. The overall results showed p16, pRb and MDM2 to be significant risk factors at different stages of cancer development.

We at Novus Biologicals have a wide range of products in our antibody catalogue to aid in cell cycle research.

Novus Biologicals offers many p53 reagents for your research needs including:


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