The p21 levels have the potential to be a monitoring marker for ribociclib in breast cancer

Masafumi Iida, Misato Nakamura, Emi Tokuda, Daichi Toyosawa, Toshifumi Niwa, Noriaki Ohuchi, Takanori Ishida, Shin Ichi Hayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Although cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6 inhibitors have exhibited remarkable results for patients with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer in clinical trials, the mechanism of CDK4/6 inhibitor resistance remains unclear. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the mechanism of CDK4/6 inhibitor resistance using two CDK4/6 inhibitor resistant breast cancer cell lines. We established CDK6 overexpressed cell lines (MCF7-C6) from MCF-7 cells using the stably transfected CDK6 expression vector. Additionally, acquired ribociclib-resistant (RIBR) cell lines were created using ER-positive hormone-resistant cell lines by long-term exposure to ribociclib. CDK6 overexpression and the knockdown of CDK4 experiments highlight the significance of high levels of CDK4 and low levels of CDK6 in CDK4/6 inhibitor sensitivity. Moreover, RIBR cell lines did not exhibit incremental CDK6 compared with ER-positive hormone-resistant cell lines. In MCF7-C6 and RIBR cell lines, p21 levels decreased, and p21 levels were proportional to CDK4/6 inhibitor sensitivity. This study suggests that overexpression of CDK6 is one of the many possible mechanisms of resistance to CDK4/6 inhibitors. Furthermore, p21 levels have the potential to serve as a marker for CDK4/6 inhibitors independent of the resistance mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4907-4918
Number of pages12
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug 1


  • Breast cancer
  • CDK4/6 inhibitor
  • CDK6
  • Resistance
  • p21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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