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Regulation and function of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p16CDKN2. Many human tumours show perturbations of a pathway that includes the D-cyclins, their associated cyclin-dependent kinases, and specific kinase inhibitors. The focal point of this pathway is the product of the retinoblastoma tumour suppressor gene, pRb, which imposes a block on G1 phase progression. Thus, the major role of the cyclin D-dependent kinases is to overcome this block by initiating the phosphorylation of pRb. Excessive activity of this pathway is likely to lead to excessive cell proliferation. Conversely, accumulation of the inhibitors is associated with the cessation of cell division.

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