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BACKGROUND - Kaposi sarcoma-associated human herpesvirus (KSHV) encodes K-cyclin, a homologue of D-type cellular cyclins, which binds cyclin-dependent kinases to phosphorylate various substrates. K-cyclin/cdk phosphorylates a subset of substrates normally targeted by cyclins D, E, and A. We used cells naturally infected with KSHV to further characterize the biochemical features of K-cyclin.
METHODS - We used immunoprecipitation with K-cyclin antibodies to examine the association of K-cyclin with cdk2, cdk6, p21Cip1, and p27Kip1 proteins in BC3 cells. We separated populations of BC3 cells enriched in cells in G1, S, or G2/M phases by elutriation and measured K-cyclin protein and the kinase activity of K-cyclin/cdk6 complexes. The half-life of K-cyclin and cyclin D2 proteins was determined by blocking protein synthesis with cycloheximide and measuring proteins in cell lysates by western blot analysis. We fused the entire K-cyclin sequence to the carboxyl-terminal sequence of cellular cyclin D that contains the PEST degradation sequence to produce K-cyclin/D2 and transfected K-cyclin/D2 into K-cyclin-negative cells to investigate the effect of the PEST sequence on K-cyclin's stability.
RESULTS - Viral K-cyclin interacted with cyclin-dependent kinases cdk2, cdk4, and cdk6 and with the cyclin/cdk inhibitory proteins p21Cip1 and p27Kip1 in BC3 cell lysates. Unlike D-type cyclins, whose expression is cell cycle dependent, the level of K-cyclin was stable throughout the cell cycle, and the kinase associated with the K-cyclin/cdk6 complex was constitutively active. The half-life of K-cyclin (6.9 hours) was much longer than that of cellular cyclin D2 (0.6 hour) and that of K-cyclin/D2 (0.5 hour), probably because K-cyclin lacks the PEST degradation sequence present in D-type cyclins.
CONCLUSION - The constitutive activation of K-cyclin/cdk complexes in KSHV-infected cells appears to result from the extended half-life of K-cyclin and may explain its role in Kaposi sarcoma.
Mdm2 and MdmX function as cellular regulators of the p53 tumor suppressor protein. Intriguingly, the activities of these proteins are interdependent; MdmX stabilizes Mdm2, enabling its activities towards p53, but it also requires Mdm2 for its nuclear localization. Here we demonstrate that via its phosphorylation by CDK2/Cdc2p34, MdmX regulates nuclear export of Mdm2. Cdc2p34 phosphorylates MdmX on Ser 96 in vitro. Mutation within this site (MdmX(S96A)) impairs, whereas phosphomimic substitution (MdmX(S96D)) increases the cytoplasmic localization of MdmX, suggesting that CDK2/Cdc2p34 phosphorylation is required for export of MdmX from the nucleus. Consequently, cells that express MdmX(S96A) retain Mdm2 in their nuclei, suggesting that export of Mdm2 to the cytoplasm is MdmX-dependent. Similarly, treatment of cells with the pharmacological inhibitor of CDK2/Cdc2p34 or with a dominant-negative Cdc2 results in nuclear localization of MdmX and Mdm2 and decreases the level of Mdm2 expression. Since Cdc2p34 is active in nonstressed conditions, our finding provides a novel insight into the signaling cascade involved in the regulation of MdmX localization and for regulation of Mdm2 localization and stability.
Mutational studies of human DNA helicase B (HDHB) have suggested that its activity is critical for the G1/S transition of the cell cycle, but the nature of its role remains unknown. In this study, we show that during G1, ectopically expressed HDHB localizes in nuclear foci induced by DNA damaging agents and that this focal pattern requires active HDHB. During S and G2/M, HDHB localizes primarily in the cytoplasm. A carboxy-terminal domain from HDHB confers cell cycle-dependent localization, but not the focal pattern, to a reporter protein. A cluster of potential cyclin-dependent kinase phosphorylation sites in this domain was modified at the G1/S transition and maintained through G2/M of the cell cycle in vivo, coincident with nuclear export of HDHB. Serine 967 of HDHB was the major site phosphorylated in vivo and in vitro by cyclin-dependent kinases. Mutational analysis demonstrated that phosphorylation of serine 967 is crucial in regulating the subcellular localization of ectopically expressed HDHB. We propose that the helicase of HDHB operates primarily during G1 to process endogenous DNA damage before the G1/S transition, and it is largely sequestered in the cytoplasm during S/G2.
BACKGROUND - The transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) signaling pathway functions to prevent tumorigenesis, and loss of sensitivity to TGF-beta-mediated cell cycle arrest is nearly ubiquitous among human cancers. Our previous studies demonstrated that rapamycin potentiates TGF-beta-induced cell cycle arrest in nontransformed epithelial cells and partially restores TGF-beta-induced growth arrest of some human cancer cell lines. Growth arrest correlated with increased binding of p21 and p27 to cyclin-dependent kinase-2 (Cdk2), and inhibition of Cdk2 kinase activity. However, it was unclear how TGF-beta caused increased binding of p21 and p27 to Cdk2.
METHODS - Cell fractionation and immunofluorescence microscopy experiments were performed to examine the effect of TGF-beta on the intracellular localization of Cdk2, p21, and p27. Kinase assays were performed on cytoplasmic and nuclear extracts to determine how TGF-beta altered Cdk2 activity in both subcellular compartments.
RESULTS - In breast epithelial cells treatment with TGF-beta induced a decrease in nuclear Cdk2 concentrations and relocalization of Cdk2 to the cytoplasm. Cdk2 relocalization to the cytoplasm correlated with dephosphorylation of nuclear retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein and decreased nuclear Cdk2 activity. In these epithelial cell lines, p21 and p27 were localized primarily in the cytoplasm. Decreases in nuclear Cdk2 concentrations correlated with increased binding of Cdk2 to cytoplasmic p21 and p27.
CONCLUSION - Cooperative growth arrest induced by treatment with TGF-beta + rapamycin causes inhibition of nuclear Cdk2 activity through multiple mechanisms, including Cdk2 relocalization to the cytoplasm, increased p27 and p21 binding to Cdk2, and increased phosphorylation of nuclear Cdk2 on its inhibitory site, Tyr15.
Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) induces cell cycle arrest of most nontransformed epithelial cell lines. In contrast, many human carcinomas are refractory to the growth-inhibitory effect of TGF-beta. TGF-beta overexpression inhibits tumorigenesis, and abolition of TGF-beta signaling accelerates tumorigenesis, suggesting that TGF-beta acts as a tumor suppressor in mouse models of cancer. A screen to identify agents that potentiate TGF-beta-induced growth arrest demonstrated that the potential anticancer agent rapamycin cooperated with TGF-beta to induce growth arrest in multiple cell lines. Rapamycin also augmented the ability of TGF-beta to inhibit the proliferation of E2F1-, c-Myc-, and (V12)H-Ras-transformed cells, even though these cells were insensitive to TGF-beta-mediated growth arrest in the absence of rapamycin. Rapamycin potentiation of TGF-beta-induced growth arrest could not be explained by increases in TGF-beta receptor levels or rapamycin-induced dissociation of FKBP12 from the TGF-beta type I receptor. Significantly, TGF-beta and rapamycin cooperated to induce growth inhibition of human carcinoma cells that are resistant to TGF-beta-induced growth arrest, and arrest correlated with a suppression of Cdk2 kinase activity. Inhibition of Cdk2 activity was associated with increased binding of p21 and p27 to Cdk2 and decreased phosphorylation of Cdk2 on Thr(160). Increased p21 and p27 binding to Cdk2 was accompanied by decreased p130, p107, and E2F4 binding to Cdk2. Together, these results indicate that rapamycin and TGF-beta cooperate to inhibit the proliferation of nontransformed cells and cancer cells by acting in concert to inhibit Cdk2 activity.
We have shown a novel mechanism of Akt-mediated regulation of the CDK inhibitor p27(kip1). Blockade of HER2/neu in tumor cells inhibits Akt kinase activity and upregulates nuclear levels of the CDK inhibitor (Kip1). Recombinant Akt and Akt precipitated from tumor cells phosphorylated wild-type p27 in vitro. p27 contains an Akt consensus RXRXXT(157)D within its nuclear localization motif. Active (myristoylated) Akt phosphorylated wild-type p27 in vivo but was unable to phosphorylate a T157A-p27 mutant. Wild-type p27 localized in the cytosol and nucleus, whereas T157A-p27 localized exclusively in the nucleus and was resistant to nuclear exclusion by Akt. T157A-p27 was more effective than wild-type p27 in inhibiting cyclin E/CDK2 activity and cell proliferation; these effects were not rescued by active Akt. Expression of Ser(473) phospho Akt in primary human breast cancers statistically correlated with expression of p27 in tumor cytosol. These data indicate that Akt may contribute to tumor-cell proliferation by phosphorylation and cytosolic retention of p27, thus relieving CDK2 from p27-induced inhibition.
The alpha(2)beta(1) integrin supports cell-cycle progression of mammary epithelial cells adherent to type I collagen matrices. Integrin collagen receptors containing the alpha(2) cytoplasmic domain stimulated expression of cyclin E and cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk)2, resulting in cyclin E/cdk2 activation in the absence of growth factors other than insulin. Integrin collagen receptors in which the alpha(2) cytoplasmic domain was replaced by the alpha(1) cytoplasmic domain or an alpha(2) subunit cytoplasmic domain truncated after the GFFKR sequence failed to stimulate cyclin E/cdk2 activation or entry into S phase in the absence of growth factors. Although overexpression of cyclins D or E or cdk2 in cells expressing the integrin collagen receptor with the alpha(1)-integrin cytoplasmic domain did not restore G(1) progression when mammary epithelial cells adhered to type I collagen, co-expression of cyclin E and cdk2 did rescue the ability of the transfectants to enter S phase. Activation of cyclin E/cdk2 complex by mammary epithelial cells required synergy between adhesion mediated by an integrin collagen receptor containing the alpha(2)-integrin subunit cytoplasmic domain and the insulin receptor.
It is well established that ErbB1 and ErbB2 can cooperate in mammary epithelial cell transformation. Therefore, to understand how ErbB1/ErbB2 signaling contributes to this process, we used the ErbB kinase inhibitor AG1478in ErbB2-dependent BT-474 and SKBR-3 human breast cancer cells. These cells overexpress ErbB2 and also display moderate levels of ErbB1. Treatment with AG1478 resulted in rapid ErbB2 dephosphorylation, reversible G(1) arrest, and interruption of constitutive mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling. Consequently, both MAPK-dependent transcription of cyclin D1 and phosphorylation of the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p27 were inhibited. The inhibition of PI3K/Akt resulted in increased activity of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta, which phosphorylated cyclin D1, potentially reducing its steady-state levels. The loss of cyclin D1 reduced the amount of cyclin D1/Cdk4 complexes that can sequester p27 in the cytosol. This plus the reduced phosphorylation of p27 by MAPK enhanced the stability of p27 that associated with nuclear Cdk2 at high stoichiometry and inhibited its kinase activity. Antisense p27 oligonucleotides decreased p27 levels and abrogated the G(1) arrest induced by AG1478. Similarly, infection with an adenovirus encoding inducible cyclin D1 also counteracted the antiproliferative effect of AG1478. These data imply that: (a) modulation of both p27 and cyclin D1 are required for the growth arrest that results from blockade of the ErbB2 kinase; and (b) ErbB2 overexpressing cells use both MAPK and PI3K/Akt to modulate p27 and cyclin D1 and, hence, subvert the G(1)-to-S transition.
The pro-apoptotic molecule BAD binds BCL-[X(L)] or BCL2 and inactivates their survival function. In addition to their anti-apoptotic function, BCL2 and BCL-[X(L)] also delay cell cycle entry from quiescence. We found that the BH3-only molecule BAD also exerted a cell cycle effect. BAD expression resulted in failure to cell cycle block in growth arrest conditions. In low serum and in confluence, fibroblasts constitutively or inducibly expressing BAD persisted in S phase, continued to incorporate BrdU, and exhibited sustained cyclin E/cdk2 activity. Mutation analysis indicated that the cell cycle effect of BAD was not dependent on its phosphorylation status or subcellular localization, but strictly co-segregated with BCL-[X(L)] binding. bclx(-/-) MEFs expressing BAD and bad(-/-) MEFs both arrested in G0/G1 in low serum similar to wild-type controls, suggesting that the ability to overcome the G0/G1 checkpoint resulted from the presence of BAD/BCL-x(L) heterodimers, rather than the absence of BCL-[X(L)] or BAD. These data provide evidence that in addition to regulating apoptosis, the BAD/BCL-[X(L)] heterodimer has a novel cell cycle function.
The alpha(2) integrin subunit cytoplasmic domain is necessary for epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated chemotactic migration and insulin-dependent entry into S-phase of mammary epithelial cells adherent to type I collagen. Truncation mutants revealed that the seven amino acids, KYEKMTK, in addition to the GFFKR motif were sufficient for these functions. Mutation of tyrosine 1134 to alanine inhibited the ability of the cells to phosphorylate p38 MAPK and to migrate in response to EGF but had only a modest effect on the ability of the cells to induce sustained phosphorylation of the ERK MAPK, to up-regulate cyclin E and cdk2 expression, and to enter S-phase when adherent to type I collagen. Conversely, mutation of the lysine 1136 inhibited the ability of the cells to increase cyclin E and cdk2 expression, to maintain long term phosphorylation of the ERK MAPK, and to enter S-phase but had no effect on the ability of the cells to phosphorylate the p38 MAPK or to migrate on type I collagen in response to EGF. Methionine 1137 was essential for both migration and entry into S-phase. Thus, distinctly different structural elements of the alpha(2) integrin cytoplasmic domain are required to engage the signaling pathways leading to cell migration or cell cycle progression.