Phosphorylation of p27Kip1 at Thr187 by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 modulates neural stem cell differentiation.
ABSTRACT: Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) plays a key role in the development of the mammalian nervous system; it phosphorylates a number of targeted proteins involved in neuronal migration during development to synaptic activity in the mature nervous system. Its role in the initial stages of neuronal commitment and differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs), however, is poorly understood. In this study, we show that Cdk5 phosphorylation of p27(Kip1) at Thr187 is crucial to neural differentiation because 1) neurogenesis is specifically suppressed by transfection of p27(Kip1) siRNA into Cdk5(+/+) NSCs; 2) reduced neuronal differentiation in Cdk5(-/-) compared with Cdk5(+/+) NSCs; 3) Cdk5(+/+) NSCs, whose differentiation is inhibited by a nonphosphorylatable mutant, p27/Thr187A, are rescued by cotransfection of a phosphorylation-mimicking mutant, p27/Thr187D; and 4) transfection of mutant p27(Kip1) (p27/187A) into Cdk5(+/+) NSCs inhibits differentiation. These data suggest that Cdk5 regulates the neural differentiation of NSCs by phosphorylation of p27(Kip1) at theThr187 site. Additional experiments exploring the role of Ser10 phosphorylation by Cdk5 suggest that together with Thr187 phosphorylation, Ser10 phosphorylation by Cdk5 promotes neurite outgrowth as neurons differentiate. Cdk5 phosphorylation of p27(Kip1), a modular molecule, may regulate the progress of neuronal differentiation from cell cycle arrest through differentiation, neurite outgrowth, and migration.
Project description:To determine the mechanism of p27 phosphorylation through common and differential pathways triggered by FGF-2 in corneal endothelial cells (CECs).A GTP pull-down assay was performed to identify Rac1-GTP. Expression and activation of protein were analyzed by immunoblotting. Cell proliferation was measured by an MTT assay. Transfection of CECs with kinase-interacting stathmin (KIS) siRNA was performed.FGF-2 activated Rac1 through Akt, and Rac1 inhibitor greatly inhibited the FGF-2-stimulated cell proliferation. Rac1 inhibitor reduced p27 phosphorylation at both serine 10 (Ser10) and threonine 187 (Thr187). ERK1/2 was also involved in FGF-2-stimulated CEC proliferation and phosphorylation of p27 at Ser10 and Thr187 in parallel to phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase. In both PI 3-kinase/Rac1 and ERK1/2 pathways, Ser10 of p27 is phosphorylated by KIS, confirmed by siRNA to KIS, which subsequently hampered the FGF-2-stimulated cell proliferation, while Thr187 of p27 was phosphorylated through Cdk2 activated by Cdc25A. Cdc25A inhibitor blocked activation of Cdk2, phosphorylation of p27 at Thr187, and cell proliferation. FGF-2 induced both KIS and Cdc25A during the G1 phase; the maximum KIS expression was observed 4 hours after FGF-2 stimulation, while the maximum Cdc25A expression was observed at 12 hours. Blockade of ERK1/2 and Rac1 greatly reduced KIS and Cdc25A expression.Results suggest that FGF-2 uses both PI 3-kinase/Rac1 and ERK pathways for cell proliferation; two signals employ common pathways for phosphorylating p27 according to the sites (KIS for Ser10 and Cdc25A/Cdk2 for Thr187) with their characteristic kinetics (early G1 for Ser10 and late G1 for Thr187).
Project description:We describe the design of a potent and selective peptidomimetic inhibitor of geranylgeranyltransferase I (GGTI), GGTI-2418, and its methyl ester GGTI-2417, which increases the levels of the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p27(Kip1) and induces breast tumor regression in vivo. Experiments with p27(Kip1) small interfering RNA in breast cancer cells and p27(Kip1) null murine embryonic fibroblasts demonstrate that the ability of GGTI-2417 to induce cell death requires p27(Kip1). GGTI-2417 inhibits the Cdk2-mediated phosphorylation of p27(Kip1) at Thr187 and accumulates p27(Kip1) in the nucleus. In nude mouse xenografts, GGTI-2418 suppresses the growth of human breast tumors. Furthermore, in ErbB2 transgenic mice, GGTI-2418 increases p27(Kip1) and induces significant regression of breast tumors. We conclude that GGTIs' antitumor activity is, at least in part, due to inhibiting Cdk2-dependent p27(Kip1) phosphorylation at Thr187 and accumulating nuclear p27(Kip1). Thus, GGTI treatment might improve the poor prognosis of breast cancer patients with low nuclear p27(Kip1) levels.
Project description:A fundamental question in neurobiology is how the balance between proliferation and differentiation of neuronal precursors is maintained to ensure that the proper number of brain neurons is generated. Substantial evidence implicates DYRK1A (dual specificity tyrosine-phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1A) as a candidate gene responsible for altered neuronal development and brain abnormalities in Down syndrome. Recent findings support the hypothesis that DYRK1A is involved in cell cycle control. Nonetheless, how DYRK1A contributes to neuronal cell cycle regulation and thereby affects neurogenesis remains poorly understood. In the present study we have investigated the mechanisms by which DYRK1A affects cell cycle regulation and neuronal differentiation in a human cell model, mouse neurons, and mouse brain. Dependent on its kinase activity and correlated with the dosage of overexpression, DYRK1A blocked proliferation of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells within 24 h and arrested the cells in G? phase. Sustained overexpression of DYRK1A induced G? cell cycle exit and neuronal differentiation. Furthermore, we provide evidence that DYRK1A modulated protein stability of cell cycle-regulatory proteins. DYRK1A reduced cellular Cyclin D1 levels by phosphorylation on Thr286, which is known to induce proteasomal degradation. In addition, DYRK1A phosphorylated p27(Kip1) on Ser10, resulting in protein stabilization. Inhibition of DYRK1A kinase activity reduced p27(Kip1) Ser10 phosphorylation in cultured hippocampal neurons and in embryonic mouse brain. In aggregate, these results suggest a novel mechanism by which overexpression of DYRK1A may promote premature neuronal differentiation and contribute to altered brain development in Down syndrome.
Project description:Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial pediatric tumor. NB patients over 18 months of age at the time of diagnosis are often in the later stages of the disease, present with widespread dissemination, and often possess MYCN tumor gene amplification. MYCN is a transcription factor that regulates the expression of a number of genes including ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), a rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of polyamines. Inhibiting ODC in NB cells produces many deleterious effects including G(1) cell cycle arrest, inhibition of cell proliferation, and decreased tumor growth, making ODC a promising target for drug interference. DFMO treatment leads to the accumulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27(Kip1) protein and causes p27(Kip1)/Rb-coupled G(1) cell cycle arrest in MYCN-amplified NB tumor cells through a process that involves p27(Kip1) phosphorylation at residues Ser10 and Thr198. While p27(Kip1) is well known for its role as a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, recent studies have revealed a novel function of p27(Kip1) as a regulator of cell migration and invasion. In the present study we found that p27(Kip1) regulates the migration and invasion in NB and that these events are dependent on the state of phosphorylation of p27(Kip1). DFMO treatments induced MYCN protein downregulation and phosphorylation of Akt/PKB (Ser473) and GSK3-? (Ser9), and polyamine supplementation alleviated the DFMO-induced effects. Importantly, we provide strong evidence that p27(Kip1) mRNA correlates with clinical features and the survival probability of NB patients.
Project description:Mechanisms coordinating neural progenitor cell cycle exit and differentiation are incompletely understood. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27(Kip1) is transcriptionally induced, switching specific neural progenitors from proliferation to differentiation. However, neuronal differentiation-specific transcription factors mediating p27(Kip1) transcription have not been identified. We demonstrate the homeodomain transcription factor Phox2a, required for central nervous system (CNS)- and neural crest (NC)-derived noradrenergic neuron differentiation, coordinates cell cycle exit and differentiation by inducing p27(Kip1) transcription. Phox2a transcription and activation in the CNS-derived CAD cell line and primary NC cells is mediated by combined cyclic AMP (cAMP) and bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) signaling. In the CAD cellular model, cAMP and BMP2 signaling initially induces proliferation of the undifferentiated precursors, followed by p27(Kip1) transcription, G(1) arrest, and neuronal differentiation. Small interfering RNA silencing of either Phox2a or p27(Kip1) suppresses p27(Kip1) transcription and neuronal differentiation, suggesting a causal link between p27(Kip1) expression and differentiation. Conversely, ectopic Phox2a expression via the Tet-off expression system promotes accelerated CAD cell neuronal differentiation and p27(Kip1) transcription only in the presence of cAMP signaling. Importantly, endogenous or ectopically expressed Phox2a activated by cAMP signaling binds homeodomain cis-acting elements of the p27(Kip1) promoter in vivo and mediates p27(Kip1)-luciferase expression in CAD and NC cells. We conclude that developmental cues of cAMP signaling causally link Phox2a activation with p27(Kip1) transcription, thereby coordinating neural progenitor cell cycle exit and differentiation.
Project description:Stem cells are a potential key strategy for treating neurodegenerative diseases in which the generation of new neurons is critical. A better understanding of the characteristics and molecular properties of neural stem cells (NSCs) and differentiated neurons can help with assessing neuronal maturity and, possibly, in devising better therapeutic strategies. We have performed an in-depth gene expression profiling study of murine NSCs and primary neurons derived from embryonic mouse brains. Microarray analysis revealed a neuron-specific gene expression signature that distinguishes primary neurons from NSCs, with elevated levels of transcripts involved in neuronal functions, such as neurite development and axon guidance in primary neurons and decreased levels of multiple cytokine transcripts. Among the differentially expressed genes, we found a statistically significant enrichment of genes in the ephrin, neurotrophin, CDK5, and actin pathways, which control multiple neuronal-specific functions. We then artificially blocked the cell cycle of NSCs with mitomycin C (MMC) and examined cellular morphology and gene expression signatures. Although these MMC-treated NSCs displayed a neuronal morphology and expressed some neuronal differentiation marker genes, their gene expression patterns were very different from primary neurons. We conclude that 1) fully differentiated mouse primary neurons display a specific neuronal gene expression signature; 2) cell cycle block at the S phase in NSCs with MMC does not induce the formation of fully differentiated neurons; 3) cytokines change their expression pattern during differentiation of NSCs into neurons; and 4) signaling pathways of ephrin, neurotrophin, CDK5, and actin, related to major neuronal features, are dynamically enriched in genes showing changes in expression level.
Project description:In noradrenergic progenitors, Phox2a mediates cell cycle exit and neuronal differentiation by inducing p27(Kip1) transcription in response to activation of the cyclic AMP (cAMP) pathway. The mechanism of cAMP-mediated activation of Phox2a is unknown. We identified a cluster of phosphoserine-proline sites in Phox2a by mass spectrometry. Ser206 appeared to be the most prominent phosphorylation site. A phospho-Ser206 Phox2a antibody detected dephosphorylation of Phox2a that was dependent on activation of the cAMP pathway, which occurred prior to neuronal differentiation of noradrenergic CAD cells. Employing serine-to-alanine and serine-to-aspartic acid Phox2a substitution mutants expressed in inducible CAD cell lines, we demonstrated that the transcriptional activity of Phox2a is regulated by two sequential cAMP-dependent events: first, cAMP signaling promotes dephosphorylation of Phox2a in at least one site, Ser206, thereby allowing Phox2a to bind DNA and initiate p27(Kip1) transcription; second, following dephosphorylation of the phosphoserine cluster (Ser202 and Ser208), Phox2a becomes phosphorylated by protein kinase A (PKA) on Ser153, which prevents association of Phox2a with DNA and terminates p27(Kip1) transcription. This represents a novel mechanism by which the same stimulus, cAMP signaling, first activates Phox2a by dephosphorylation of Ser206 and then, after a built-in delay, inactivates Phox2a via PKA-dependent phosphorylation of Ser153, thereby modulating onset and duration of p27(Kip1) transcription.
Project description:Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) couples ligand activation of cell surface cytokine receptors to the regulation of cellular functions including cell cycle progression, differentiation and apoptosis. It thereby coordinates biological programs such as development and hematopoiesis. Unscheduled activation of JAK2 by point mutations or chromosomal translocations can induce hyperproliferation and hematological malignancies. Typical signal transduction by the JAK2 tyrosine kinase comprises phosphorylation of STAT transcription factors. In this study, we describe the identification of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p27(Kip1) as a novel JAK2 substrate. JAK2 can directly bind and phosphorylate p27(Kip1). Both, the JAK2 FERM domain and its kinase domain bind to p27(Kip1). JAK2 phosphorylates tyrosine residue 88 (Y88) of p27(Kip1). We previously reported that Y88 phosphorylation of p27(Kip1) by oncogenic tyrosine kinases impairs p27(Kip1)-mediated CDK inhibition, and initiates its ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation. Consistently, we now find that active oncogenic JAK2V617F reduces p27(Kip1) stability and protein levels in patient-derived cell lines harboring the mutant JAK2V617F allele. Moreover, tyrosine phosphorylation of p27(Kip1) is impaired and p27(Kip1) expression is restored upon JAK2V617F inactivation by small hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown or by the pyridone-containing tetracycle JAK inhibitor-I, indicating that direct phosphorylation of p27(Kip1) can contribute to hyperproliferation of JAK2V617F-transformed cells. Activation of endogenous JAK2 by interleukin-3 (IL-3) induces Y88 phosphorylation of p27(Kip1), thus unveiling a novel link between cytokine signaling and cell cycle control in non-transformed cells. Oncogenic tyrosine kinases could use this novel pathway to promote hyperproliferation in tumor cells.
Project description:Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been shown to promote neuronal differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) in vivo and in vitro. Previously, we found that N-docosahexaenoylethanolamine (synaptamide), an endogenous DHA metabolite with an endocannabinoid-like structure, promotes neurite growth, synaptogenesis, and synaptic function. In this study, we demonstrate that synaptamide potently induces neuronal differentiation of NSCs. Differentiating NSCs were capable of synthesizing synaptamide from DHA. Treatment of NSCs with synaptamide at low nanomolar concentrations significantly increased the number of MAP2 and Tuj-1-positive neurons with concomitant induction of protein kinase A (PKA)/cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation. Conversely, PKA inhibitors or PKA knockdown abolished the synaptamide-induced neuronal differentiation of NSCs. URB597, a fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor, elevated the level of DHA-derived synaptamide and further potentiated the DHA- or synaptamide-induced neuronal differentiation of NSCs. Similarly, NSCs obtained from FAAH KO mice exhibited greater capacity to induce neuronal differentiation in response to DHA or synaptamide compared to the wild type NSCs. Neither synaptamide nor DHA affected NSC differentiation into GFAP-positive glia cells. These results suggest that endogenously produced synaptamide is a potent mediator for neurogenic differentiation of NSCs acting through PKA/CREB activation.
Project description:Mounting evidence indicates cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors (CKIs) of the Cip/Kip family, including p57(Kip2) and p27(Kip1), control not only cell cycle exit but also corticogenesis. Nevertheless, distinct activities of p57(Kip2) remain poorly defined. Using in vivo and culture approaches, we show p57(Kip2) overexpression at E14.5-15.5 elicits precursor cell cycle exit, promotes transition from proliferation to neuronal differentiation, and enhances process outgrowth, while opposite effects occur in p57(Kip2)-deficient precursors. Studies at later ages indicate p57(Kip2) overexpression also induces precocious glial differentiation, suggesting stage-dependent effects. In embryonic cortex, p57(Kip2) overexpression advances cell radial migration and alters postnatal laminar positioning. While both CKIs induce differentiation, p57(Kip2) was twice as effective as p27(Kip1) in inducing neuronal differentiation and was not permissive to astrogliogenic effects of ciliary neurotrophic factor, suggesting that the CKIs differentially modulate cell fate decisions. At molecular levels, although highly conserved N-terminal regions of both CKIs elicit cycle withdrawal and differentiation, the C-terminal region of p57(Kip2) alone inhibits in vivo migration. Furthermore, p57(Kip2) effects on neurogenesis and gliogenesis require the N-terminal cyclin/CDK binding/inhibitory domains, while previous p27(Kip1) studies report cell cycle-independent functions. These observations suggest p57(Kip2) coordinates multiple stages of corticogenesis and exhibits distinct and common activities compared with related family member p27(Kip1).