Mechanism of cell cycle entry mediated by the intrinsically disordered protein p27(Kip1).
ABSTRACT: p27(Kip1) (p27), a prototypical intrinsically disordered protein (IDP), regulates eukaryotic cell division through interactions with cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk)/cyclin complexes. The activity, stability, and subcellular localization of p27 are regulated by phosphorylation. We illustrate how p27 integrates regulatory signals from several non-receptor tyrosine kinases (NRTKs) to activate Cdk4 and initiate cell cycle entry. Unmodified p27 potently inhibits Cdk/cyclin complexes, including Cdk4/cyclin D (IC(50), 1 nM). Some NRTKs (e.g., Abl) phosphorylate p27 on Tyr 88, which facilitates a second modification on Tyr 74 by another NRTK (e.g., Src). Importantly, this second modification causes partial reactivation of Cdk4 within ternary complexes containing doubly Tyr phosphorylated p27. Partial activation of Cdk4 initiates entry into the cell division cycle. Therefore, p27's disordered features enable NRTKs to sequentially promote a phosphorylation cascade that controls cell fate. Beyond cell cycle control, these results illustrate general concepts regarding why IDPs are well-suited for roles in signaling and regulation in biological systems.
Project description:p27(Kip1) (p27), an intrinsically disordered protein, regulates the various Cdk/cyclin complexes that control cell cycle progression. The kinase inhibitory domain of p27 contains a cyclin-binding subdomain (D1), a Cdk-binding subdomain (D2), and a linker helix subdomain that connects D1 and D2. Here, we report that, despite extensive sequence conservation between Cdk4/cyclin D1 (hereafter Cdk4/cyclin D) and Cdk2/cyclin A, the thermodynamic details describing how the individual p27 subdomains contribute to equally high affinity binding to these two Cdk/cyclin complexes are strikingly different. Differences in enthalpy/entropy compensation revealed that the D2 subdomain of p27 folds incompletely when binding Cdk4/cyclin D versus Cdk2/cyclin A. Incomplete binding-induced folding exposes tyrosine 88 of p27 for phosphorylation by the nonreceptor tyrosine kinase Abl. Importantly, tyrosine phosphorylation (of p27) relieves Cdk inhibition by p27, enabling cell cycle entry. Furthermore, the interaction between a conserved hydrophobic patch on cyclin D and subdomain D1 is much weaker than that with cyclin A; consequently, a construct containing subdomains D1 and LH (p27-D1LH) does not inhibit substrate binding to Cdk4/cyclin D as it does to Cdk2/cyclin A. Our results provide a mechanism by which Cdk4 (within the p27/Cdk4/cyclin D complex) is poised to be activated by extrinsic mitogenic signals that impinge upon p27 at the earliest stage of cell division. More broadly, our results further illustrate the regulatory versatility of intrinsically disordered proteins.
Project description:The Cip/Kip family of cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitors includes p21(Cip1), p27(Kip1) and p57(Kip2). Their kinase inhibitory activities are mediated by a homologous N-terminal kinase inhibitory domain. The Cdk inhibitory activity and stability of p27 have been shown to be regulated by a two-step phosphorylation mechanism involving a tyrosine residue within the kinase inhibitory domain and a threonine residue within the flexible C-terminus. We show that these residues are conserved in p21 and p57, suggesting that a similar phosphorylation cascade regulates these Cdk inhibitors. However, the presence of a cyclin binding motif within its C-terminus alters the regulatory interplay between p21 and Cdk2/cyclin A, as well as its responses to tyrosine phosphorylation and altered p21:Cdk2/cyclin A stoichiometry. We also show that the Cip/Kip proteins can be phosphorylated in vitro by representatives of many non-receptor tyrosine kinase (NRTK) sub-families, suggesting that NRTKs may generally regulate the activity and stability of these Cdk inhibitors. Our results further suggest that the Cip/Kip proteins integrate signals from various NRTK pathways and cell cycle regulation.
Project description:Cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4)/cyclin D complexes are expressed early in the G(1) phase of the cell cycle and stimulate the expression of genes required for G(1) progression by phosphorylation of the product of the retinoblastoma gene, pRb. To elaborate the molecular pathway of CDK4 activation and substrate selection we have determined the structure of nonphosphorylated CDK4/cyclin D3. This structure of an authentic CDK/cyclin complex shows that cyclin binding may not be sufficient to drive the CDK active site toward an active conformation. Phosphorylated CDK4/cyclin D3 is active as a pRb kinase and is susceptible to inhibition by p27(Kip1). Unlike CDK2/cyclin A, CDK4/cyclin D3 can be inactivated by treatment with lambda-phosphatase, implying that phosphorylated T172 is accessible to a generic phosphatase while bound to a cyclin. Taken together, these results suggest that the structural mechanism of CDK4/cyclin D3 activation differs markedly from that of previously studied CDK/cyclin complexes.
Project description:Transcriptional repressor complexes containing p130 and E2F4 regulate the expression of genes involved in DNA replication. During the G1 phase of the cell cycle, sequential phosphorylation of p130 by cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) disrupts these complexes allowing gene expression. The Cdk inhibitor and tumor suppressor p27(Kip1) associates with p130 and E2F4 by its carboxyl domain on the promoters of target genes but its role in the regulation of transcription remains unclear. We report here that p27(Kip1) recruits cyclin D2/D3-Cdk4 complexes on the promoters by its amino terminal domain in early and mid G1. In cells lacking p27(Kip1), cyclin D2/D3-Cdk4 did not associate to the promoters and phosphorylation of p130 and transcription of target genes was increased. In late G1, these complexes were substituted by p21(Cip1)-cyclin D1-Cdk2. In p21(Cip1) null cells cyclin D1-Cdk2 were not found on the promoters and transcription was elevated. In p21/p27 double null cells transcription was higher than in control cells and single knock out cells. Thus, our results clarify the role of p27(Kip1) and p21(Cip1) in transcriptional regulation of genes repressed by p130/E2F4 complexes in which p27(Kip1) and p21(Cip1) play a sequential role by recruiting and regulating the activity of specific cyclin-Cdk complexes on the promoters.
Project description:Cyclin D-CDK4/6 are the first cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) complexes to be activated by mitogenic/oncogenic pathways. They have a central role in the cell multiplication decision and in its deregulation in cancer cells. We identified T172 phosphorylation of CDK4 rather than cyclin D accumulation as the distinctly regulated step determining CDK4 activation. This finding challenges the view that the only identified metazoan CDK-activating kinase, cyclin H-CDK7-Mat1 (CAK), which is constitutively active, is responsible for the activating phosphorylation of all cell cycle CDKs. We previously showed that T172 phosphorylation of CDK4 is conditioned by an adjacent proline (P173), which is not present in CDK6 and CDK1/2. Although CDK7 activity was recently shown to be required for CDK4 activation, we proposed that proline-directed kinases might specifically initiate the activation of CDK4. Here, we report that JNKs, but not ERK1/2 or CAK, can be direct CDK4-activating kinases for cyclin D-CDK4 complexes that are inactivated by p21-mediated stabilization. JNKs and ERK1/2 also phosphorylated p21 at S130 and T57, which might facilitate CDK7-dependent activation of p21-bound CDK4, however, mutation of these sites did not impair the phosphorylation of CDK4 by JNKs. In two selected tumor cells, two different JNK inhibitors inhibited the phosphorylation and activation of cyclin D1-CDK4-p21 but not the activation of cyclin D3-CDK4 that is mainly associated to p27. Specific inhibition by chemical genetics in MEFs confirmed the involvement of JNK2 in cyclin D1-CDK4 activation. Therefore, JNKs could be activating kinases for cyclin D1-CDK4 bound to p21, by independently phosphorylating both CDK4 and p21.
Project description:Connexin 43 (Cx43) functions as a cell growth suppressor. We have demonstrated that Cx43 interacts with heat shock cognate protein 70 (Hsc70) for regulating cell proliferation. Hsc70 interacts with CDK inhibitor p27, which regulates the assembly and subcellular localization of cyclin D1-CDK4-p27 complex. However, the involvement of p27 with Cx43-mediated cell cycle suppression is still poorly understood. Here, we report that nuclear accumulation of p27 is reduced by overexpression of Cx43, and that this reduction is restored by co-overexpression with Hsc70. We found that Cx43 competes with p27 for binding to Hsc70, and as a result, decreases the level of Hsc70 in cyclin D1-CDK4-p27 complex, leading to prevention of the nuclear translocation of the complex and the G1/S transition. Collectively, our findings suggest that, in Cx43 up-regulation, which is most likely an emergency measure, Cx43-Hsc70 interaction regulates cell cycle G1/S progression through a novel mechanism by which Cx43-Hsc70 interaction prevents the nuclear accumulation of p27 through controlling the nuclear translocation of cyclin D1-CDK4-p27 complex.
Project description:p27Kip1 is an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) that inhibits cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk)/cyclin complexes (e.g., Cdk2/cyclin A), causing cell cycle arrest. Cell division progresses when stably Cdk2/cyclin A-bound p27 is phosphorylated on one or two structurally occluded tyrosine residues and a distal threonine residue (T187), triggering degradation of p27. Here, using an integrated biophysical approach, we show that Cdk2/cyclin A-bound p27 samples lowly-populated conformations that provide access to the non-receptor tyrosine kinases, BCR-ABL and Src, which phosphorylate Y88 or Y88 and Y74, respectively, thereby promoting intra-assembly phosphorylation (of p27) on distal T187. Even when tightly bound to Cdk2/cyclin A, intrinsic flexibility enables p27 to integrate and process signaling inputs, and generate outputs including altered Cdk2 activity, p27 stability, and, ultimately, cell cycle progression. Intrinsic dynamics within multi-component assemblies may be a general mechanism of signaling by regulatory IDPs, which can be subverted in human disease.
Project description:An alternative strategy for inhibition of the cyclin dependent kinases (CDKs) in antitumor drug discovery is afforded through the substrate recruitment site on the cyclin positive regulatory subunit. Critical CDK substrates such as the Rb and E2F families must undergo cyclin groove binding before phosphorylation, and hence inhibitors of this interaction also block substrate specific kinase activity. This approach offers the potential to generate highly selective and cell cycle specific CDK inhibitors and to reduce the inhibition of transcription mediated through CDK7 and 9, commonly observed with ATP competitive compounds. While highly potent peptide and small molecule inhibitors of CDK2/cyclin A, E substrate recruitment have been reported, little information has been generated on the determinants of inhibitor binding to the cyclin groove of the CDK4/cyclin D1 complex. CDK4/cyclin D is a validated anticancer drug target and continues to be widely pursued in the development of new therapeutics based on cell cycle blockade. We have therefore investigated the structural basis for peptide binding to its cyclin groove and have examined the features contributing to potency and selectivity of inhibitors. Peptidic inhibitors of CDK4/cyclin D of pRb phosphorylation have been synthesized, and their complexes with CDK4/cyclin D1 crystal structures have been generated. Based on available structural information, comparisons of the cyclin grooves of cyclin A2 and D1 are presented and provide insights into the determinants for peptide binding and the basis for differential binding and inhibition. In addition, a complex structure has been generated in order to model the interactions of the CDKI, p27(KIP)¹, with cyclin D1. This information has been used to shed light onto the endogenous inhibition of CDK4 and also to identify unique aspects of cyclin D1 that can be exploited in the design of cyclin groove based CDK inhibitors. Peptidic and nonpeptidic compounds have been synthesized in order to explore structure-activity relationship for binding to the cyclin D1 groove, which to date has not been carried out in a systematic fashion. Collectively, the data presented provide new insights into how compounds can be developed that function as chemical biology probes to determine the cellular and antitumor effects of CDK inhibition. Furthermore, such compounds will serve as templates for structure-guided efforts to develop potential therapeutics based on selective inhibition of CDK4/cyclin D activity.
Project description:The cyclin D1-cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) complex is a key regulator of the transition through the G(1) phase of the cell cycle. Among the cyclin/CDKs, CDK4 and cyclin D1 are the most frequently activated by somatic genetic alterations in multiple tumor types. Thus, aberrant regulation of the CDK4/cyclin D1 pathway plays an essential role in oncogenesis; hence, CDK4 is a genetically validated therapeutic target. Although X-ray crystallographic structures have been determined for various CDK/cyclin complexes, CDK4/cyclin D1 has remained highly refractory to structure determination. Here, we report the crystal structure of CDK4 in complex with cyclin D1 at a resolution of 2.3 A. Although CDK4 is bound to cyclin D1 and has a phosphorylated T-loop, CDK4 is in an inactive conformation and the conformation of the heterodimer diverges from the previously known CDK/cyclin binary complexes, which suggests a unique mechanism for the process of CDK4 regulation and activation.
Project description:Prostate cancer (PCa) is a reproductive system cancer in elderly men. We investigated the effects of betel nut arecoline on the growth of normal and cancerous prostate cells. Normal RWPE-1 prostate epithelial cells, androgen-independent PC-3 PCa cells, and androgen-dependent LNCaP PCa cells were used. Arecoline inhibited their growth in dose- and time-dependent manners. Arecoline caused RWPE-1 and PC-3 cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase and LNCaP cell arrest in the G0/G1 phase. In RWPE-1 cells, arecoline increased the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)-1, p21, and cyclins B1 and D3, decreased the expression of CDK2, and had no effects on CDK4 and cyclin D1 expression. In PC-3 cells, arecoline decreased CDK1, CDK2, CDK4, p21, p27, and cyclin D1 and D3 protein expression and increased cyclin B1 protein expression. In LNCaP cells, arecoline decreased CDK2, CDK4, and cyclin D1 expression; increased p21, p27, and cyclin D3 expression; had no effects on CDK1 and cyclin B1 expression. The antioxidant N-acetylcysteine blocked the arecoline-induced increase in reactive oxygen species production, decreased cell viability, altered the cell cycle, and changed the cell cycle regulatory protein levels. Thus, arecoline oxidant exerts differential effects on the cell cycle through modulations of regulatory proteins.