Rb and FZR1/Cdh1 determine CDK4/6-cyclin D requirement in C. elegans and human cancer cells.
ABSTRACT: Cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) in complex with D-type cyclins promote cell cycle entry. Most human cancers contain overactive CDK4/6-cyclin D, and CDK4/6-specific inhibitors are promising anti-cancer therapeutics. Here, we investigate the critical functions of CDK4/6-cyclin D kinases, starting from an unbiased screen in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that simultaneous mutation of lin-35, a retinoblastoma (Rb)-related gene, and fzr-1, an orthologue to the APC/C co-activator Cdh1, completely eliminates the essential requirement of CDK4/6-cyclin D (CDK-4/CYD-1) in C. elegans. CDK-4/CYD-1 phosphorylates specific residues in the LIN-35 Rb spacer domain and FZR-1 amino terminus, resembling inactivating phosphorylations of the human proteins. In human breast cancer cells, simultaneous knockdown of Rb and FZR1 synergistically bypasses cell division arrest induced by the CDK4/6-specific inhibitor PD-0332991. Our data identify FZR1 as a candidate CDK4/6-cyclin D substrate and point to an APC/C(FZR1) activity as an important determinant in response to CDK4/6-inhibitors.
Project description:Cyclin dependent kinase 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) in complex with D-type cyclins promote cell cycle entry, at least in part through phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (Rb). The CDK4/6-cyclin D-Rb pathway is commonly deregulated in human cancer, often through CDK4/6 or D-type cyclin overexpression, or inactivation of the CDK4/6 antagonist p16/CDKN2A. Importantly, a substantial fraction of cancers depend on continuous CDK4/6-cyclin D kinase activity and are sensitive to CDK4/6-specific inhibitors. Here, we investigate critical CDK4/6-cyclin D functions that may determine the sensitivity to CDK4/6 inhibitors, making use of the essential roles of CDK4/6 (CDK-4) and cyclin D (CYD-1) in the nematode C. elegans. In an unbiased screen, we found that simultaneous loss of C. elegans Rb (lin-35) and down-regulation of the APC/C substrate specificity factor FZR1/Cdh1 completely overcomes CDK-4/CYD-1 requirement. Furthermore, CDK-4/CYD-1 phosphorylates specific residues in the LIN-35 Rb spacer domain and FZR-1 N-terminus that correspond to inactivating phosphorylations of the human homologs. Thus, CDK-4/CYD-1 appears to promote cell cycle entry by antagonizing not only transcriptional repression by LIN-35 Rb but also protein degradation by APC/CFZR-1. Simultaneous knockdown of Rb and FZR1 in human breast cancer cells synergistically overcomes arrest by the CDK4/6-specific inhibitor PD 00332991. These results reveal APC/CFZR1 as a putative CDK4/6-Cyclin D target and important contributing factor in the response to CDK4/6-inhibitor treatment.
Project description:Multiple Myeloma (MM) is a haematological neoplasm characterised by the clonal proliferation of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow. The success of proteasome inhibitors in the treatment of MM has highlighted the importance of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) in the pathogenesis of this disease. In this study, we analysed gene expression of UPS components to identify novel therapeutic targets within this pathway in MM. Here we demonstrate how this approach identified previously validated and novel therapeutic targets. In addition we show that FZR1 (Fzr), a cofactor of the multi-subunit E3 ligase complex anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C), represents a novel therapeutic target in myeloma. The APC/C associates independently with two cofactors, Fzr and Cdc20, to control cell cycle progression. We found high levels of FZR1 in MM primary cells and cell lines and demonstrate that expression is further increased on adhesion to bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs). Specific knockdown of either FZR1 or CDC20 reduced viability and induced growth arrest of MM cell lines, and resulted in accumulation of APC/CFzr substrate Topoisomerase II? (TOPII?) or APC/CCdc20 substrate Cyclin B. Similar effects were observed following treatment with proTAME, an inhibitor of both APC/CFzr and APC/CCdc20. Combinations of proTAME with topoisomerase inhibitors, etoposide and doxorubicin, significantly increased cell death in MM cell lines and primary cells, particularly if TOPII? levels were first increased through pre-treatment with proTAME. Similarly, combinations of proTAME with the microtubule inhibitor vincristine resulted in enhanced cell death. This study demonstrates the potential of targeting the APC/C and its cofactors as a therapeutic approach in MM.
Project description:FZR1/CDH1 is an activator of Anaphase promoting complex/Cyclosome (APC/C), best known for its role as E3 ubiquitin ligase that drives the cell cycle. APC/C activity is regulated by CDK-mediated phosphorylation of FZR1 during mitotic cell cycle. Although the critical role of FZR1 phosphorylation has been shown mainly in yeast and in vitro cell culture studies, its biological significance in mammalian tissues in vivo remained elusive. Here, we examined the in vivo role of FZR1 phosphorylation using a mouse model, in which non-phosphorylatable substitutions were introduced in the putative CDK-phosphorylation sites of FZR1. Although ablation of FZR1 phosphorylation did not show substantial consequences in mouse somatic tissues, it led to severe testicular defects resulting in male infertility. In the absence of FZR1 phosphorylation, male juvenile germ cells entered meiosis normally but failed to enter meiosis II or form differentiated spermatids. In aged testis, male mutant germ cells were overall abolished, showing Sertoli cell-only phenotype. In contrast, female mutants showed apparently normal progression of meiosis. The present study demonstrated that phosphorylation of FZR1 is required for temporal regulation of APC/C activity at meiosis II entry, and for maintenance of spermatogonia, which raised an insight into the sexual dimorphism of FZR1-regulation in germ cells.
Project description:The number of nuclear divisions in meiosis is strictly limited to two. Although the precise mechanism remains unknown, this seems to be achieved by adjusting the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) activity to degrade cyclin. Here, we describe a fission yeast cuf2 mutant that enters into a third nuclear division cycle, represented by ectopic spindle assembly and abnormal chromosome segregation. Cuf2 is a meiotic transcription factor, and its critical target is fzr1(+)/mfr1(+), which encodes a meiotic APC/C activator. fzr1? also enters a third nuclear division. Thus, Cuf2 ensures termination of the M-phase cycle by boosting Fzr1 expression to generate functional gametes.
Project description:Cells escape the need for mitogens at a restriction point several hours before entering S phase. The restriction point has been proposed to result from CDK4/6 initiating partial Rb phosphorylation to trigger a bistable switch whereby cyclin E-CDK2 and Rb mutually reinforce each other to induce Rb hyperphosphorylation. Here, using single-cell analysis, we unexpectedly found that cyclin E/A-CDK activity can only maintain Rb hyperphosphorylation starting at the onset of S phase and that CDK4/6 activity, but not cyclin E/A-CDK activity, is required to hyperphosphorylate Rb throughout G1 phase. Mitogen removal in G1 results in a gradual loss of CDK4/6 activity with a high likelihood of cells sustaining Rb hyperphosphorylation until S phase, at which point cyclin E/A-CDK activity takes over. Thus, it is short-term memory, or transient hysteresis, in CDK4/6 activity following mitogen removal that sustains Rb hyperphosphorylation, demonstrating a probabilistic rather than an irreversible molecular mechanism underlying the restriction point.
Project description:The coordination of cell proliferation and differentiation is crucial for proper development. In particular, robust mechanisms exist to ensure that cells permanently exit the cell cycle upon terminal differentiation, and these include restraining the activities of both the E2F/DP transcription factor and Cyclin/Cdk kinases. However, the full complement of mechanisms necessary to restrain E2F/DP and Cyclin/Cdk activities in differentiating cells are not known. Here, we have performed a genetic screen in Drosophila melanogaster, designed to identify genes required for cell cycle exit. This screen utilized a PCNA-miniwhite(+) reporter that is highly E2F-responsive and results in a darker red eye color when crossed into genetic backgrounds that delay cell cycle exit. Mutation of Hsp83, the Drosophila homolog of mammalian Hsp90, results in increased E2F-dependent transcription and ectopic cell proliferation in pupal tissues at a time when neighboring wild-type cells are postmitotic. Further, these Hsp83 mutant cells have increased Cyclin/Cdk activity and accumulate proteins normally targeted for proteolysis by the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C), suggesting that APC/C function is inhibited. Indeed, reducing the gene dosage of an inhibitor of Cdh1/Fzr, an activating subunit of the APC/C that is required for timely cell cycle exit, can genetically suppress the Hsp83 cell cycle exit phenotype. Based on these data, we propose that Cdh1/Fzr is a client protein of Hsp83. Our results reveal that Hsp83 plays a heretofore unappreciated role in promoting APC/C function during cell cycle exit and suggest a mechanism by which Hsp90 inhibition could promote genomic instability and carcinogenesis.
Project description:Cell proliferation and differentiation are regulated in a highly coordinated and inverse manner during development and tissue homeostasis. Terminal differentiation usually coincides with cell cycle exit and is thought to engage stable transcriptional repression of cell cycle genes. Here, we examine the robustness of the post-mitotic state, using Caenorhabditis elegans muscle cells as a model. We found that expression of a G1 Cyclin and CDK initiates cell cycle re-entry in muscle cells without interfering with the differentiated state. Cyclin D/CDK4 (CYD-1/CDK-4) expression was sufficient to induce DNA synthesis in muscle cells, in contrast to Cyclin E/CDK2 (CYE-1/CDK-2), which triggered mitotic events. Tissue-specific gene-expression profiling and single molecule FISH experiments revealed that Cyclin D and E kinases activate an extensive and overlapping set of cell cycle genes in muscle, yet failed to induce some key activators of G1/S progression. Surprisingly, CYD-1/CDK-4 also induced an additional set of genes primarily associated with growth and metabolism, which were not activated by CYE-1/CDK-2. Moreover, CYD-1/CDK-4 expression also down-regulated a large number of genes enriched for catabolic functions. These results highlight distinct functions for the two G1 Cyclin/CDK complexes and reveal a previously unknown activity of Cyclin D/CDK-4 in regulating metabolic gene expression. Furthermore, our data demonstrate that many cell cycle genes can still be transcriptionally induced in post-mitotic muscle cells, while maintenance of the post-mitotic state might depend on stable repression of a limited number of critical cell cycle regulators.
Project description:FZR1 is an anaphase-promoting complex (APC) activator best known for its role in the mitotic cell cycle at M-phase exit, in G1, and in maintaining genome integrity. Previous studies also established that it prevents meiotic resumption, equivalent to the G2/M transition. Here we report that mouse oocytes lacking FZR1 undergo passage through meiosis I that is accelerated by ~1 h, and this is due to an earlier onset of spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) satisfaction and APC(CDC20) activity. However, loss of FZR1 did not compromise SAC functionality; instead, earlier SAC satisfaction was achieved because the bipolar meiotic spindle was assembled more quickly in the absence of FZR1. This novel regulation of spindle assembly by FZR1 led to premature bivalent attachment to microtubules and loss of kinetochore-bound MAD2. Bivalents, however, were observed to congress poorly, leading to nondisjunction rates of 25%. We conclude that in mouse oocytes FZR1 controls the timing of assembly of the bipolar spindle and in so doing the timing of SAC satisfaction and APC(CDC20) activity. This study implicates FZR1 as a major regulator of prometaphase whose activity helps to prevent chromosome nondisjunction.
Project description:Cell-cycle entry relies on an orderly progression of signaling events. To start, cells first activate the kinase cyclin D-CDK4/6, which leads to eventual inactivation of the retinoblastoma protein Rb. Hours later, cells inactivate APC/C<sup>CDH1</sup> and cross the final commitment point. However, many cells with genetically deleted cyclin Ds, which activate and confer specificity to CDK4/6, can compensate and proliferate. Despite its importance in cancer, how this entry mechanism operates remains poorly characterized, and whether cells use this path under normal conditions remains unknown. Here, using single-cell microscopy, we demonstrate that cells with acutely inhibited CDK4/6 enter the cell cycle with a slowed and fluctuating cyclin E-CDK2 activity increase. Surprisingly, with low CDK4/6 activity, the order of APC/C<sup>CDH1</sup> and Rb inactivation is reversed in both cell lines and wild-type mice. Finally, we show that as a consequence of this signaling inversion, Rb inactivation replaces APC/C<sup>CDH1</sup> inactivation as the point of no return. Together, we elucidate the molecular steps that enable cell-cycle entry without CDK4/6 activity. Our findings not only have implications in cancer resistance, but also reveal temporal plasticity underlying the G1 regulatory circuit.