Cyclin E deregulation promotes loss of specific genomic regions.
ABSTRACT: Cell-cycle progression is regulated by the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) family of protein kinases, so named because their activation depends on association with regulatory subunits known as cyclins. Cyclin E normally accumulates at the G1/S boundary, where it promotes S phase entry and progression by activating Cdk2. In normal cells, cyclin E/Cdk2 activity is associated with DNA replication-related functions. However, deregulation of cyclin E leads to inefficient assembly of pre-replication complexes, replication stress, and chromosome instability. In malignant cells, cyclin E is frequently overexpressed, correlating with decreased survival in breast cancer patients. Transgenic mice deregulated for cyclin E in the mammary epithelia develop carcinoma, confirming that cyclin E is an oncoprotein. However, it remains unknown how cyclin E-mediated replication stress promotes genomic instability during carcinogenesis. Here, we show that deregulation of cyclin E causes human mammary epithelial cells to enter into mitosis with short unreplicated genomic segments at a small number of specific loci, leading to anaphase anomalies and ultimately deletions. Incompletely replicated regions are preferentially located at late-replicating domains, fragile sites, and breakpoints, including the mixed-lineage leukemia breakpoint cluster region (MLL BCR). Furthermore, these regions are characterized by a paucity of replication origins or unusual DNA structures. Analysis of a large set of breast tumors shows a significant correlation between cyclin E amplification and deletions at a number of the genomic loci identified in our study. Our results demonstrate how oncogene-induced replication stress contributes to genomic instability in human cancer.
Project description:Genomic instability is a key hallmark of cancer leading to tumour heterogeneity and therapeutic resistance. BRCA2 has a fundamental role in error-free DNA repair but also sustains genome integrity by promoting RAD51 nucleofilament formation at stalled replication forks. CDK2 phosphorylates BRCA2 (pS3291-BRCA2) to limit stabilizing contacts with polymerized RAD51; however, how replication stress modulates CDK2 activity and whether loss of pS3291-BRCA2 regulation results in genomic instability of tumours are not known. Here we demonstrate that the Hippo pathway kinase LATS1 interacts with CDK2 in response to genotoxic stress to constrain pS3291-BRCA2 and support RAD51 nucleofilaments, thereby maintaining genomic fidelity during replication stalling. We also show that LATS1 forms part of an ATR-mediated response to replication stress that requires the tumour suppressor RASSF1A. Importantly, perturbation of the ATR-RASSF1A-LATS1 signalling axis leads to genomic defects associated with loss of BRCA2 function and contributes to genomic instability and 'BRCA-ness' in lung cancers.
Project description:Cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) coordinate cell division, and their activities are tightly controlled. Phosphorylation of threonine 14 (T14) and tyrosine 15 (Y15) inhibits Cdks and regulates their activities in numerous physiologic contexts. Although the roles of Cdk1 inhibitory phosphorylation during mitosis are well described, studies of Cdk2 inhibitory phosphorylation during S phrase have largely been indirect. To specifically study the functions of Cdk2 inhibitory phosphorylation, we used gene targeting to make an endogenous Cdk2 knockin allele in human cells, termed Cdk2AF, which prevents Cdk2 T14 and Y15 phosphorylation. Cdk2AF caused premature S-phase entry, rapid cyclin E degradation, abnormal DNA replication, and genome instability. Cdk2AF cells also exhibited strikingly abnormal responses to replication stress, accumulated irreparable DNA damage, and permanently exited the cell cycle after transient exposure to S-phase inhibitors. Our results reveal the specific and essential roles of Cdk2 inhibitory phosphorylation in the successful execution of the replication stress checkpoint response and in maintaining genome integrity.
Project description:Genomic instability is a hallmark of human cancer cells. To prevent genomic instability, chromosomal DNA is faithfully duplicated in every cell division cycle, and eukaryotic cells have complex regulatory mechanisms to achieve this goal. Here, we show that untimely activation of replication origins during the G1 phase is genotoxic and induces genomic instability in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our data indicate that cells preserve a low level of the initiation factor Sld2 to prevent untimely initiation during the normal cell cycle in addition to controlling the phosphorylation of Sld2 and Sld3 by cyclin-dependent kinase. Although untimely activation of origin is inhibited on multiple levels, we show that deregulation of a single pathway can cause genomic instability, such as gross chromosome rearrangements (GCRs). Furthermore, simultaneous deregulation of multiple pathways causes an even more severe phenotype. These findings highlight the importance of having multiple inhibitory mechanisms to prevent the untimely initiation of chromosome replication to preserve stable genome maintenance over generations in eukaryotes.
Project description:The ability to reprogram adult cells into stem cells has raised hopes for novel therapies for many human diseases. Typical stem cell reprogramming protocols involve expression of a small number of genes in differentiated somatic cells with the c-Myc and Klf4 proto-oncogenes typically included in this mix. We have previously shown that expression of oncogenes leads to DNA replication stress and genomic instability, explaining the high frequency of p53 mutations in human cancers. Consequently, we wondered whether stem cell reprogramming also leads to genomic instability. To test this hypothesis, we examined stem cells induced by a variety of protocols. The first protocol, developed specifically for this study, reprogrammed primary mouse mammary cells into mammary stem cells by expressing c-Myc. Two other previously established protocols reprogrammed mouse embryo fibroblasts into induced pluripotent stem cells by expressing either three genes, Oct4, Sox2 and Klf4, or four genes, OSK plus c-Myc. Comparative genomic hybridization analysis of stem cells derived by these protocols revealed the presence of genomic deletions and amplifications, whose signature was suggestive of oncogene-induced DNA replication stress. The genomic aberrations were to a significant degree dependent on c-Myc expression and their presence could explain why p53 inactivation facilitates stem cell reprogramming.
Project description:DNA replication stress, a feature of human cancers, often leads to instability at specific genomic loci, such as the common fragile sites (CFSs). Cells experiencing DNA replication stress may also exhibit mitotic DNA synthesis (MiDAS). To understand the physiological function of MiDAS and its relationship to CFSs, we mapped, at high resolution, the genomic sites of MiDAS in cells treated with the DNA polymerase inhibitor aphidicolin. Sites of MiDAS were evident as well-defined peaks that were largely conserved between cell lines and encompassed all known CFSs. The MiDAS peaks mapped within large, transcribed, origin-poor genomic regions. In cells that had been treated with aphidicolin, these regions remained unreplicated even in late S phase; MiDAS then served to complete their replication after the cells entered mitosis. Interestingly, leading and lagging strand synthesis were uncoupled in MiDAS, consistent with MiDAS being a form of break-induced replication, a repair mechanism for collapsed DNA replication forks. Our results provide a better understanding of the mechanisms leading to genomic instability at CFSs and in cancer cells.
Project description:Oncogene-induced replication stress, for instance as a result of Cyclin E1 overexpression, causes genomic instability and has been linked to tumorigenesis. To survive high levels of replication stress, tumors depend on pathways to deal with these DNA lesions, which represent a therapeutically actionable vulnerability. We aimed to uncover the consequences of Cyclin E1 or Cdc25A overexpression on replication kinetics, mitotic progression, and the sensitivity to inhibitors of the WEE1 and ATR replication checkpoint kinases. We modeled oncogene-induced replication stress using inducible expression of Cyclin E1 or Cdc25A in non-transformed RPE-1 cells, either in a TP53 wild-type or TP53-mutant background. DNA fiber analysis showed Cyclin E1 or Cdc25A overexpression to slow replication speed. The resulting replication-derived DNA lesions were transmitted into mitosis causing chromosome segregation defects. Single cell sequencing revealed that replication stress and mitotic defects upon Cyclin E1 or Cdc25A overexpression resulted in genomic instability. ATR or WEE1 inhibition exacerbated the mitotic aberrancies induced by Cyclin E1 or Cdc25A overexpression, and caused cytotoxicity. Both these phenotypes were exacerbated upon p53 inactivation. Conversely, downregulation of Cyclin E1 rescued both replication kinetics, as well as sensitivity to ATR and WEE1 inhibitors. Taken together, Cyclin E1 or Cdc25A-induced replication stress leads to mitotic segregation defects and genomic instability. These mitotic defects are exacerbated by inhibition of ATR or WEE1 and therefore point to mitotic catastrophe as an underlying mechanism. Importantly, our data suggest that Cyclin E1 overexpression can be used to select patients for treatment with replication checkpoint inhibitors.
Project description:The discovery of molecular markers associated with various breast cancer subtypes has greatly improved the treatment and outcome of breast cancer patients. Unfortunately, breast cancer cells acquire resistance to various therapies. Mounting evidence suggests that resistance is rooted in the deregulation of the G1 phase regulatory machinery.To address whether deregulation of the G1 phase regulatory machinery contributes to radiotherapy resistance, the MCF10A immortalized human mammary epithelial cell line, ER-PR-Her2+ and ER-PR-Her2- breast cancer cell lines were irradiated. Colony formation assays measured radioresistance, while immunocytochemistry, Western blots, and flow cytometry measured the cell cycle, DNA replication, mitosis, apoptosis, and DNA breaks.Molecular markers common to all cell lines were overexpressed, including cyclin A1 and cyclin D1, which impinge on CDK2 and CDK4 activities, respectively. We addressed their potential role in radioresistance by generating cell lines stably expressing small hairpin RNAs (shRNA) against CDK2 and CDK4. None of the cell lines knocked down for CDK2 displayed radiosensitization. In contrast, all cell lines knocked down for CDK4 were significantly radiosensitized, and a CDK4/CDK6 inhibitor sensitized MDA-MB-468 to radiation induced apoptosis. Our data showed that silencing CDK4 significantly increases radiation induced cell apoptosis in cell lines without significantly altering cell cycle progression, or DNA repair after irradiation. Our results indicate lower levels of phospho-Bad at ser136 upon CDK4 silencing and ionizing radiation, which has been shown to signal apoptosis.Based on our data we conclude that knockdown of CDK4 activity sensitizes breast cancer cells to radiation by activating apoptosis pathways.
Project description:The cyclin E-cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) complex accelerates entry into the S phase of the cell cycle and promotes polyploidy, which may contribute to genomic instability in cancer cells. The effect of low molecular weight isoforms of cyclin E (LMW-E) overexpression on mitotic progression and its link to genomic instability were the focus of this study. Here, we show that full-length cyclin E (EL) and LMW-E overexpression impairs the G(2)-M transition differently by targeting dual-specificity phosphatase Cdc25C activity. We identify Cdc25C as an interaction partner and substrate for cyclin E/CDK2 kinase. Specifically, the cyclin E/CDK2 complex phosphorylates Cdc25C on Ser(214), leading to its premature activation, which coincides with higher cyclin B/CDK1 and Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) activities in an S-phase-enriched population that result in faster mitotic entry. Whereas EL overexpression leads to hyperactivation of Cdc25C, cyclin B/CDK1, and PLK1 in a G(2)-M-enriched population, LMW-E overexpression causes premature inactivation of Cdc25C and PLK1, leading to faster mitotic exit. In addition, LMW-E-overexpressing cells showed a reduction in the mitotic index in the presence of a spindle poison and faster degradation of cyclin B, suggesting an increased rate of mitotic slippage and adaptation to the spindle checkpoint. Lastly, downregulation of Cdc25C inhibits LMW-E-mediated chromosome missegregation, anaphase bridges, and centrosome amplification. These results suggest that the high levels of LMW-E isoforms found in breast cancer may contribute to cellular transformation and genomic instability by impairing mitotic progression involving Cdc25C.
Project description:Previous studies have shown conflicting data regarding cyclin D1/cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (Cdk2) complexes, and considering the widespread overexpression of cyclin D1 in cancer, it is important to fully understand their relevance. While many have shown that cyclin D1 and Cdk2 form active complexes, others have failed to show activity or association. Here, using a novel p21-PCNA fusion protein as well as p21 mutant proteins, we show that p21 is a required scaffolding protein, with cyclin D1 and Cdk2 failing to complex in its absence. These p21/cyclin D1/Cdk2 complexes are active and also bind the trimeric PCNA complex, with each trimer capable of independently binding distinct cyclin/Cdk complexes. We also show that increased p21 levels due to treatment with chemotherapeutic agents result in increased formation and kinase activity of cyclin D1/Cdk2 complexes, and that cyclin D1/Cdk2 complexes are able to phosphorylate a number of substrates in addition to Rb. Nucleophosmin and Cdh1, two proteins important for centrosome replication and implicated in the chromosomal instability of cancer, are shown to be phosphorylated by cyclin D1/Cdk2 complexes. Additionally, polypyrimidine tract binding protein-associated splicing factor (PSF) is identified as a novel Cdk2 substrate, being phosphorylated by Cdk2 complexed with either cyclin E or cyclin D1, and given the many functions of PSF, it could have important implications on cellular activity.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Centrosome aberrations can cause genomic instability and correlate with malignant progression in common human malignancies such as breast and prostate cancer. Deregulation of cyclin/cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) activity has previously been shown to be critically involved in centrosome overduplication. We therefore test here whether small molecule CDK inhibitors derived from the bis-indole indirubin can be used to suppress centrosome aberrations as a novel approach to chemoprevention of malignant progression.<h4>Results</h4>As expected, we found that the CDK inhibitor indirubin-3'-oxime (IO) suppresses centrosome amplification in breast cancer cells. However, we made the unexpected discovery that indirubin-derived compounds that have been chemically modified to be inactive as kinase inhibitors such as 1-methyl-indirubin-3'-oxime (MeIO) still significantly reduced centrosome amplification. All indirubins used in the present study are potent agonists of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), which is known for its important role in the cellular metabolism of xenobiotics. To corroborate our results, we first show that the coincidence of nuclear AhR overexpression, reflecting a constitutive activation, and numerical centrosome aberrations correlates significantly with malignancy in mammary tissue specimens. Remarkably, a considerable proportion (72.7%) of benign mammary tissue samples scored also positive for nuclear AhR overexpression. We furthermore provide evidence that continued expression of endogenous AhR is critical to promote centriole overduplication induced by cyclin E and that AhR and cyclin E may function in the same pathway. Overexpression of the AhR in the absence of exogenous ligands was found to rapidly disrupt centriole duplication control. Nonetheless, the AhR agonists IO and MeIO were still found to significantly reduce centriole overduplication stimulated by ectopic AhR expression.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our results indicate that continued expression of endogenous AhR promotes centrosome amplification in breast cancer cells in a pathway that involves cyclin E. AhR agonists such as indirubins inhibit centrosome amplification even when stimulated by ectopic expression of the AhR suggesting that these compounds are potentially useful for the chemoprevention of centrosome-mediated cell division errors and malignant progression in neoplasms in which the AhR is overexpressed. Future studies are warranted to determine whether individuals in which nuclear AhR overexpression is detected in benign mammary tissue are at a higher risk for developing pre-cancerous or cancerous breast lesions.