Altered G1 signaling order and commitment point in cells proliferating without CDK4/6 activity.
ABSTRACT: 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/CCDH1 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/CCDH1 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/CCDH1 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.
Project description:Most Cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) are redundant for normal cell division. Here we tested whether these redundancies are maintained during cell cycle recovery after a DNA damage-induced arrest in G1. Using non-transformed RPE-1 cells, we find that while Cdk4 and Cdk6 act redundantly during normal S-phase entry, they both become essential for S-phase entry after DNA damage in G1. We show that this is due to a greater overall dependency for Cdk4/6 activity, rather than to independent functions of either kinase. In addition, we show that inactivation of pocket proteins is sufficient to overcome the inhibitory effects of complete Cdk4/6 inhibition in otherwise unperturbed cells, but that this cannot revert the effects of Cdk4/6 inhibition in DNA damaged cultures. Indeed, we could confirm that, in addition to inactivation of pocket proteins, Cdh1-dependent anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C<sup>Cdh1</sup>) activity needs to be inhibited to promote S-phase entry in damaged cultures. Collectively, our data indicate that DNA damage in G1 creates a unique situation where high levels of Cdk4/6 activity are required to inactivate pocket proteins and APC/C<sup>Cdh1</sup> to promote the transition from G1 to S phase.
Project description:Proliferating cells must cross a point of no return before they replicate their DNA and divide. This commitment decision plays a fundamental role in cancer and degenerative diseases and has been proposed to be mediated by phosphorylation of retinoblastoma (Rb) protein. Here, we show that inactivation of the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC(Cdh1)) has the necessary characteristics to be the point of no return for cell-cycle entry. Our study shows that APC(Cdh1) inactivation is a rapid, bistable switch initiated shortly before the start of DNA replication by cyclin E/Cdk2 and made irreversible by Emi1. Exposure to stress between Rb phosphorylation and APC(Cdh1) inactivation, but not after APC(Cdh1) inactivation, reverted cells to a mitogen-sensitive quiescent state, from which they can later re-enter the cell cycle. Thus, APC(Cdh1) inactivation is the commitment point when cells lose the ability to return to quiescence and decide to progress through the cell cycle.
Project description: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:The anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that regulates cell cycle progression in proliferating cells. To enter the S-phase, APC/C must be inactivated by phosphorylation of its cofactor, Cdh1. In post-mitotic cells such as neurons APC/C-Cdh1 complex is highly active and responsible for the continuous degradation of mitotic cyclins. However, the specific molecular pathway that determines neuronal cell cycle blockade in post-mitotic neurons is unknown. Here, we show that activation of glutamatergic receptors in rat cortical primary neurons endogenously triggers cyclin-dependent kinase-5 (Cdk5)-mediated phosphorylation of Cdh1 leading to its cytoplasmic accumulation and disassembly from the APC3 core protein, causing APC/C inactivation. Conversely, pharmacological or genetic inhibition of Cdk5 promotes Cdh1 ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. Furthermore, we show that Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation and inactivation of Cdh1 leads to p27 depletion, which switches on the cyclin D1-cyclin-dependent kinase-4 (Cdk4)-retinoblastoma protein (pRb) pathway to allow the S-phase entry of neurons. However, neurons do not proceed through the cell cycle and die by apoptosis. These results indicate that APC/C-Cdh1 actively suppresses an aberrant cell cycle entry and death of neurons, highlighting its critical function in neuroprotection.
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:During early G1 phase, Rb is exclusively mono-phosphorylated by cyclin D:Cdk4/6, generating 14 different isoforms with specific binding patterns to E2Fs and other cellular protein targets. While mono-phosphorylated Rb is dispensable for early G1 phase progression, interfering with cyclin D:Cdk4/6 kinase activity prevents G1 phase progression, questioning the role of cyclin D:Cdk4/6 in Rb inactivation. To dissect the molecular functions of cyclin D:Cdk4/6 during cell cycle entry, we generated a single cell reporter for Cdk2 activation, RB inactivation and cell cycle entry by CRISPR/Cas9 tagging endogenous p27 with mCherry. Through single cell tracing of Cdk4i cells, we identified a time-sensitive early G1 phase specific Cdk4/6-dependent phosphorylation gradient that regulates cell cycle entry timing and resides between serum-sensing and cyclin E:Cdk2 activation. To reveal the substrate identity of the Cdk4/6 phosphorylation gradient, we performed whole proteomic and phospho-proteomic mass spectrometry, and identified 147 proteins and 82 phospho-peptides that significantly changed due to Cdk4 inhibition in early G1 phase. In summary, we identified novel (non-Rb) cyclin D:Cdk4/6 substrates that connects early G1 phase functions with cyclin E:Cdk2 activation and Rb inactivation by hyper-phosphorylation.
Project description:APC/Cdh1 is a major cell cycle regulator and its function has been implicated in DNA damage repair; however, its exact role remains unclear. Using affinity purification coupled with mass spectrometry, we identified Claspin as a novel Cdh1-interacting protein and further demonstrated that Claspin is a novel Cdh1 ubiquitin substrate. As a result, inactivation of Cdh1 leads to activation of the Claspin/Chk1 pathway. Previously, we demonstrated that Rb interacts with Cdh1 to influence its ability to degrade Skp2. Here, we report that Cdh1 reciprocally regulates the Rb pathway through competing with E2F1 to bind the hypophosphorylated form of Rb. Although inactivation of Cdh1 in HeLa cells, with defective p53/Rb pathways, led to premature S phase entry, acute depletion of Cdh1 in primary human fibroblasts resulted in premature senescence. Acute loss of many other major tumor suppressors, including PTEN and VHL, also induces premature senescence in a p53- or Rb-dependent manner. Similarly, we showed that inactivation of the p53/Rb pathways by overexpression of SV40 LT-antigen partially reversed Cdh1 depletion-induced growth arrest. Therefore, loss of Cdh1 is only beneficial to cells with abnormal p53 and Rb pathways, which helps explain why Cdh1 loss is not frequently found in many tumors.
Project description:B-type cyclin-dependent kinase activity must be turned off for mitotic exit and G1 stabilization. B-type cyclin degradation is mediated by the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C); during and after mitotic exit, APC/C is dependent on Cdh1. Cdh1 is in turn phosphorylated and inactivated by cyclin-CDK at the Start transition of the new cell cycle. We developed a biosensor to assess the cell cycle dynamics of APC/C-Cdh1. Nuclear exit of the G1 transcriptional repressor Whi5 is a known marker of Start; APC/C-Cdh1 is inactivated 12 min after Whi5 nuclear exit with little measurable cell-to-cell timing variability. Multiple phosphorylation sites on Cdh1 act in a redundant manner to repress its activity. Reducing the number of phosphorylation sites on Cdh1 can to some extent be tolerated for cell viability, but it increases variability in timing of APC/C-Cdh1 inactivation. Mutants with minimal subsets of phosphorylation sites required for viability exhibit striking stochasticity in multiple responses including budding, nuclear division, and APC/C-Cdh1 activity itself. Multiple cyclin-CDK complexes, as well as the stoichiometric inhibitor Acm1, contribute to APC/C-Cdh1 inactivation; this redundant control is likely to promote rapid and reliable APC/C-Cdh1 inactivation immediately following the Start transition.
Project description:The anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) is an ubiquitin ligase and core component of the cell-cycle oscillator. During G1 phase, APC/C binds to its substrate receptor Cdh1 and APC/C(Cdh1) plays an important role in restricting S-phase entry and maintaining genome integrity. We describe a reciprocal feedback circuit between APC/C and a second ubiquitin ligase, the SCF (Skp1-Cul1-F box). We show that cyclin F, a cell-cycle-regulated substrate receptor (F-box protein) for the SCF, is targeted for degradation by APC/C. Furthermore, we establish that Cdh1 is itself a substrate of SCF(cyclin F). Cyclin F loss impairs Cdh1 degradation and delays S-phase entry, and this delay is reversed by simultaneous removal of Cdh1. These data indicate that the coordinated, temporal ordering of cyclin F and Cdh1 degradation, organized in a double-negative feedback loop, represents a fundamental aspect of cell-cycle control. This mutual antagonism could be a feature of other oscillating systems.
Project description:Cdh1, a coactivator of the anaphase-promoting complex (APC), is a potential tumor suppressor. Cdh1 ablation promotes precocious S-phase entry, but it was unclear how this affects DNA replication dynamics while contributing to genomic instability and tumorigenesis. We find that Cdh1 depletion causes early S-phase onset in conjunction with increase in Rb/E2F1-mediated cyclin E1 expression, but reduced levels of cyclin E1 protein promote this transition. We hypothesize that this is due to a weakened cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CKI)-cyclin-dependent kinase 2 positive-feedback loop, normally generated by APC-Cdh1-mediated proteolysis of Skp2. Indeed, Cdh1 depletion increases Skp2 abundance while diminishing levels of the CKI p27. This lowers the level of cyclin E1 needed for S-phase entry and delays cyclin E1 proteolysis during S-phase progression while corresponding to slowed replication fork movement and reduced frequency of termination events. In summary, using both experimental and computational approaches, we show that APC-Cdh1 establishes a stimulus-response relationship that promotes S phase by ensuring that proper levels of p27 accumulate during G1 phase, and defects in its activation accelerate the timing of S-phase onset while prolonging its progression.