The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27 is a putative tumor suppressor that is downregulated in the majority of human prostate cancers. The mechanism of p27 down-regulation in prostate cancers in unknown, but presumably involves increased proteolysis mediated by the SCFSKP2 ubiquitin ligase complex. Here we used the human prostate cancer cell line LNCaP, which undergoes G1 cell cycle arrest in response to androgen, to examine the role of the SKP2 F-box protein in p27 regulation in prostate cancer.
We show that androgen-induced G1 cell cycle arrest of LNCaP cells coincides with inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinase 2 activity and p27 accumulation caused by reduced p27 ubiquitylation activity. At the same time, androgen decreased expression of SKP2, but did not affect other components of SCFSKP2. Adenovirus-mediated overexpression of SKP2 led to ectopic down-regulation of p27 in asynchronous cells. Furthermore, SKP2 overexpression was sufficient to overcome p27 accumulation in androgen arrested cells by stimulating cellular p27 ubiquitylation activity. This resulted in transient activation of CDK2 activity, but was insufficient to override the androgen-induced G1 block.
Our studies suggest that SKP2 is a major determinant of p27 levels in human prostate cancer cells. Based on our in vitro studies, we suggest that overexpression of SKP2 may be one of the mechanisms that allow prostate cancer cells to escape growth control mediated by p27. Consequently, the SKP2 pathway may be a suitable target for novel prostate cancer therapies.
p27Kip1 is a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that regulates the G1/S transition. Increased degradation of p27Kip1 is associated with cellular transformation. Previous work demonstrated that the ubiquitin ligases KPC1/KPC2 and SCFSkp2 ubiquitinate p27Kip1 in G1 and early S, respectively. The regulation of these ligases remains unclear. We report here that the USP19 deubiquitinating enzyme interacts with and stabilizes KPC1, thereby modulating p27Kip1 levels and cell proliferation. Cells depleted of USP19 by RNA interference exhibited an inhibition of cell proliferation, progressing more slowly from G0/G1 to S phase, and accumulated p27Kip1. This increase in p27Kip1 was associated with normal levels of Skp2 but reduced levels of KPC1. The overexpression of KPC1 or the use of p27−/− cells inhibited significantly the growth defect observed upon USP19 depletion. KPC1 was ubiquitinated in vivo and stabilized by proteasome inhibitors and by overexpression of USP19, and it also coimmunoprecipitated with USP19. Our results identify USP19 as the first deubiquitinating enzyme that regulates the stability of a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor and demonstrate that progression through G1 to S phase is, like the metaphase-anaphase transition, controlled in a hierarchical, multilayered fashion.
Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CKIs) and Notch receptor activation have been shown to influence adult stem cells and progenitors by altering stem cell self-renewal and proliferation. Yet, no interaction between these molecular pathways has been defined. Here we show that ligand-independent and ligand-dependent activation of Notch1 induces transcription of the S phase kinase–associated protein 2 (SKP2), the F-box subunit of the ubiquitin-ligase complex SCFSKP2 that targets proteins for degradation. Up-regulation of SKP2 by Notch signaling enhances proteasome-mediated degradation of the CKIs, p27Kip1 and p21Cip1, and causes premature entry into S phase. Silencing of SKP2 by RNA interference in G1 stabilizes p27Kip1 and p21Cip1 and abolishes Notch effect on G1-S progression. Thus, SKP2 serves to link Notch1 activation with the cell cycle machinery. This novel pathway involving Notch/SKP2/CKIs connects a cell surface receptor with proximate mediators of cell cycle activity, and suggests a mechanism by which a known physiologic mediator of cell fate determination interfaces with cell cycle control.
The mammalian CIP/KIP family of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors (CKIs) comprises three proteins – p21Cip1/WAF1, p27Kip1, and p57Kip2 – that bind and inhibit cyclin–CDK complexes, which are key regulators of the cell cycle. CIP/KIP CKIs have additional independent functions in regulating transcription, apoptosis and actin cytoskeletal dynamics. These divergent functions are performed in distinct cellular compartments and contribute to the seemingly contradictory observation that the CKIs can both suppress and promote cancer. Multiple ubiquitin ligases (E3s) direct the proteasome-mediated degradation of p21, p27 and p57. This review analyzes recent data highlighting our current understanding of how distinct E3 pathways regulate subpopulations of the CKIs to control their diverse functions.
The universal cyclin-Cdk inhibitor p27Kip1 functions as a tumor suppressor and reduced levels of p27Kip1 connote poor prognosis in several human malignancies. p27Kip1 levels are predominately regulated by ubiquitin-mediated turnover of the protein, which is marked for destruction by the E3 ubiquitin ligase SCFSkp2 complex following its phosphorylation by the cyclin E-Cdk2 complex. Binding of phospho-p27Kip1 is directed by the Skp2 F-box protein, and this is greatly augmented by its allosteric regulator Cks1. We have established that programmed expression of c-Myc in the B cells of Eμ-Myc transgenic mice triggers p27Kip1 destruction by inducing Cks1, that this response controls Myc-driven proliferation, and that loss of Cks1 markedly delays Myc-induced lymphomagenesis and cancels the dissemination of these tumors. Here, we report that elevated levels of Skp2 are a characteristic of Eμ-Myc lymphomas and of human Burkitt lymphoma that bear MYC/immunoglobulin chromosomal translocations. As expected, Myc-mediated suppression of p27Kip1 was abolished in Skp2-null Eμ-Myc B cells. However, the impact of Skp2 loss on Myc-driven proliferation and lymphomagenesis was surprisingly modest compared to the effects of Cks1 loss. Collectively these findings suggest that Cks1 targets in addition to p27Kip1 are critical for Myc-driven proliferation and tumorigenesis.
Myc; Skp2; p27Kip1; lymphomagenesis
The stability of cell cycle checkpoint and regulatory proteins is controlled by the ubiquitin-proteasome degradation machinery. A critical regulator of cell cycle molecules is the E3 ubiquitin ligase SCFSkp2, known to facilitate the polyubiquitination and degradation of p27, E2F, and c-myc. SCFSkp2 is frequently deregulated in human cancers. In this study, we have revealed a novel link between the essential Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) nuclear antigen EBNA3C and the SCFSkp2 complex, providing a mechanism for cell cycle regulation by EBV. EBNA3C associates with cyclin A/cdk2 complexes, disrupting the kinase inhibitor p27 and enhancing kinase activity. The recruitment of SCFSkp2 activity to cyclin A complexes by EBNA3C results in ubiquitination and SCFSkp2-dependent degradation of p27. This is the first report of a viral protein usurping the function of the SCFSkp2 cell cycle regulatory machinery to regulate p27 stability, establishing the foundation for a mechanism by which EBV regulates cyclin/cdk activity in human cancers.
Ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis makes a major contribution to decreasing the levels of p27. Ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis of p27kip1 is growth and cell cycle regulated in two ways: first, skp2, a component of the E3-ubiquitin ligase, is growth regulated, and second, a kinase must phosphorylate the threonine-187 position on p27 so that it can be recognized by skp2. In vitro, p27 is phosphorylated by cyclin E- and cyclin A-associated cdk2 as well as by cyclin B1-cdk1. Having analyzed the effect of different cyclin-cyclin-dependent kinase complexes on ubiquitination of p27 in a reconstitution assay system, we now report a noncatalytic requirement for cyclin A-cdk2. Multiparameter flow cytometric analysis also indicates that p27 turnover correlates best with the onset of S phase, once the levels of cyclin A become nearly maximal. Finally, increasing the amount of both cyclin E-cdk2 and skp2 was less efficient at promoting p27 ubiquitination than was increasing the amount of cyclin A-cdk2 alone in extracts prepared from cultures of >93%-purified G1 cells. Together these lines of evidence suggest that cyclin A-cdk2 plays an ancillary noncatalytic role in the ubiquitination of p27 by the SCFskp2 complex.
Loss of the cell-cycle inhibitory protein p27Kip1 is associated with a poor prognosis in breast cancer. The decrease in the levels of this protein is the result of increased proteasome-dependent degradation, mediated and rate-limited by its specific ubiquitin ligase subunits S-phase kinase protein 2 (Skp2) and cyclin-dependent kinase subunit 1 (Cks1). Skp2 was recently found to be overexpressed in breast cancers, but the role of Cks1 in these cancers is unknown. The present study was undertaken to examine the role of Cks1 expression in breast cancer and its relation to p27Kip1 and Skp2 expression and to tumor aggressiveness.
The expressions of Cks1, Skp2, and p27Kip1 were examined immunohistochemically on formalin-fixed, paraffin-wax-embedded tissue sections from 50 patients with breast cancer and by immunoblot analysis on breast cancer cell lines. The relation between Cks1 levels and patients' clinical and histological parameters were examined by Cox regression and the Kaplan–Meier method.
The expression of Cks1 was strongly associated with Skp2 expression (r = 0.477; P = 0.001) and inversely with p27Kip1 (r = -0.726; P < 0.0001). Overexpression of Cks1 was associated with loss of tumor differentiation, young age, lack of expression of estrogen receptors and of progesterone receptors, and decreased disease-free (P = 0.0007) and overall (P = 0.041) survival. In addition, Cks1 and Skp2 expression were increased by estradiol in estrogen-dependent cell lines but were down-regulated by tamoxifen.
These results suggest that Cks1 is involved in p27Kip1 down-regulation and may have an important role in the development of aggressive tumor behavior in breast cancer.
The effect of thrombin on tumor cell cycle activation and spontaneous growth was examined in synchronized serum-starved tumor cell lines and a model of spontaneous prostate cancer development in TRAMP mice. BrdUrd incorporation and propidium iodide staining of prostate LNCaP cells arrested in G0 and treated with thrombin or serum revealed a 48- and 29-fold increase in S phase cells, respectively, at 8 hours. Similar results were obtained with TRAMP cells and a glioblastoma cell line, T98G. Cell cycle kinases and inhibitors in synchronized tumor cells revealed high levels of p27Kip1 and low levels of Skp2 and cyclins D1 and A. Addition of thrombin, TFLLRN, or serum down-regulated p27Kip1 with concomitant induction of Skp2, Cyclin D1, and Cyclin A with similar kinetics. LNCaP p27Kip1-transfected cells or Skp2 knockdown cells were refractory to thrombin-induced cell cycle activation. MicroRNA 222, an inhibitor of p27Kip1, was robustly up-regulated by thrombin. The in vitro observations were tested in vivo with transgenic TRAMP mice. Repetitive thrombin injection enhanced prostate tumor volume 6- to 8-fold (P < 0.04). Repetitive hirudin, a specific potent antithrombin, decreased tumor volume 13- to 24-fold (P < 0.04). Thus, thrombin stimulates tumor cell growth in vivo by down-regulation of p27Kip1.
Cyclin A-Cdk2 complexes bind to Skp1 and Skp2 during S phase, but the function of Skp1 and Skp2 is unclear. Skp1, together with F-box proteins like Skp2, are part of ubiquitin-ligase E3 complexes that target many cell cycle regulators for ubiquitination-mediated proteolysis. In this study, we investigated the potential regulation of cyclin A-Cdk2 activity by Skp1 and Skp2. We found that Skp2 can inhibit the kinase activity of cyclin A-Cdk2 in vitro, both by direct inhibition of cyclin A-Cdk2 and by inhibition of the activation of Cdk2 by cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)-activating kinase phosphorylation. Only the kinase activity of Cdk2, not of that of Cdc2 or Cdk5, is reduced by Skp2. Skp2 is phosphorylated by cyclin A-Cdk2 on residue Ser76, but nonphosphorylatable mutants of Skp2 can still inhibit the kinase activity of cyclin A-Cdk2 toward histone H1. The F box of Skp2 is required for binding to Skp1, and both the N-terminal and C-terminal regions of Skp2 are involved in binding to cyclin A-Cdk2. Furthermore, Skp2 and the CDK inhibitor p21Cip1/WAF1 bind to cyclin A-Cdk2 in a mutually exclusive manner. Overexpression of Skp2, but not Skp1, in mammalian cells causes a G1/S cell cycle arrest.
We previously reported that the USP19 deubiquitinating enzyme positively regulates proliferation in fibroblasts by stabilizing KPC1, a ubiquitin ligase for p27Kip1. To explore whether this role of USP19 extends to other cellular systems, we tested the effects of silencing of USP19 in several human prostate and breast models, including carcinoma cell lines. Depletion of USP19 inhibited proliferation in prostate cancer DU145, PC-3 and 22RV1 cells, which was similar to the pattern established in fibroblasts in that it was due to decreased progression from G1 to S phase and associated with a stabilization of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1. However, in contrast to previous findings in fibroblasts, the stabilization of p27Kip1 upon USP19 depletion was not associated with changes in the levels of the KPC1 ligase. USP19 could also regulate the growth of immortalized MCF10A breast epithelial cells through a similar mechanism. This regulatory pattern was lost, though, in breast cancer MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 cells and in prostate carcinoma LNCaP cells. Of interest, the transformation of fibroblasts through overexpression of an oncogenic form of Ras disrupted the USP19-mediated regulation of cell growth and of levels of p27Kip1 and KPC1. Thus, the cell context appears determinant for the ability of USP19 to regulate cell proliferation and p27Kip1 levels. This may occur through both KPC1 dependent and independent mechanisms. Moreover, a complete loss of USP19 function on cell growth may arise as a result of oncogenic transformation of cells.
Therapy-induced senescence (TIS), a cytostatic stress response in cancer cells, is induced inefficiently by current anticancer agents and radiation. The mechanisms that mediate TIS in cancer cells are not well defined. Herein, we characterize a robust senescence response both in vitro and in vivo to the quinone diaziquone (AZQ), previously identified in a high-throughput senescence-induction small-molecule screen. Using AZQ and several other agents that induce senescence, we screened a series of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors and found that p27Kip1 was induced in all investigated prostate cancer cell lines. The ubiquitin-ligase Skp2 negatively regulates p27Kip1 and, during TIS, is translocated to the cytoplasm before its expression is decreased in senescent cells. Overexpression of Skp2 blocks the effects of AZQ on senescence and p27Kip1 induction. We also find that stable long-term short hairpin RNA knockdown of Skp2 decreases proliferation but does not generate the complete senescence phenotype. We conclude that Skp2 participates in regulating TIS but, alone, is insufficient to induce senescence in cancer cells.
KPC2 (Kip1 ubiquitylation-promoting complex 2) together with KPC1 forms the ubiquitin ligase KPC, which regulates degradation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27 at the G1 phase of the cell cycle. KPC2 contains a ubiquitin-like (UBL) domain, two ubiquitin-associated (UBA) domains, and a heat shock chaperonin-binding (STI1) domain. We now show that KPC2 interacts with KPC1 through its UBL domain, with the 26S proteasome through its UBL and NH2-terminal UBA domains, and with polyubiquitylated proteins through its UBA domains. The association of KPC2 with KPC1 was found to stabilize KPC1 in a manner dependent on the STI1 domain of KPC2. KPC2 mutants that lacked either the NH2-terminal or the COOH-terminal UBA domain supported the polyubiquitylation of p27 in vitro, whereas a KPC2 derivative lacking the STI1 domain was greatly impaired in this regard. Depletion of KPC2 by RNA interference resulted in inhibition of p27 degradation at the G1 phase, and introduction of KPC2 derivatives into the KPC2-depleted cells revealed that the NH2-terminal UBA domain of KPC2 is essential for p27 degradation. These observations suggest that KPC2 cooperatively regulates p27 degradation with KPC1 and that the STI1 domain as well as the UBL and UBA domains of KPC2 are indispensable for its function.
Smad4/DPC4, a common signal transducer in transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling, is frequently inactivated in human cancer. Although the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway has been established as one mechanism of inactivating Smad4 in cancer, the specific ubiquitin E3 ligase for ubiquitination-mediated proteolysis of Smad4 cancer mutants remains unclear. In this report, we identified the SCFSkp2 complex as candidate Smad4-interacting proteins in an antibody array-based screen and further elucidated the functions of SCFSkp2 in mediating the metabolic instability of cancer-derived Smad4 mutants. We found that Skp2, the F-box component of SCFSkp2, physically interacted with Smad4 at the physiological levels. Several cancer-derived unstable mutants exhibited significantly increased binding to Skp2, which led to their increased ubiquitination and accelerated proteolysis. These results suggest an important role for the SCFSkp2 complex in switching cancer mutants of Smad4 to undergo polyubiquitination-dependent degradation.
The cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p27Kip1 (p27) is an important regulator of cell cycle progression controlling the transition from G to S-phase. Low p27 levels or accelerated p27 degradation correlate with excessive cell proliferation and poor prognosis in several forms of cancer. Phosphorylation of p27 at Thr187 by cyclin E–CDK2 is required to initiate the ubiquitination-proteasomal degradation of p27. Protecting p27 from ubiquitin-mediated proteasomal degradation may increase its potential in cancer gene therapy. Here we constructed a non-phosphorylatable, proteolysis-resistant p27 mutant containing a Thr187-to-Ala substitution (T187A) which is not degraded by ubiquitin-mediated proteasome pathway, and compared its effects on cell growth, cell-cycle control, and apoptosis with those of wild-type p27. In muristerone A-inducible cell lines over-expressing wild-type or mutant p27, the p27 mutant was more resistant to proteolysis in vivo and more potent in inducing cell-cycle arrest and other growth-inhibitory effects such as apoptosis. Transduction of p27(T187A) in breast cancer cells with a doxycycline-regulated adenovirus led to greater inhibition of proliferation, more extensive apoptosis, with a markedly reduced protein levels of cyclin E and increased accumulation of cyclin D1, compared with wild-type p27. These findings support the potential effectiveness of a degradation-resistant form of p27 in breast cancer gene therapy.
p27; Proteolysis; Breast cancer; T187A; Apoptosis; CDK, cyclin-dependent kinase; FITC, fluorescein isothiocyanate; Mur A, muristerone A; PARP, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase
Targeted proteasomal degradation mediated by E3 ubiquitin ligases controls cell cycle progression, and alterations in their activities likely contribute to malignant cell proliferation. S phase kinase-associated protein 2 (Skp2) is the F-box component of an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex that targets p27Kip1 and cyclin E1 to the proteasome. In human melanoma, Skp2 is highly expressed, regulated by mutant B-RAF, and required for cell growth. We show that Skp2 depletion in melanoma cells resulted in a tetraploid cell cycle arrest. Surprisingly, co-knockdown of p27Kip1 or cyclin E1 failed to prevent the tetraploid arrest induced by Skp2 knockdown. Enhanced Aurora A phosphorylation and repression of G2/M regulators cyclin B1, cyclin-dependent kinase 1, and cyclin A indicated a G2/early M phase arrest in Skp2-depleted cells. Furthermore, expression of nuclear localized cyclin B1 prevented tetraploid accumulation after Skp2 knockdown. The p53 status is most frequently wild type in melanoma, and the tetraploid arrest and down-regulation of G2/M regulatory genes were strongly dependent on wild-type p53 expression. In mutant p53 melanoma lines, Skp2 depletion did not induce cell cycle arrest despite up-regulation of p27Kip1. These data indicate that elevated Skp2 expression may overcome p53-dependent cell cycle checkpoints in melanoma cells and highlight Skp2 actions that are independent of p27Kip1 degradation.
3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a potential chemopreventive phytochemical derived from Brassica vegetables. In this study we characterized the effect of DIM on cell cycle regulation in both androgen dependent LNCaP and androgen receptor negative-p53 mutant DU145 human prostate cancer cells. DIM had an antiproliferative effect on both LNCaP and DU145 cells, as it significantly inhibited [3H]-thymidine incorporation. FACS analysis revealed a DIM mediated G1 cell cycle arrest. DIM strongly inhibited the expression of cdk2 and cdk4 protein and increased expression of the cell cycle inhibitor p27Kip1 protein in LNCaP and DU145 cells. Promoter deletion studies with p27Kip1 reporter gene constructs showed that this DIM-mediated increase in p27Kip1 was dependent on the Sp1 transcription factor. Moreover, using a dominant negative inhibitor of p38 MAPK, we showed that the induction of p27Kip1 and subsequent G1 arrest by DIM involves activation of the p38 MAPK pathway in the DU145 cells. Taken together, our results indicate that DIM is able to stop the cell cycle progression of human prostate cancer cells regardless of their androgen-dependence and p53 status, by differentially modulating cell cycle regulatory pathways. The Sp1 and p38 MAPK pathways mediate the DIM cell cycle regulatory effect in DU145 cells.
3; 3′-Diinolylmethane; Prostate cancer; Cell cycle arrest; p27Kip1; p38 MAPK; Cancer
The levels of proteins that control the cell cycle are regulated by ubiquitin-mediated degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) by substrate-specific E3 ubiquitin ligases. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, p27kip1 (p27), that blocks the cell cycle in G1, is ubiquitylated by the E3 ligase SCF-Skp2/Cks1 for degradation by the UPS. In turn, Skp2 and Cks1 are ubiquitylated by the E3 ligase complex APC/Cdh1 for destruction thereby maintaining abundant levels of nuclear p27. We previously showed that perpetual proteasomal degradation of p27 is an early event in Type I endometrial carcinogenesis (ECA), an estrogen (E2)-induced cancer. The present studies demonstrate that E2 stimulates growth of ECA cell lines and normal primary endometrial epithelial cells (EECs) and induces MAPK-ERK1/2-dependent phosphorylation of p27 on Thr187, a prerequisite for p27 ubiquitylation by nuclear SCF-Skp2/Cks1 and subsequent degradation. In addition, E2 decreases the E3 ligase [APC]Cdh1 leaving Skp2 and Cks1 intact to cause p27 degradation. Furthermore, knocking-down Skp2 prevents E2-induced p27 degradation and growth stimulation suggesting that the pathogenesis of E2-induced ECA is dependent on Skp2-mediated degradation of p27. Conversely, progesterone (Pg) as an inhibitor of endometrial proliferation increases nuclear p27 and Cdh1 in primary EECs and ECA cells. Pg, also increases Cdh1 binding to APC to form the active E3ligase. Knocking-down Cdh1 obviates Pg-induced stabilization of p27 and growth inhibition. Notably, neither E2 nor Pg affected transcription of Cdh1, Skp2, Cks1 nor p27. These studies provide new insights into hormone regulation of cell proliferation through the UPS. The data implicates that preventing nuclear p27 degradation by blocking Skp2/Cks1-mediated degradation of p27 or increasing Cdh1 to mediate degradation of Skp2-Cks1 are potential strategies for the prevention and treatment of ECA.
CDK9 paired with cyclin T1 forms the human P-TEFb complex and stimulates productive transcription through phosphorylation of the RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain. Here we report that CDK9 is ubiquitinated and degraded by the proteasome whereas cyclin T1 is stable. SCFSKP2 was recruited to CDK9/cyclin T1 via cyclin T1 in an interaction requiring its PEST domain. CDK9 ubiquitination was modulated by cyclin T1 and p45SKP2. CDK9 accumulated in p45SKP2−/− cells, and its expression during the cell cycle was periodic. The transcriptional activity of CDK9/cyclin T1 on the class II major histocompatibility complex promoter could be regulated by CDK9 degradation in vivo. We propose a novel mechanism whereby recruitment of SCFSKP2 is mediated by cyclin T1 while ubiquitination occurs exclusively on CDK9.
The SCFskp2 complex is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that is known to target a number of cell cycle regulators, including cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, for proteolysis. While its role in regulation of cell division has been well documented, additional functions in differentiation, including in the nervous system, have not been investigated.
Using Xenopus as a model system, here we demonstrate that skp2 has an additional role in regulation of differentiation of primary neurons, the first neurons to differentiate in the neural plate. Xenopus skp2 shows a dynamic expression pattern in early embryonic neural tissue and depletion of skp2 results in generation of extra primary neurons. In contrast, over-expression of skp2 inhibits neurogenesis in a manner dependent on its ability to act as part of the SCFskp2 complex. Moreover, inhibition of neurogenesis by skp2 occurs upstream of the proneural gene encoding NeuroD and prior to cell cycle exit. We have previously demonstrated that the Xenopus cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor Xic1 is essential for primary neurogenesis at an early stage, and before these cells exit the cell cycle. We show that SCFskp2 degrades Xic1 in embryos and this contributes to the ability of skp2 to regulate neurogenesis.
We conclude that the SCFskp2 complex has functions in the control of neuronal differentiation additional to its role in cell cycle regulation. Thus, it is well placed to be a co-ordinating factor regulating both cell proliferation and cell differentiation directly.
Cks1 is an activator of the SCFSkp2 ubiquitin ligase complex that targets the cell cycle inhibitor p27Kip1 for degradation. The loss of Cks1 results in p27Kip1 accumulation and decreased proliferation and inhibits tumorigenesis. We identify here a function of Cks1 in mammalian cell cycle regulation that is independent of p27Kip1. Specifically, Cks1−/−; p27Kip1−/− mouse embryonic fibroblasts retain defects in the G1-S phase transition that are coupled with decreased Cdk2-associated kinase activity and defects in proliferation that are associated with Cks1 loss. Furthermore, concomitant loss of Cks1 does not rescue the tumor suppressor function of p27Kip1 that is manifest in various organs of p27Kip1−/− mice. In contrast, defects in mitotic entry and premature senescence manifest in Cks1−/− cells are p27Kip1 dependent. Collectively, these findings establish p27Kip1-independent functions of Cks1 in regulating the G1-S transition.
p27Kip1 plays a major role as a negative regulator of the cell cycle. The regulation of p27Kip1 degradation is mediated by its specific ubiquitin ligase subunits S-phase kinase protein (Skp) 2 and cyclin-dependent kinase subunit (Cks) 1. However, little is known regarding the prognostic utility of p27Kip1, Skp2 and Cks1 expression in renal cell carcinoma.
Immunohistochemistry was performed for p27Kip1, Skp2 and Cks1 in tissue microarrays of 482 renal cell carcinomas with follow-up. The data were correlated with clinicopathological features. The univariate and multivariate survival analyses were also performed to determine their prognostic significance.
Immunoreactivity of p27Kip1, Skp2 and Cks1 was noted in 357, 71 and 82 patients, respectively. Skp2 and Cks1 expression were not noted in chromophobe cancers. A strong correlation was found between Skp2 and Cks1 expression (P < 0.001), both of which were inversely related to p27Kip1 levels (P = 0.006 and P < 0.001), especially in primary and clear-cell cancers. Low p27Kip1 expression and Skp2 expression were correlated with larger tumor size and higher stage, as well as tumor necrosis. Cks1 expression was only correlated with tumor size. In univariate analysis, low p27Kip1 expression, Skp2 and Cks1 expression were all associated with a poor prognosis, while in multivariate analysis, only low p27Kip1 expression were independent prognostic factors for both cancer specific survival and recurrence-free survival in patients with RCC.
Our results suggest that immunohistochemical expression levels of p27Kip1, Skp2 and Cks1 may serve as markers with prognostic value in renal cell carcinoma.
p27kip1 (p27) is a cdk-inhibitory protein with an important role in the proliferation of many cell types. SCFSkp2 is the best studied regulator of p27 levels, but Skp2-mediated p27 degradation is not essential in vivo or in vitro. The molecular pathway that compensates for loss of Skp2-mediated p27 degradation has remained elusive. Here, we combine vascular injury in the mouse with genome-wide profiling to search for regulators of p27 during cell cycling in vivo. This approach, confirmed by RT-qPCR and mechanistic analysis in primary cells, identified miR-221/222 as a compensatory regulator of p27. The expression of miR221/222 is sensitive to proteasome inhibition with MG132 suggesting a link between p27 regulation by miRs and the proteasome. We then examined the roles of miR-221/222 and Skp2 in cell cycle inhibition by prostacyclin (PGI2), a potent cell cycle inhibitor acting through p27. PGI2 inhibited both Skp2 and miR221/222 expression, but epistasis, ectopic expression, and time course experiments showed that miR-221/222, rather than Skp2, was the primary target of PGI2. PGI2 activates Gs to increase cAMP, and increasing intracellular cAMP phenocopies the effect of PGI2 on p27, miR-221/222, and mitogenesis. We conclude that miR-221/222 compensates for loss of Skp2-mediated p27 degradation during cell cycling, contributes to proteasome-dependent G1 phase regulation of p27, and accounts for the anti-mitogenic effect of cAMP during growth inhibition.
HTLV-1 Tax can induce senescence by up-regulating the levels of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21CIP1/WAF1 and p27KIP1. Tax increases p27KIP1 protein stability by activating the anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) precociously, causing degradation of Skp2 and inactivation of SCFSkp2, the E3 ligase that targets p27KIP1. The rate of p21CIP1/WAF1 protein turnover, however, is unaffected by Tax. Rather, the mRNA of p21CIP1/WAF1 is greatly up-regulated. Here we show that Tax increases p21 mRNA expression by transcriptional activation and mRNA stabilization. Transcriptional activation of p21CIP1/WAF1 by Tax occurs in a p53-independent manner and requires two tumor growth factor-β-inducible Sp1 binding sites in the -84 to -60 region of the p21CIP1/WAF1 promoter. Tax binds Sp1 directly, and the CBP/p300-binding activity of Tax is required for p21CIP1/WAF1 trans-activation. Tax also increases the stability of p21CIP1/WAF1 transcript. Several Tax mutants trans-activated the p21 promoter, but were attenuated in stabilizing p21CIP1/WAF1 mRNA, and were less proficient in increasing p21CIP1/WAF1 expression. The possible involvement of Tax-mediated APC/C activation in p21CIP1/WAF1 mRNA stabilization is discussed.
Traversal from G1 to S-phase in cycling cells of budding yeast is dependent on the destruction of the S-phase cyclin/CDK inhibitor SIC1. Genetic data suggest that SIC1 proteolysis is mediated by the ubiquitin pathway and requires the action of CDC34, CDC4, CDC53, SKP1, and CLN/CDC28. As a first step in defining the functions of the corresponding gene products, we have reconstituted SIC1 multiubiquitination in DEAE-fractionated yeast extract. Multiubiquitination depends on cyclin/CDC28 protein kinase and the CDC34 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme. Ubiquitin chain formation is abrogated in cdc4ts mutant extracts and assembly restored by the addition of exogenous CDC4, suggesting a direct role for this protein in SIC1 multiubiquitination. Deletion analysis of SIC1 indicates that the N-terminal 160 residues are both necessary and sufficient to serve as substrate for CDC34-dependent ubiquitination. The complementary C-terminal segment of SIC1 binds to the S-phase cyclin CLB5, indicating a modular structure for SIC1.