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Oncogene. 2011 May 12;30(19):2188-97. doi: 10.1038/onc.2010.607. Epub 2011 Jan 17.

Activated ROCK II by-passes the requirement of the CDK2 activity for centrosome duplication and amplification.

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  • 1Molecular Oncology Program, H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL 33612-9416, USA.


Initiation of centrosome duplication and DNA replication is coupled, which is primarily achieved by the late G1 phase-specific activation of cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2)-cyclin E, which triggers both centrosome duplication and DNA replication. Uncoupling of these two events contributes to overduplication of centrosomes, resulting in the presence of more than two centrosomes (centrosome amplification). Centrosome amplification, which is frequently observed in cancers, contributes to tumor development through destabilizing genomes. Nucleophosmin (NPM/B23) is one of the phosphorylation targets of CDK2-cyclin E for the initiation of centrosome duplication. It has been found that NPM/B23 phosphorylated on Thr199 by CDK2-cyclin E acquires a high binding affinity to ROCK II kinase. The Thr199-phosphorylated NPM/B23 physically interacts with and super-activates the centrosomally localized ROCK II, which is a critical event for centrosomes to initiate duplication. Here, we provide direct evidence for the activation of ROCK II as a primary and sufficient downstream event of CDK2-cyclin E for the initiation of centrosome duplication and for the induction of centrosome amplification.

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