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Dev Cell. 2003 Aug;5(2):273-84.

Nuclear translocation of LIM kinase mediates Rho-Rho kinase regulation of cyclin D1 expression.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


We previously reported that the Rho-Rho kinase pathway controls cyclin D1 expression by preventing its early G1 phase induction in response to Rac and/or Cdc42, thus increasing its dependence on ERK signaling and actin stress fiber formation. We now show that the Rho kinase effector LIM kinase is responsible for this effect. Surprisingly, inhibition of Rac-dependent cyclin D1 expression by LIM kinase is independent of both cofilin phosphorylation and actin polymerization. Instead, specific mutation of its nuclear localization and export sequences showed that LIM kinase acts in the nucleus to suppress Rac/Cdc42-dependent cyclin D1 expression. Our results therefore describe an unexpected role for LIM kinase that requires nuclear translocation. The effect of nuclear LIM kinase on cyclin D1 expression ultimately regulates the duration of G1 phase and the degree to which G1 phase progression depends on actin stress fiber formation and imposition of cellular tension.

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