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Cell Cycle. 2005 Feb;4(2):330-8. Epub 2005 Feb 21.

Multiple functions of D-type cyclins can antagonize pRb-mediated suppression of proliferation.

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Harvard Medical School, Department of Pathology, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


The most well understood function of the D-type cyclins is to activate the G(1) kinases, cdk4 and cdk6, and target the retinoblastoma gene product (pRb) for phosphorylation and inactivation. pRb can suppress S phase entry, cause a transient G(1) arrest following DNA damage, and is critical in establishing terminal cell cycle withdrawal in cells exposed to differentiation or senescence-inducing signals. Each of these functions of pRb can be demonstrated in cultured cells derived from human tumors that have suffered RB1 gene inactivation. In such in vitro assays, coexpression of D type cyclins has been shown to inhibit the function of pRb, likely reflecting an oncogenic role of cyclin D1 in vivo. Two regions of cyclin D, the LxCxE pRb-binding motif, and the cyclin box, are thought to be critical for the proper function of cyclin D. Here we show that the LxCxE motif is dispensable in cyclin D1 for all functions tested, but is required by cyclin D2. This observation suggests that there is a functional difference between cyclins D1 and D2 in pRb regulation, and argues against complete functional redundancy of these D cyclins. In addition, the ability of cyclins D1 and D2 to activate cdk partners is required for induction of pRb phosphorylation and S phase entry. However, mutant forms of cyclins D1 and D2 that are incapable of activating kinase partners were still able to prevent pRb-induced senescence. Thus, D cyclins have both kinase-dependent and kinase-independent mechanisms of interfering with proliferation arrest and senescence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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