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Stem Cell Reports. 2015 Mar 10;4(3):374-89. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2015.01.019. Epub 2015 Feb 26.

CDK1 inhibition targets the p53-NOXA-MCL1 axis, selectively kills embryonic stem cells, and prevents teratoma formation.

Author information

1
Department of Cell and Tissue Biology and Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
2
Diabetes Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
3
Department of Cell and Tissue Biology and Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA; Department of Pathology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
4
Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA; Department of Urology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
5
Department of Pathology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA; Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
6
Department of Cell and Tissue Biology and Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA; Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA. Electronic address: andrei.goga@ucsf.edu.

Abstract

Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have adopted an accelerated cell-cycle program with shortened gap phases and precocious expression of cell-cycle regulatory proteins, including cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). We examined the effect of CDK inhibition on the pathways regulating proliferation and survival of ESCs. We found that inhibiting cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) leads to activation of the DNA damage response, nuclear p53 stabilization, activation of a subset of p53 target genes including NOXA, and negative regulation of the anti-apoptotic protein MCL1 in human and mouse ESCs, but not differentiated cells. We demonstrate that MCL1 is highly expressed in ESCs and loss of MCL1 leads to ESC death. Finally, we show that clinically relevant CDK1 inhibitors prevent formation of ESC-derived tumors and induce necrosis in established ESC-derived tumors. Our data demonstrate that ES cells are uniquely sensitive to CDK1 inhibition via a p53/NOXA/MCL1 pathway.

PMID:
25733019
PMCID:
PMC4375943
DOI:
10.1016/j.stemcr.2015.01.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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