CDK6

Gene Summary

Gene:CDK6; cyclin-dependent kinase 6
Aliases: MCPH12, PLSTIRE
Location:7q21-q22
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the cyclin-dependent protein kinase (CDK) family. CDK family members are highly similar to the gene products of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cdc28, and Schizosaccharomyces pombe cdc2, and are known to be important regulators of cell cycle progression. This kinase is a catalytic subunit of the protein kinase complex that is important for cell cycle G1 phase progression and G1/S transition. The activity of this kinase first appears in mid-G1 phase, which is controlled by the regulatory subunits including D-type cyclins and members of INK4 family of CDK inhibitors. This kinase, as well as CDK4, has been shown to phosphorylate, and thus regulate the activity of, tumor suppressor protein Rb. Expression of this gene is up-regulated in some types of cancer. Multiple alternatively spliced variants, encoding the same protein, have been identified. [provided by RefSeq, Nov 2009]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:cyclin-dependent kinase 6
HPRD
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 27 February 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 27 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: CDK6 (cancer-related)

Taniguchi H, Hasegawa H, Sasaki D, et al.
Heat shock protein 90 inhibitor NVP-AUY922 exerts potent activity against adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma cells.
Cancer Sci. 2014; 105(12):1601-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma (ATL), an aggressive neoplasm etiologically associated with HTLV-1, is a chemoresistant malignancy. Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) is involved in folding and functions as a chaperone for multiple client proteins, many of which are important in tumorigenesis. In this study, we examined NVP-AUY922 (AUY922), a second generation isoxazole-based non-geldanamycin HSP90 inhibitor, and confirmed its effects on survival of ATL-related cell lines. Analysis using FACS revealed that AUY922 induced cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis; it also inhibited the growth of primary ATL cells, but not of normal PBMCs. AUY922 caused strong upregulation of HSP70, a surrogate marker of HSP90 inhibition, and a dose-dependent decrease in HSP90 client proteins associated with cell survival, proliferation, and cell cycle in the G1 phase, including phospho-Akt, Akt, IKKα, IKKβ, IKKγ, Cdk4, Cdk6, and survivin. Interestingly, AUY922 induced downregulation of the proviral integration site for Moloney murine leukemia virus (PIM) in ATL cells. The PIM family (PIM-1, -2, -3) is made up of oncogenes that encode a serine/threonine protein kinase family. As PIM kinases have multiple functions involved in cell proliferation, survival, differentiation, apoptosis, and tumorigenesis, their downregulation could play an important role in AUY922-induced death of ATL cells. In fact, SGI-1776, a pan-PIM kinase inhibitor, successfully inhibited the growth of primary ATL cells as well as ATL-related cell lines. Our findings suggest that AUY922 is an effective therapeutic agent for ATL, and PIM kinases may be a novel therapeutic target.

Huang M, Tang SN, Upadhyay G, et al.
Rottlerin suppresses growth of human pancreatic tumors in nude mice, and pancreatic cancer cells isolated from Kras(G12D) mice.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 353(1):32-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
The purpose of the study was to examine the molecular mechanisms by which rottlerin inhibited growth of human pancreatic tumors in Balb C nude mice, and pancreatic cancer cells isolated from Kras(G12D) mice. AsPC-1 cells were injected subcutaneously into Balb c nude mice, and tumor-bearing mice were treated with rottlerin. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were measured by Ki67 and TUNEL staining, respectively. The expression of components of Akt, Notch, and Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) pathways were measured by the immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis, and/or q-RT-PCR. The effects of rottlerin on pancreatic cancer cells isolated from Kras(G12D) mice were also examined. Rottlerin-treated mice showed a significant inhibition in tumor growth which was associated with suppression of cell proliferation, activation of capase-3 and cleavage of PARP. Rottlerin inhibited the expression of Bcl-2, cyclin D1, CDK2 and CDK6, and induced the expression of Bax in tumor tissues compared to untreated control. Rottlerin inhibited the markers of angiogenesis (Cox-2, VEGF, VEGFR, and IL-8), and metastasis (MMP-2 and MMP-9), thus blocking production of tumorigenic mediators in tumor microenvironment. Rottlerin also inhibited epithelial-mesenchymal transition by up-regulating E-cadherin and inhibiting the expression of Slug and Snail. Furthermore, rottlerin treatment of xenografted tumors or pancreatic cancer cells isolated from Kras(G12D) mice showed a significant inhibition in Akt, Shh and Notch pathways compared to control groups. These data suggest that rottlerin can inhibit pancreatic cancer growth by suppressing multiple signaling pathways which are constitutively active in pancreatic cancer. Taken together, our data show that the rottlerin induces apoptosis and inhibits pancreatic cancer growth by targeting Akt, Notch and Shh signaling pathways, and provide a new therapeutic approach with translational potential for humans.

Heilmann AM, Perera RM, Ecker V, et al.
CDK4/6 and IGF1 receptor inhibitors synergize to suppress the growth of p16INK4A-deficient pancreatic cancers.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(14):3947-58 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/07/2015 Related Publications
Loss-of-function mutations in p16(INK4A) (CDKN2A) occur in approximately 80% of sporadic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), contributing to its early progression. Although this loss activates the cell-cycle-dependent kinases CDK4/6, which have been considered as drug targets for many years, p16(INK4A)-deficient PDAC cells are inherently resistant to CDK4/6 inhibitors. This study searched for targeted therapies that might synergize with CDK4/6 inhibition in this setting. We report that the IGF1R/IR inhibitor BMS-754807 cooperated with the CDK4/6 inhibitor PD-0332991 to strongly block proliferation of p16(INK4A)-deficient PDAC cells in vitro and in vivo. Sensitivity to this drug combination correlated with reduced activity of the master cell growth regulator mTORC1. Accordingly, replacing the IGF1R/IR inhibitor with the rapalog inhibitor temsirolimus broadened the sensitivity of PDAC cells to CDK4/6 inhibition. Our results establish targeted therapy combinations with robust cytostatic activity in p16(INK4A)-deficient PDAC cells and possible implications for improving treatment of a broad spectrum of human cancers characterized by p16(INK4A) loss.

Ueda Y, Ando T, Nanjo S, et al.
DNA methylation of microRNA-124a is a potential risk marker of colitis-associated cancer in patients with ulcerative colitis.
Dig Dis Sci. 2014; 59(10):2444-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colitis-associated cancer (CAC) is the serious complication of ulcerative colitis (UC), and molecular markers to evaluate the individual risk are required. MicroRNA-124a (miR - 124a) is known to have tumor-suppressive function and be methylation-silenced during exposure to chronic inflammation.
AIM: We analyzed whether higher methylation levels of miR-124a genes correlated with the higher epidemiologic risk of CAC development in UC patients.
METHODS: Forty UC patients without CAC, four patients with CAC or dysplasia, eight sporadic colorectal cancer (S-CRC) patients, and 12 healthy volunteers (HV) were studied. Methylation status of miR-124a genes (miR-124a-1, -2, and -3) was analyzed by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP), and methylation levels were quantified by real-time MSP. Expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 6 (CDK6), a target of miR-124a, was analyzed by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Three miR-124a genes were methylated in all neoplastic tissues (CAC, dysplasia, and S-CRC), and CDK6 was highly expressed in those tissues. Regarding disease extent, mean methylation levels of miR-124a-3 in HV, non-pancolitis, and pancolitis were 2.0, 5.3, and 12.3%, respectively, and were significantly higher in pancolitis than in HV (p < 0.01). Regarding disease duration, mean methylation levels in short-term and long-standing UC patients were 2.5 and 13.2%, respectively. Long-standing UC patients had significantly higher methylation levels than HV (p < 0.01). Moreover, UC patients with both pancolitis and long-standing had 7.4-fold higher methylation levels than those without these risk factors.
CONCLUSIONS: MiR-124a genes are methylated during carcinogenesis in UC patients. The methylation level of miR-124a-3 is a promising marker for estimating individual risk for CAC.

Zhang EB, Kong R, Yin DD, et al.
Long noncoding RNA ANRIL indicates a poor prognosis of gastric cancer and promotes tumor growth by epigenetically silencing of miR-99a/miR-449a.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(8):2276-92 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/07/2015 Related Publications
Long noncoding RNAs are involved in diseases including cancer. Here, we reported that ANRIL (CDKN2B-AS1), a 3.8-kb long noncoding RNA, recruiting and binding to PRC2, was generally upregulated in human gastric cancer (GC) tissues. In a cohort of 120 GC patients, the higher expression of ANRIL was significantly correlated with a higher TNM stage (P=0.041) and tumor size (P=0.001). Multivariate analyses revealed that ANRIL expression served as an independent predictor for overall survival (P=0.036). Further experiments revealed that ANRIL knockdown significantly repressed the proliferation both in vitro and in vivo. We also showed that E2F1 could induce ANRIL and ANRIL-mediated growth promotion is in part due to epigenetic repression of miR-99a/miR-449a in Trans (controlling the targets--mTOR and CDK6/E2F1 pathway) by binding to PRC2, thus forming a positive feedback loop, continuing to promote GC cell proliferation. To our knowledge, this is the first report showed that the role of ANRIL in the progression of GC and ANRIL could crosstalk with microRNAs in epigenetic level. Our results suggest that ANRIL, as a growth regulator, may serve as a candidate prognostic biomarker and target for new therapies in human gastric cancer.

Park GB, Choi Y, Kim YS, et al.
Silencing of PKCη induces cycle arrest of EBV(+) B lymphoma cells by upregulating expression of p38-MAPK/TAp73/GADD45α and increases susceptibility to chemotherapeutic agents.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 350(1-2):5-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
PKCη is involved in proliferation, differentiation, and drug resistance. However, PKCη function in EBV(+) B lymphoma remains poorly understood. Gene silencing of PKCη through siRNA knockdown inhibited cellular proliferation, induced cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 and G2/M phases, and sensitized cells to chemotherapeutic drugs. Upon PKCη knockdown, expression levels of p21, GADD45α, and TAp73 were all increased, whereas expression levels of CDK2, CDK4, CDK6, cyclin E, cyclin B1, and cdc2 were all downregulated. PKCη silencing also activated p38-MAPK, which in turn contributed to the expression of cell cycle arrest-related molecules. These results suggest that siRNA-mediated silencing of PKCη can be a potent tool to complement existing chemotherapy regimens for treating EBV(+) B lymphoma.

Placke T, Faber K, Nonami A, et al.
Requirement for CDK6 in MLL-rearranged acute myeloid leukemia.
Blood. 2014; 124(1):13-23 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/07/2015 Related Publications
Chromosomal rearrangements involving the H3K4 methyltransferase mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) trigger aberrant gene expression in hematopoietic progenitors and give rise to an aggressive subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Insights into MLL fusion-mediated leukemogenesis have not yet translated into better therapies because MLL is difficult to target directly, and the identity of the genes downstream of MLL whose altered transcription mediates leukemic transformation are poorly annotated. We used a functional genetic approach to uncover that AML cells driven by MLL-AF9 are exceptionally reliant on the cell-cycle regulator CDK6, but not its functional homolog CDK4, and that the preferential growth inhibition induced by CDK6 depletion is mediated through enhanced myeloid differentiation. CDK6 essentiality is also evident in AML cells harboring alternate MLL fusions and a mouse model of MLL-AF9-driven leukemia and can be ascribed to transcriptional activation of CDK6 by mutant MLL. Importantly, the context-dependent effects of lowering CDK6 expression are closely phenocopied by a small-molecule CDK6 inhibitor currently in clinical development. These data identify CDK6 as critical effector of MLL fusions in leukemogenesis that might be targeted to overcome the differentiation block associated with MLL-rearranged AML, and underscore that cell-cycle regulators may have distinct, noncanonical, and nonredundant functions in different contexts.

Liu Z, Long X, Chao C, et al.
Knocking down CDK4 mediates the elevation of let-7c suppressing cell growth in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:274 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: CDK4 is a protein kinase in the CDK family important for G1/S phase cell cycle progression. However, the roles and molecular mechanisms of CDK4 triggering nasopharynx carcinogenesis are still unclear.
METHODS: Lentiviral-vector mediated shRNA was used to suppress CDK4 expression and examine its molecular mechanisms. Using immunohistochemistry, we analyzed CDK4 protein expression in clinicopathologically characterized nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cases and nasopharyngeal tissues (NPs). Survival curves were plotted by the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log-rank test.
RESULTS: In this investigation, we knocked down CDK4 expression and observed that NPC cell growth and cell cycle progression were significantly blocked by suppressing expression of CCND1, CDK6, and E2F1 as well as elevated p21 expression. Further, we found that reduced CDK4 expression elevated the expression of let-7c, a tumor-suppressive miRNA modulated by E2F1. We found that let-7c was markedly downregulated in NPC tissues compared to NPs and suppressed cell growth and cell cycle progression by modulating p15/p16/CDK4/E2F1 pathway. Finally, CDK4 protein was observed to be overexpressed in NPC tissues and could be considered an unfavorable prognosis factor for NPC patients although its independent prognostic value did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.087).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrated that overexpressed CDK4 is an unfavorable prognostic factor which suppresses the expression of tumor suppressive-factor let-7c through p21/CCND1/CDK6/E2F1 signaling, and inhibits cell proliferation by p15/p16/CDK4/E2F1 feedback signaling in NPC.

Zali H, Rezaei Tavirani M
Meningioma protein-protein interaction network.
Arch Iran Med. 2014; 17(4):262-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Meningioma is one of the most common central nervous system tumors that derived from meningothelial (arachnoid cap) cells. This paper identified the network-based Protein-Protein Interactions (PPI) for meningioma relative to healthy control.
METHODS: Gene expression data including 384 gene or protein names extracted from a number of beforehand investigations.
RESULTS: Out of these 384 proteins, 176 were found to be exclusively expressed in meningiomas and 208 proteins were down-regulated. The networks of related differentially expressed genes were explored using cytoscape and the PPI analysis methods such as MCODE and ClueGO. Results analysis introduced a number of hub proteins and 27 clusters (protein complex) with distinctive seed genes. Identified ClueGO Pathways based on subnetworks mined by MCODE composed of positive regulation in RBC homeostasis, dysregulation of transport from ER to Golgi, disruption regulation of cell cycle and antigen processing and presentation of exogenous peptide antigen and neutralization of exogenous dsRNA. Combination of over expression of TCEA1, UBE2E1, XRCC5, IFIT1, IFIT-3, MCM2, and MCM7 and under expression of CDC25A, SEC31A, and CDK6 can serve as diagnostic biomarker panel for meningiomas.
CONCLUSION: These introduced network-based biomarkers for the meningioma patterns may be helpful in diagnosis, prognosis and treatment processes however biomarker validation is necessary.

Nagarajan A, Dogra SK, Liu AY, et al.
PEA15 regulates the DNA damage-induced cell cycle checkpoint and oncogene-directed transformation.
Mol Cell Biol. 2014; 34(12):2264-82 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/07/2015 Related Publications
Regulation of the DNA damage response and cell cycle progression is critical for maintaining genome integrity. Here, we report that in response to DNA damage, COPS5 deubiquitinates and stabilizes PEA15 in an ATM kinase-dependent manner. PEA15 expression oscillates throughout the cell cycle, and the loss of PEA15 accelerates cell cycle progression by activating CDK6 expression via the c-JUN transcription factor. Cells lacking PEA15 exhibit a DNA damage-induced G2/M checkpoint defect due to increased CDC25C activity and, consequentially, higher cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1)/cyclin B activity, and accordingly they have an increased rate of spontaneous mutagenesis. We find that oncogenic RAS inhibits PEA15 expression and that ectopic PEA15 expression blocks RAS-mediated transformation, which can be partially rescued by ectopic expression of CDK6. Finally, we show that PEA15 expression is downregulated in colon, breast, and lung cancer samples. Collectively, our results demonstrate that tumor suppressor PEA15 is a regulator of genome integrity and is an integral component of the DNA damage response pathway that regulates cell cycle progression, the DNA-damage-induced G2/M checkpoint, and cellular transformation.

Jaganathan A, Chaurasia P, Xiao GQ, et al.
Coactivator MYST1 regulates nuclear factor-κB and androgen receptor functions during proliferation of prostate cancer cells.
Mol Endocrinol. 2014; 28(6):872-85 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2015 Related Publications
In prostate cancer (PCa), the functional synergy between androgen receptor (AR) and nuclear factor-κ B (NF-κB) escalates the resistance to therapeutic regimens and promotes aggressive tumor growth. Although the underlying mechanisms are less clear, gene regulatory abilities of coactivators can bridge the transcription functions of AR and NF-κB. The present study shows that MYST1 (MOZ, YBF2 and SAS2, and TIP60 protein 1) costimulates AR and NF-κB functions in PCa cells. We demonstrate that activation of NF-κB promotes deacetylation of MYST1 by sirtuin 1. Further, the mutually exclusive interactions of MYST1 with sirtuin 1 vs AR regulate the acetylation of lysine 16 on histone H4. Notably, in AR-lacking PC3 cells and in AR-depleted LNCaP cells, diminution of MYST1 activates the cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and caspase 3 that leads to apoptosis. In contrast, in AR-transformed PC3 cells (PC3-AR), depletion of MYST1 induces cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) N1A/p21, which results in G2M arrest. Concomitantly, the levels of phospho-retinoblastoma, E2F1, CDK4, and CDK6 are reduced. Finally, the expression of tumor protein D52 (TPD52) was unequivocally affected in PC3, PC3-AR, and LNCaP cells. Taken together, the results of this study reveal that the functional interactions of MYST1 with AR and NF-κB are critical for PCa progression.

Huang M, Tang SN, Upadhyay G, et al.
Embelin suppresses growth of human pancreatic cancer xenografts, and pancreatic cancer cells isolated from KrasG12D mice by inhibiting Akt and Sonic hedgehog pathways.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e92161 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2015 Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease, and therefore effective treatment and/or prevention strategies are urgently needed. The objectives of this study were to examine the molecular mechanisms by which embelin inhibited human pancreatic cancer cell growth in vitro, and xenografts in Balb C nude mice, and pancreatic cancer cell growth isolated from KrasG12D transgenic mice. XTT assays were performed to measure cell viability. AsPC-1 cells were injected subcutaneously into Balb c nude mice and treated with embelin. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were measured by Ki67 and TUNEL staining, respectively. The expression of Akt, and Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) and their target gene products were measured by the immunohistochemistry, and Western blot analysis. The effects of embelin on pancreatic cancer cells isolated from 10-months old KrasG12D mice were also examined. Embelin inhibited cell viability in pancreatic cancer AsPC-1, PANC-1, MIA PaCa-2 and Hs 766T cell lines, and these inhibitory effects were blocked either by constitutively active Akt or Shh protein. Embelin-treated mice showed significant inhibition in tumor growth which was associated with reduced expression of markers of cell proliferation (Ki67, PCNA and Bcl-2) and cell cycle (cyclin D1, CDK2, and CDK6), and induction of apoptosis (activation of caspase-3 and cleavage of PARP, and increased expression of Bax). In addition, embelin inhibited the expression of markers of angiogenesis (COX-2, VEGF, VEGFR, and IL-8), and metastasis (MMP-2 and MMP-9) in tumor tissues. Antitumor activity of embelin was associated with inhibition of Akt and Shh pathways in xenografts, and pancreatic cancer cells isolated from KrasG12D mice. Furthermore, embelin also inhibited epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by up-regulating E-cadherin and inhibiting the expression of Snail, Slug, and ZEB1. These data suggest that embelin can inhibit pancreatic cancer growth, angiogenesis and metastasis by suppressing Akt and Shh pathways, and can be developed for the treatment and/or prevention of pancreatic cancer.

Zuo X, Qin Y, Zhang X, et al.
Breast cancer cells are arrested at different phases of the cell cycle following the re-expression of ARHI.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(5):2358-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
ARHI is a maternally imprinted tumor suppressor gene that is expressed in normal breast epithelial cells but not in most breast cancer cells. Aberrant methylation and hypernomic histone deacetylation have been implicated in the silencing of ARHI. To investigate the mechanism of ARHI induction, MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells were either transfected with the eukaryotic expression vector, pcDNA3.1(+)-ARHI, or were simultaneously treated with a histone deacetylase inhibitor, [trichostatin A, (TSA)] and the methyltransferase inhibitor, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC). The latter treatment group also included the targeting of ARHI by small interfering RNA (siRNA) to further examine interactions between ARHI and the drugs applied. Levels of ARHI were detected by western blotting, MTT assays were used to evaluate cell proliferation, and both cell cycle progression and apoptosis were detected using flow cytometry. Both the transfection of pcDNA3.1(+)‑ARHI and the application of TSA+DAC induced the expression of ARHI. Furthermore, reduced cell proliferation, cell cycle arrest and enhanced apoptosis were observed for both groups compared to controls. However, a G1/S cell cycle arrest was observed for the pcDNA3.1(+)-ARHI group, while a G2 cell cycle arrest was observed for the TSA+DAC group. The latter effect was reversed with the introduction of ARHI-targeted siRNA in combination with TSA+DAC treatment. To further clarify these observations, expression levels of several key cell cycle regulators were analyzed by western blotting. The pcDNA3.1(+)-ARHI group exhibited higher expression levels of p53, p21 and p27, and lower levels of cyclin D1, CDK4 and CDK6 when compared to the control group (P<0.05). For the TSA+DAC group, higher levels of p53, p21, cyclin B1 and Chk1 were detected, concomitant with lower levels of CDK1, when compared to the control group. Taken together, these results suggest that ARHI acts as a tumor suppressor gene in MDA-MB-231 cells and, although TSA+DAC can block the cells at different cell cycle phage, the antitumor effect is ARHI-dependent.

Kikkawa N, Kinoshita T, Nohata N, et al.
microRNA-504 inhibits cancer cell proliferation via targeting CDK6 in hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(6):2085-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our recent study of the microRNA (miRNA) expression signature of hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (HSCC) revealed that microRNA-504 (miR-504) is significantly downregulated in HSCC tissues, suggesting that this miRNA is a candidate tumor suppressor. However, several previous reports indicated that miR-504 has an oncogenic function through targeting TP53. The aim of this study was to investigate the functional significance of miR-504 in cancer cells and to identify novel targets regulated by this miRNA in HSCC cells. First, we confirmed the downregulation of miR-504 in HSCC clinical specimens (P<0.0001) by qPCR. Using two sources of miR-504 to restore function, we observed significant inhibition of cancer cell proliferation in head and neck SCC (HNSCC) cell lines (FaDu, SAS and HSC3) and HCT116 colon carcinoma cells (p53+/+ and p53-/-). In HNSCC cells, induction of cell cycle arrest was observed by miR-504 transfection. To identify the molecular targets of miR-504, we performed gene expression analysis of miR-504 transfectants and in silico database analyses. Our data showed that cell cycle-related genes (RB1, CDK6, CDC23 and CCND1) were candidate target genes of miR-504. In HSCC clinical specimens, the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 6 (CDK6) was significantly higher in cancer tissues compared to non-cancer tissues (P=0.0004). A significant inverse correlation between CDK6 and miR-504 expression was found (r=-0.43, P=0.0039). Expression of miR-504 inhibited CDK6 expression in HNSCC cells. Loss of tumor-suppressive miR-504 enhanced HSCC cell proliferation through targeting CDK6. The identification of novel tumor-suppressive miR-504-mediated molecular pathways and targets provide new insights into HSCC oncogenesis.

Liu G, Sun Y, Ji P, et al.
MiR-506 suppresses proliferation and induces senescence by directly targeting the CDK4/6-FOXM1 axis in ovarian cancer.
J Pathol. 2014; 233(3):308-18 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
Ovarian carcinoma is the most lethal gynaecological malignancy. Better understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of this disease and effective targeted therapies are needed to improve patient outcomes. MicroRNAs play important roles in cancer progression and have the potential for use as either therapeutic agents or targets. Studies in other cancers have suggested that miR-506 has anti-tumour activity, but its function has yet to be elucidated. We found that deregulation of miR-506 in ovarian carcinoma promotes an aggressive phenotype. Ectopic over-expression of miR-506 in ovarian cancer cells was sufficient to inhibit proliferation and to promote senescence. We also demonstrated that CDK4 and CDK6 are direct targets of miR-506, and that miR-506 can inhibit CDK4/6-FOXM1 signalling, which is activated in the majority of serous ovarian carcinomas. This newly recognized miR-506-CDK4/6-FOXM1 axis provides further insight into the pathogenesis of ovarian carcinoma and identifies a potential novel therapeutic agent.

Guerzoni C, Amatori S, Giorgi L, et al.
An aza-macrocycle containing maltolic side-arms (maltonis) as potential drug against human pediatric sarcomas.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:137 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Identification of new drugs against paediatric sarcomas represents an urgent clinical need that mainly relies on public investments due to the rarity of these diseases. In this paper we evaluated the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of a new maltol derived molecule (maltonis), belonging to the family of molecules named hydroxypyrones.
METHODS: Maltonis was screened for its ability to induce structural alteration of DNA molecules in comparison to another maltolic molecule (malten). In vitro antitumour efficacy was tested using a panel of sarcoma cell lines, representative of Ewing sarcoma, osteosarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma, the three most common paediatric sarcomas, and in normal human mesenchymal primary cell cultures. In vivo efficacy was tested against TC-71 Ewing sarcoma xenografts.
RESULTS: Maltonis, a soluble maltol-derived synthetic molecule, was able to alter the DNA structure, inhibit proliferation and induce apoptotic cell death in paediatric sarcoma cells, either sensitive or resistant to some conventional chemotherapeutic drugs, such as doxorubicin and cisplatin. In addition, maltonis was able to induce: i) p21, p15 and Gadd45a mRNA upregulation; ii) Bcl-2, survivin, CDK6 and CDK8 down-regulation; iii) formation of γ-H2AX nuclear foci; iv) cleavage of PARP and Caspase 3. Two independent in vivo experiments demonstrated the tolerability and efficacy of maltonis in the inhibition of tumour growth. Finally maltonis was not extruded by ABCB1, one of the major determinants of chemotherapy failure, nor appeared to be a substrate of the glutathione-related detoxification system.
CONCLUSIONS: Considering that treatment of poorly responsive patients still suffers for the paucity of agents able to revert chemoresistance, maltonis may be considered for the future development of new therapeutic approaches for refractory metastatic patients.

Ross JS, Wang K, Gay L, et al.
New routes to targeted therapy of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas revealed by next-generation sequencing.
Oncologist. 2014; 19(3):235-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is a subtype of primary liver cancer that is rarely curable by surgery and is rapidly increasing in incidence. Relapsed ICC has a poor prognosis, and current systemic nontargeted therapies are commonly extrapolated from those used in other gastrointestinal malignancies. We hypothesized that genomic profiling of clinical ICC samples would identify genomic alterations that are linked to targeted therapies and that could facilitate a personalized approach to therapy.
METHODS: DNA sequencing of hybridization-captured libraries was performed for 3,320 exons of 182 cancer-related genes and 36 introns of 14 genes frequently rearranged in cancer. Sample DNA was isolated from 40 μm of 28 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded ICC specimens and sequenced to high coverage.
RESULTS: The most commonly observed alterations were within ARID1A (36%), IDH1/2 (36%), and TP53 (36%) as well as amplification of MCL1 (21%). Twenty cases (71%) harbored at least one potentially actionable alteration, including FGFR2 (14%), KRAS (11%), PTEN (11%), CDKN2A (7%), CDK6 (7%), ERBB3 (7%), MET (7%), NRAS (7%), BRCA1 (4%), BRCA2 (4%), NF1 (4%), PIK3CA (4%), PTCH1 (4%), and TSC1 (4%). Four (14%) of the ICC cases featured novel gene fusions involving the tyrosine kinases FGFR2 and NTRK1 (FGFR2-KIAA1598, FGFR2-BICC1, FGFR2-TACC3, and RABGAP1L-NTRK1).
CONCLUSION: Two thirds of patients in this study harbored genomic alterations that are associated with targeted therapies and that have the potential to personalize therapy selection for to individual patients.

Sale MJ, Cook SJ
The increase in BIK expression following ERK1/2 pathway inhibition is a consequence of G₁ cell-cycle arrest and not a direct effect on BIK protein stability.
Biochem J. 2014; 459(3):513-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
BIK (BCL2-interacting killer) is a pro-apoptotic BH3 (BCL2 homology domain 3)-only protein and a member of the BCL2 protein family. It was proposed recently that BIK abundance is controlled by ERK1/2 (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1/2)-catalysed phosphorylation, which targets the protein for proteasome-dependent destruction. In the present study, we examined ERK1/2-dependent regulation of BIK, drawing comparisons with BIM(EL) (BCL2-interacting mediator of cell death; extra long), a well-known target of ERK1/2. In many ERK1/2-dependent tumour cell lines, inhibition of BRAF(V600E) (v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homologue B1, V600E mutation) or MEK1/2 (mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase 1/2) had very little effect on BIK expression, whereas BIM(EL) was strongly up-regulated. In some cell lines we observed a modest increase in BIK expression; however, this was not apparent until ~16 h or later, whereas BIM(EL) expression increased rapidly within a few hours. Although BIK was degraded by the proteasome, we found no evidence that this was regulated by ERK1/2 signalling. Rather, the delayed increase in BIK expression was prevented by actinomycin D, and was accompanied by increases in BIK mRNA. Finally, the delayed increase in BIK expression following ERK1/2 inhibition was phenocopied by a highly selective CDK4/6 (cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6) inhibitor, which caused a strong G₁ cell-cycle arrest without inhibiting ERK1/2 signalling. In contrast, BIM(EL) expression was induced by ERK1/2 inhibition, but not by CDK4/6 inhibition. We conclude that BIK expression is not subject to direct regulation by the ERK1/2 pathway; rather, we propose that BIK expression is cell-cycle-dependent and increases as a consequence of the G₁ cell-cycle arrest which results from inhibition of ERK1/2 signalling.

Gasparini P, Fassan M, Cascione L, et al.
Androgen receptor status is a prognostic marker in non-basal triple negative breast cancers and determines novel therapeutic options.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e88525 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
Triple negative breast cancers are a heterogeneous group of tumors characterized by poor patient survival and lack of targeted therapeutics. Androgen receptor has been associated with triple negative breast cancer pathogenesis, but its role in the different subtypes has not been clearly defined. We examined androgen receptor protein expression by immunohistochemical analysis in 678 breast cancers, including 396 triple negative cancers. Fifty matched lymph node metastases were also examined. Association of expression status with clinical (race, survival) and pathological (basal, non-basal subtype, stage, grade) features was also evaluated. In 160 triple negative breast cancers, mRNA microarray expression profiling was performed, and differences according to androgen receptor status were analyzed. In triple negative cancers the percentage of androgen receptor positive cases was lower (24.8% vs 81.6% of non-triple negative cases), especially in African American women (16.7% vs 25.5% of cancers of white women). No significant difference in androgen receptor expression was observed in primary tumors vs matched metastatic lesions. Positive androgen receptor immunoreactivity was inversely correlated with tumor grade (p<0.01) and associated with better overall patient survival (p = 0.032) in the non-basal triple negative cancer group. In the microarray study, expression of three genes (HER4, TNFSF10, CDK6) showed significant deregulation in association with androgen receptor status; eg CDK6, a novel therapeutic target in triple negative cancers, showed significantly higher expression level in androgen receptor negative cases (p<0.01). These findings confirm the prognostic impact of androgen receptor expression in non-basal triple negative breast cancers, and suggest targeting of new androgen receptor-related molecular pathways in patients with these cancers.

Young RJ, Waldeck K, Martin C, et al.
Loss of CDKN2A expression is a frequent event in primary invasive melanoma and correlates with sensitivity to the CDK4/6 inhibitor PD0332991 in melanoma cell lines.
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2014; 27(4):590-600 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have investigated the potential for the p16-cyclin D-CDK4/6-retinoblastoma protein pathway to be exploited as a therapeutic target in melanoma. In a cohort of 143 patients with primary invasive melanoma, we used fluorescence in situ hybridization to detect gene copy number variations (CNVs) in CDK4, CCND1, and CDKN2A and immunohistochemistry to determine protein expression. CNVs were common in melanoma, with gain of CDK4 or CCND1 in 37 and 18% of cases, respectively, and hemizygous or homozygous loss of CDKN2A in 56%. Three-quarters of all patients demonstrated a CNV in at least one of the three genes. The combination of CCND1 gain with either a gain of CDK4 and/or loss of CDKN2A was associated with poorer melanoma-specific survival. In 47 melanoma cell lines homozygous loss, methylation or mutation of CDKN2A gene or loss of protein (p16(INK) (4A) ) predicted sensitivity to the CDK4/6 inhibitor PD0332991, while RB1 loss predicted resistance.

Dhar SS, Alam H, Li N, et al.
Transcriptional repression of histone deacetylase 3 by the histone demethylase KDM2A is coupled to tumorigenicity of lung cancer cells.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(11):7483-96 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/03/2015 Related Publications
Dysregulated expression of histone methyltransferases and demethylases is an emerging epigenetic mechanism underlying cancer development and metastasis. We recently showed that the histone H3 lysine 36 (H3K36) demethylase KDM2A (also called FBXL11 and JHDM1A) is necessary for tumorigenic and metastatic capabilities of KDM2A-overexpressing non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Here, we report that KDM2A transcriptionally represses the histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) gene by removing methyl groups from dimethylated H3K36 at the HDAC3 promoter in KDM2A-overexpressing NSCLC cells. KDM2A depletion reduced expression levels of cell cycle-associated genes (e.g. CDK6) and cell invasion-related genes (e.g. NANOS1); these levels were rescued by ectopic expression of KDM2A but not its catalytic mutant. These genes were occupied and down-regulated by HDAC3. HDAC3 knockdown significantly recovered the proliferation and invasiveness of KDM2A-depleted NSCLC cells as well as the levels of CDK6 and NANOS1 expression in these cells. Similar to their previously reported functions in other cell types, CDK6 and NANOS1 were required for the proliferation and invasion, respectively, of KDM2A-overexpressing NSCLC cells. In a mouse xenograft model, HDAC3 depletion substantially restored the tumorigenic ability of KDM2A knockdown cells. These findings reveal a novel cancer-epigenetic pathway in which the antagonistic effect of KDM2A on HDAC3 expression releases cell cycle-associated genes and cell invasion-related genes from HDAC3 repression and indicate the importance of this pathway for tumorigenicity and invasiveness of KDM2A-overexpressing NSCLC cells.

Tamim S, Vo DT, Uren PJ, et al.
Genomic analyses reveal broad impact of miR-137 on genes associated with malignant transformation and neuronal differentiation in glioblastoma cells.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e85591 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/03/2015 Related Publications
miR-137 plays critical roles in the nervous system and tumor development; an increase in its expression is required for neuronal differentiation while its reduction is implicated in gliomagenesis. To evaluate the potential of miR-137 in glioblastoma therapy, we conducted genome-wide target mapping in glioblastoma cells by measuring the level of association between PABP and mRNAs in cells transfected with miR-137 mimics vs. controls via RIPSeq. Impact on mRNA levels was also measured by RNASeq. By combining the results of both experimental approaches, 1468 genes were found to be negatively impacted by miR-137--among them, 595 (40%) contain miR-137 predicted sites. The most relevant targets include oncogenic proteins and key players in neurogenesis like c-KIT, YBX1, AKT2, CDC42, CDK6 and TGFβ2. Interestingly, we observed that several identified miR-137 targets are also predicted to be regulated by miR-124, miR-128 and miR-7, which are equally implicated in neuronal differentiation and gliomagenesis. We suggest that the concomitant increase of these four miRNAs in neuronal stem cells or their repression in tumor cells could produce a robust regulatory effect with major consequences to neuronal differentiation and tumorigenesis.

Giacoia EG, Miyake M, Lawton A, et al.
PAI-1 leads to G1-phase cell-cycle progression through cyclin D3/cdk4/6 upregulation.
Mol Cancer Res. 2014; 12(3):322-34 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The canonical function of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1/SERPINE1) is as an inhibitor of urokinase-type plasminogen activator for blood clot maintenance, but it is now also considered a pleiotropic factor that can exert diverse cellular and tumorigenic effects. However, the mechanism controlling its pleiotropic effects is far from being understood. To elucidate the tumorigenic role of PAI-1, we tested the effects of PAI-1 after manipulation of its expression or through the use of a small-molecule inhibitor, tiplaxtinin. Downregulation of PAI-1 significantly reduced cellular proliferation through an inability to progress from the G(0-G1) phase of the cell cycle. Accordingly, overexpression of PAI-1 augmented proliferation by encouraging S-phase entry. Biochemically, cell-cycle arrest was associated with the depletion of the G(1)-phase transition complexes, cyclin D3/cdk4/6 and cyclin E/cdk2, in parallel with the upregulation of the cell-cycle inhibitors p53, p21Cip1/Waf1, and p27Kip1. PAI-1 depletion significantly decreased the tumor size of urothelial T24 and UM-UC-14 xenografts, and overexpression of PAI-1 substantially increased the tumor size of HeLa xenografts. Finally, immunohistochemical analysis of human bladder and cervical tumor tissue microarrays revealed increased expression of PAI-1 in cancerous tissue, specifically in aggressive tumors, supporting the relevance of this molecule in human tumor biology.
IMPLICATIONS: Targeting PAI-1 has beneficial antitumoral effects and should be further investigated clinically.

Davison JM, Yee M, Krill-Burger JM, et al.
The degree of segmental aneuploidy measured by total copy number abnormalities predicts survival and recurrence in superficial gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e79079 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Prognostic biomarkers are needed for superficial gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) to predict clinical outcomes and select therapy. Although recurrent mutations have been characterized in EAC, little is known about their clinical and prognostic significance. Aneuploidy is predictive of clinical outcome in many malignancies but has not been evaluated in superficial EAC.
METHODS: We quantified copy number changes in 41 superficial EAC using Affymetrix SNP 6.0 arrays. We identified recurrent chromosomal gains and losses and calculated the total copy number abnormality (CNA) count for each tumor as a measure of aneuploidy. We correlated CNA count with overall survival and time to first recurrence in univariate and multivariate analyses.
RESULTS: Recurrent segmental gains and losses involved multiple genes, including: HER2, EGFR, MET, CDK6, KRAS (recurrent gains); and FHIT, WWOX, CDKN2A/B, SMAD4, RUNX1 (recurrent losses). There was a 40-fold variation in CNA count across all cases. Tumors with the lowest and highest quartile CNA count had significantly better overall survival (p = 0.032) and time to first recurrence (p = 0.010) compared to those with intermediate CNA counts. These associations persisted when controlling for other prognostic variables.
SIGNIFICANCE: SNP arrays facilitate the assessment of recurrent chromosomal gain and loss and allow high resolution, quantitative assessment of segmental aneuploidy (total CNA count). The non-monotonic association of segmental aneuploidy with survival has been described in other tumors. The degree of aneuploidy is a promising prognostic biomarker in a potentially curable form of EAC.

Wang Y, Qiu H, Hu W, et al.
RPRD1B promotes tumor growth by accelerating the cell cycle in endometrial cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(3):1389-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
RPRD1B, the regulation of nuclear pre-mRNA domain containing 1B gene, functions as a cell cycle manipulator and has been found overexpressed in a small panel of endometrial cancer types. In the present study, we investigated the roles of RPRD1B in endometrial cancer using various in vitro and in vivo experiments. According to our results, RPRD1B mRNA was significantly upregulated in endometrial cancer tissues (P=0.0012). RPRD1B overexpression was correlated with tumor stage (P=0.0004), histology type (P=0.0146) and depth of myometrial invasion (P=0.024). In vitro, RPRD1B promoted cellular proliferation (P=0.032 for MTT assay and P=0.018 for colony formation assay), and accelerated the cell cycle (P=0.007) by upregulating cyclin D1, CDK4 and CDK6, while knockdown of RPRD1B suppressed cellular proliferation (P=0.02 for MTT assay and P=0.031 for colony formation assay), and led to G1 phase arrest (P=0.025) through downregulating cyclin D1, CDK4 and CDK6. Consistently, in the nude mice model, RPRD1B overexpression significantly accelerated the tumor xenograft growth (P=0.0012), accompanied by elevated Ki-67 and cyclin D1. In addition, we demonstrated that downregulating RPRD1B could sensitize Ishikawa cells to Raloxifene (P=0.01). In summary, we demonstrated that RPRD1B was frequently overexpressed in human endometrial cancer. Both in vitro and in vivo, over-abundant RPRD1B could promote tumor growth and accelerate cellular cell cycle. In addition, knockdown of RPRD1B also increased cell sensitivity to Raloxifene, making RPRD1B a potent therapeutic target for endometrial cancer, particularly in patients with resistance to the selective ER modulators.

Kang J, Sergio CM, Sutherland RL, Musgrove EA
Targeting cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) but not CDK4/6 or CDK2 is selectively lethal to MYC-dependent human breast cancer cells.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:32 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although MYC is an attractive therapeutic target for breast cancer treatment, it has proven challenging to inhibit MYC directly, and clinically effective pharmaceutical agents targeting MYC are not yet available. An alternative approach is to identify genes that are synthetically lethal in MYC-dependent cancer. Recent studies have identified several cell cycle kinases as MYC synthetic-lethal genes. We therefore investigated the therapeutic potential of specific cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibition in MYC-driven breast cancer.
METHODS: Using small interfering RNA (siRNA), MYC expression was depleted in 26 human breast cancer cell lines and cell proliferation evaluated by BrdU incorporation. MYC-dependent and MYC-independent cell lines were classified based on their sensitivity to siRNA-mediated MYC knockdown. We then inhibited CDKs including CDK4/6, CDK2 and CDK1 individually using either RNAi or small molecule inhibitors, and compared sensitivity to CDK inhibition with MYC dependence in breast cancer cells.
RESULTS: Breast cancer cells displayed a wide range of sensitivity to siRNA-mediated MYC knockdown. The sensitivity was correlated with MYC protein expression and MYC phosphorylation level. Sensitivity to siRNA-mediated MYC knockdown did not parallel sensitivity to the CDK4/6 inhibitor PD0332991; instead MYC-independent cell lines were generally sensitive to PD0332991. Cell cycle arrest induced by MYC knockdown was accompanied by a decrease in CDK2 activity, but inactivation of CDK2 did not selectively affect the viability of MYC-dependent breast cancer cells. In contrast, CDK1 inactivation significantly induced apoptosis and reduced viability of MYC-dependent cells but not MYC- independent cells. This selective induction of apoptosis by CDK1 inhibitors was associated with up-regulation of the pro-apoptotic molecule BIM and was p53-independent.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, these results suggest that further investigation of CDK1 inhibition as a potential therapy for MYC-dependent breast cancer is warranted.

Baba Y, Watanabe M, Murata A, et al.
LINE-1 hypomethylation, DNA copy number alterations, and CDK6 amplification in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(5):1114-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Global DNA hypomethylation plays a crucial role in genomic instability and carcinogenesis. DNA methylation of the long interspersed nucleotide element-1, L1 (LINE-1) repetitive element is a good indicator of the global DNA methylation level, and is attracting interest as a useful marker for predicting cancer prognosis. Our previous study using more than 200 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) specimens demonstrated the significant relationship between LINE-1 hypomethylation and poor prognosis. However, the mechanism by which LINE-1 hypomethylation affects aggressive tumor behavior has yet to be revealed.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: To examine the relationship between LINE-1 hypomethylation and DNA copy number variations, we investigated LINE-1-hypomethylated and LINE-1-hypermethylated ESCC tumors by comparative genomic hybridization array.
RESULTS: LINE-1-hypomethylated tumors showed highly frequent genomic gains at various loci containing candidate oncogenes such as CDK6. LINE-1 methylation levels were significantly associated with CDK6 mRNA and CDK6 protein expression levels in ESCC specimens. In our cohort of 129 patients with ESCC, cases with CDK6-positive expression experienced worse clinical outcome compared with those with CDK6-negative expression, supporting the oncogenic role of CDK6 in ESCC. In addition, we found that the prognostic impact of LINE-1 hypomethylation might be attenuated by CDK6 expression.
CONCLUSION: LINE-1 hypomethylation (i.e., global DNA hypomethylation) in ESCC might contribute to the acquisition of aggressive tumor behavior through genomic gains of oncogenes such as CDK6.

Zhang Z, Huang L, Yu Z, et al.
Let-7a functions as a tumor suppressor in Ewing's sarcoma cell lines partly by targeting cyclin-dependent kinase 6.
DNA Cell Biol. 2014; 33(3):136-47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
MicroRNAs play an important role in the development and progression of Ewing's sarcoma (ES). Especially, the expression of let-7a has been reported to be significantly downregulated in various cancers, and can affect the initiation and maintenance of tumor progression. However, the relative effects of let-7a on ES cells and relative mechanisms are largely unknown. In this study, we identified the underexpression of let-7a in human ES cells comparing with the human mesenchymal stem cells. Then, we sought to compensate for its loss through exogenous transfection with let-7a mimic into ES cell lines A673 and SK-ES-1. Restored let-7a expression inhibited cell proliferation, migration, as well as invasion; arrested cell cycle progression; and induced cell apoptosis of both cell lines. Moreover, bioinformatic prediction suggested that cyclin-dependent kinase 6 (CDK6), which is overexpressed and functions as an oncoprotein in ES cells, is a putative target gene of let-7a. Using mRNA and protein expression analysis and luciferase assays, we further identified the target role of CDK6. Finally, we found that restored CDK6 expression in ES cells that had been treated with let-7a mimic before could partly dampen let-7a-mediated tumor suppression. Taken together, our results showed that let-7a acted as a tumor suppressor in ES by targeting CDK6, and it may provide novel diagnostic and therapeutic options for human Ewing sarcoma clinical operation in future.

Chen Z, Tao ZZ, Chen SM, et al.
Indole-3-carbinol inhibits nasopharyngeal carcinoma growth through cell cycle arrest in vivo and in vitro.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e82288 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is a common malignant tumor in the head and neck. Because of frequent recurrence and distant metastasis which are the main causes of death, better treatment is needed. Indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a natural phytochemical found in the vegetables of the cruciferous family, shows anticancer effect through various signal pathways. I3C induces G1 arrest in NPC cell line with downregulation of cell cycle-related proteins, such as CDK4, CDK6, cyclin D1 and pRb. In vivo, nude mice receiving I3C protectively or therapeutically exhibited smaller tumors than control group after they were inoculated with nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells. The expression of CDK4, CDK6, cyclin D1 and pRb in preventive treatment group and drug treatment group both decreased compared with the control group. We conclude that I3C can inhibit the growth of NPC in vitro and in vivo by suppressing the expression of CDK and cyclin families. The drug was safe and had no toxic effects on normal tissues and organs.

Kohrt D, Crary J, Zimmer M, et al.
CDK6 binds and promotes the degradation of the EYA2 protein.
Cell Cycle. 2014; 13(1):62-71 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
Cyclin-dependent kinase 6 (Cdk6) is a D-Cyclin-activated kinase that is directly involved in driving the cell cycle through inactivation of pRB in G₁ phase. Increasingly, evidence suggests that CDK6, while directly driving the cell cycle, may only be essential for proliferation of specialized cell types, agreeing with the notion that CDK6 also plays an important role in differentiation. Here, evidence is presented that CDK6 binds to and promotes degradation of the EYA2 protein. The EYA proteins are a family of proteins that activate genes essential for the development of multiple organs, regulate cell proliferation, and are misregulated in several types of cancer. This interaction suggests that CDK6 regulates EYA2 activity, a mechanism that could be important in development and in cancer.

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