The low molecular weight (LMW) isoforms of cyclin E provide a novel mechanism of cell cycle deregulation
Cyclin E, in complex with cyclin dependent kinase 2 (CDK2), is a positive regulator of G1 to S phase progression of the cell cycle. Deregulation of G1/S phase transition occurs in the majority of tumors. Cyclin E is overexpressed and post-translationally generates low molecular weight (LMW) isoforms in breast cancer, but not normal cells. Such alteration of cyclin E is linked to poor prognosis. Therefore, we hypothesized that the LMW isoforms of cyclin E provide a novel mechanism of cell cycle de-regulation in cancer cells. Insect cell expression system was used to explore the biochemical properties of the cyclin E isoforms. Non-tumorigenic (76NE6) and tumorigenic (T47D) mammary epithelial cells transfected with the cyclin E isoforms and breast tumor tissue endogenously expressing the LMW isoforms were used to study the biologic consequences of the LMW isoforms of cyclin E. All model systems studied show that the LMW forms (compared to full-length cyclin E) have increased kinase activity when partnered with CDK2. Increases in the percentage of cells in S phase and colony formation were also observed after overexpression of LMW compared to full-length cyclin E. The LMW isoforms of cyclin E utilize several mechanisms to attain their hyper-activity. They bind CDK2 more efficiently, and are resistant to inhibition by cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors (CKIs) as compared to full-length cyclin E. In addition, the LMW isoforms sequester the CKIs from full-length cyclin E abrogating the overall negative regulation of cyclin E. Despite their correlation with adverse biological consequences, the direct role of the LMW isoforms of cyclin E in mediating tumorigenesis remained unanswered. Subsequent to LMW cyclin E expression in 76NE6 cells, they lose their ability to enter quiescence and exhibit genomic instability, both characteristic of a tumor cell phenotype. Furthermore, injection of 76NE6 cells overexpressing each of the cyclin E isoforms into the mammary fat pad of nude mice revealed that the LMW isoforms of cyclin E yield tumors, whereas the full-length cyclin E does not. In conclusion, the LMW isoforms of cyclin E utilize several mechanisms to acquire a hyperactive phenotype that results in deregulation of the cell cycle and initiates the tumorigenic process in otherwise non-transformed mammary epithelial cells.
Wingate, Hannah, "The low molecular weight (LMW) isoforms of cyclin E provide a novel mechanism of cell cycle deregulation" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3256568.