Article

CDK12 is a transcription elongation-associated CTD kinase, the metazoan ortholog of yeast Ctk1.

Department of Biochemistry, Duke Center for RNA Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.
Genes & development (Impact Factor: 12.64). 10/2010; 24(20):2303-16. DOI: 10.1101/gad.1968210
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Drosophila contains one (dCDK12) and humans contain two (hCDK12 and hCDK13) proteins that are the closest evolutionary relatives of yeast Ctk1, the catalytic subunit of the major elongation-phase C-terminal repeat domain (CTD) kinase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, CTDK-I. However, until now, neither CDK12 nor CDK13 has been demonstrated to be a bona fide CTD kinase. Using Drosophila, we demonstrate that dCDK12 (CG7597) is a transcription-associated CTD kinase, the ortholog of yCtk1. Fluorescence microscopy reveals that the distribution of dCDK12 on formaldehyde-fixed polytene chromosomes is virtually identical to that of hyperphosphorylated RNA polymerase II (RNAPII), but is distinct from that of P-TEFb (dCDK9 + dCyclin T). Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments confirm that dCDK12 is present on the transcribed regions of active Drosophila genes. Compared with P-TEFb, dCDK12 amounts are lower at the 5' end and higher in the middle and at the 3' end of genes (both normalized to RNAPII). Appropriately, Drosophila dCDK12 purified from nuclear extracts manifests CTD kinase activity in vitro. Intriguingly, we find that cyclin K is associated with purified dCDK12, implicating it as the cyclin subunit of this CTD kinase. Most importantly, we demonstrate that RNAi knockdown of dCDK12 in S2 cells alters the phosphorylation state of the CTD, reducing its Ser2 phosphorylation levels. Similarly, in human HeLa cells, we show that hCDK13 purified from nuclear extracts displays CTD kinase activity in vitro, as anticipated. Also, we find that chimeric (yeast/human) versions of Ctk1 containing the kinase homology domains of hCDK12/13 (or hCDK9) are functional in yeast cells (and also in vitro); using this system, we show that a bur1(ts) mutant is rescued more efficiently by a hCDK9 chimera than by a hCDK13 chimera, suggesting the following orthology relationships: Bur1 ↔ CDK9 and Ctk1 ↔ CDK12/13. Finally, we show that siRNA knockdown of hCDK12 in HeLa cells results in alterations in the CTD phosphorylation state. Our findings demonstrate that metazoan CDK12 and CDK13 are CTD kinases, and that CDK12 is orthologous to yeast Ctk1.

0 Followers
 · 
160 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hematologic malignancies represent the fourth most frequently diagnosed cancer in economically developed countries. In hematologic malignancies normal hematopoiesis is interrupted by uncontrolled growth of a genetically altered stem or progenitor cell (HSPC) that maintains its ability of self-renewal. Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) not only regulate the mammalian cell cycle, but also influence other vital cellular processes, such as stem cell renewal, differentiation, transcription, epigenetic regulation, apoptosis, and DNA repair. Chromosomal translocations, amplification, overexpression and altered CDK activities have been described in different types of human cancer, which have made them attractive targets for pharmacological inhibition. Mouse models deficient for one or more CDKs have significantly contributed to our current understanding of the physiological functions of CDKs, as well as their roles in human cancer. The present review focuses on selected cell cycle kinases with recent emerging key functions in hematopoiesis and in hematopoietic malignancies, such as CDK6 and its role in MLL-rearranged leukemia and acute lymphocytic leukemia, CDK1 and its regulator WEE-1 in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and cyclin C/CDK8/CDK19 complexes in T-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia. The knowledge gained from gene knockout experiments in mice of these kinases is also summarized. An overview of compounds targeting these kinases, which are currently in clinical development in various solid tumors and hematopoietic malignances, is presented. These include the CDK4/CDK6 inhibitors (palbociclib, LEE011, LY2835219), pan-CDK inhibitors that target CDK1 (dinaciclib, flavopiridol, AT7519, TG02, P276-00, terampeprocol and RGB 286638) as well as the WEE-1 kinase inhibitor, MK-1775. The advantage of combination therapy of cell cycle inhibitors with conventional chemotherapeutic agents used in the treatment of AML, such as cytarabine, is discussed.
    Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 04/2015; 3(16). DOI:10.3389/fcell.2015.00016
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: O-GlcNAcylation is an abundant nutrient driven modification linked to cellular signaling and regulation of gene expression. Utilizing precursors derived from metabolic flux, O-GlcNAc functions as a homeostatic regulator. The enzymes of O-GlcNAc cycling, OGT and O-GlcNAcase act in mitochondria, the cytoplasm, and the nucleus in association with epigenetic 'writers' and 'erasers.' of the histone code. Both O-GlcNAc and O-phosphate modify repeats within the RNA polymerase II carboxylterminal domain (CTD). By communicating with the histone and CTD codes, O-GlcNAc cycling provides a link between cellular metabolic status and the epigenetic machinery. Thus, O-GlcNAcylation is poised to influence trans-generational epigenetic inheritance.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Transcription through early-elongation checkpoints requires phosphorylation of negative transcription elongation factors (NTEFs) by the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 9. Using CDK9 inhibitors and global run-on sequencing (GRO-seq), we have mapped CDK9 inhibitor-sensitive checkpoints genome wide in human cells. Our data indicate that early-elongation checkpoints are a general feature of RNA polymerase (pol) II-transcribed human genes and occur independently of polymerase stalling. Pol II that has negotiated the early-elongation checkpoint can elongate in the presence of inhibitors but, remarkably, terminates transcription prematurely close to the terminal polyadenylation (poly(A)) site. Our analysis has revealed an unexpected poly(A)-associated elongation checkpoint, which has major implications for the regulation of gene expression. Interestingly, the pattern of modification of the C-terminal domain of pol II terminated at this new checkpoint largely mirrors the pattern normally found downstream of the poly(A) site, thus suggesting common mechanisms of termination.
    Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 04/2015; DOI:10.1038/nsmb.3000 · 11.63 Impact Factor