Yan Geng

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (32)484.6 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Cyclin C was cloned as a growth-promoting G1 cyclin, and was also shown to regulate gene transcription. Here we report that in vivo cyclin C acts as a haploinsufficient tumour suppressor, by controlling Notch1 oncogene levels. Cyclin C activates an ‘orphan’ CDK19 kinase, as well as CDK8 and CDK3. These cyclin-C–CDK complexes phosphorylate the Notch1 intracellular domain (ICN1) and promote ICN1 degradation. Genetic ablation of cyclin C blocks ICN1 phosphorylation in vivo, thereby elevating ICN1 levels in cyclin-C-knockout mice. Cyclin C ablation or heterozygosity collaborates with other oncogenic lesions and accelerates development of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL). Furthermore, the cyclin C encoding gene CCNC is heterozygously deleted in a significant fraction of human T-ALLs, and these tumours express reduced cyclin C levels. We also describe point mutations in human T-ALL that render cyclin-C–CDK unable to phosphorylate ICN1. Hence, tumour cells may develop different strategies to evade inhibition by cyclin C.
    Nature Cell Biology 10/2014; · 20.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Overexpression of cyclin D1 and its catalytic partner, CDK4, is frequently seen in human cancers. We constructed cyclin D1 and CDK4 protein interaction network in a human breast cancer cell line MCF7, and identified novel CDK4 protein partners. Among CDK4 interactors we observed several proteins functioning in protein folding and in complex assembly. One of the novel partners of CDK4 is FKBP5, which we found to be required to maintain CDK4 levels in cancer cells. An integrative analysis of the extended cyclin D1 cancer interactome and somatic copy number alterations in human cancers identified BAIAPL21 as a potential novel human oncogene. We observed that in several human tumor types BAIAPL21 is expressed at higher levels as compared to normal tissue. Forced overexpression of BAIAPL21 augmented anchorage independent growth, increased colony formation by cancer cells and strongly enhanced the ability of cells to form tumors in vivo. Lastly, we derived an Aggregate Expression Score (AES), which quantifies the expression of all cyclin D1 interactors in a given tumor. We observed that AES has a prognostic value among patients with ER-positive breast cancers. These studies illustrate the utility of analyzing the interactomes of proteins involved in cancer to uncover potential oncogenes, or to allow better cancer prognosis.
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 09/2014; 13(18):2889-2900. · 5.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Loss of function of cyclin E1 or E2, important regulators of the mitotic cell cycle, yields viable mice, but E2-deficient males display reduced fertility. To elucidate the role of E-type cyclins during spermatogenesis, we characterized their expression patterns and produced additional deletions of Ccne1 and Ccne2 alleles in the germline, revealing unexpected meiotic functions. While Ccne2 mRNA and protein are abundantly expressed in spermatocytes, Ccne1 mRNA is present but its protein is detected only at low levels. However, abundant levels of cyclin E1 protein are detected in spermatocytes deficient in cyclin E2 protein. Additional depletion of E-type cyclins in the germline resulted in increasingly enhanced spermatogenic abnormalities and corresponding decreased fertility and loss of germ cells by apoptosis. Profound meiotic defects were observed in spermatocytes, including abnormal pairing and synapsis of homologous chromosomes, heterologous chromosome associations, unrepaired double-strand DNA breaks, disruptions in telomeric structure and defects in cyclin-dependent-kinase 2 localization. These results highlight a new role for E-type cyclins as important regulators of male meiosis.
    PLoS Genetics 02/2014; 10(2):e1004165. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The liver has a strong regenerative capacity. Following injury, quiescent hepatocytes can re-enter the mitotic cell cycle to restore tissue homeostasis. This G0 /G1 -S cell cycle transition of primed hepatocytes is regulated by complexes of Cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (Cdk2) with E-type cyclins (CcnE1 or CcnE2). However, single genetic ablation of either E-cyclin or Cdk2 does not affect overall liver regeneration. Here, we systematically investigated the contribution of CcnE1, CcnE2 and Cdk2 for liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy (PH) by generating corresponding double and triple knockout mouse mutants. We demonstrate that conditional deletion of Cdk2 alone in hepatocytes resulted in accelerated induction of CcnE1 but otherwise normal initiation of S-phase in vivo and in vitro. Excessive CcnE1 did not contribute to a non-canonical kinase activity, but was located at chromatin together with components of the pre-replication complex such as the Minichromosome Maintenance (MCM) helicase. Concomitant ablation of Cdk2 and CcnE1 in hepatocytes caused a defect in pre-replication complex formation and further led to dramatically impaired S-phase progression via down-regulation of cyclin A2 and cell death in vitro and substantially reduced hepatocyte proliferation and liver regeneration after PH in vivo. Similarly, combined loss of CcnE1 and CcnE2 but also the Cdk2/CcnE1/CcnE2 triple knockout in liver significantly inhibited S-phase initiation and liver mass reconstitution after PH, while concomitant ablation of CcnE2 and Cdk2 had no effect. Conclusion: In absence of Cdk2, CcnE1 performs crucial kinase-independent functions in hepatocytes which are capable of driving MCM loading on chromatin, Cyclin A2 expression and S-phase progression. Thus, combined inactivation of Cdk2 and CcnE1 is the minimal requirement for blocking the S-phase machinery in vivo. (HEPATOLOGY 2013.).
    Hepatology 06/2013; · 12.00 Impact Factor
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    Yan Geng, Piotr Sicinski
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 04/2013; 12(8). · 5.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: p600 is a multifunctional protein implicated in cytoskeletal organization, integrin-mediated survival signaling, calcium-calmodulin signaling and the N-end rule pathway of ubiquitin-proteasome-mediated proteolysis. While push, the Drosophila counterpart of p600, is dispensable for development up to adult stage, the role of p600 has not been studied during mouse development. Here we generated p600 knockout mice to investigate the in vivo functions of p600. Interestingly, we found that homozygous deletion of p600 results in lethality between embryonic days 11.5 and 13.5 with severe defects in both embryo and placenta. Since p600 is required for placental development, we performed conditional disruption of p600, which deletes selectively p600 in the embryo but not in the placenta. The conditional mutant embryos survive longer than knockout embryos but ultimately die before embryonic day 14.5. The mutant embryos display severe cardiac problems characterized by ventricular septal defects and thin ventricular walls. These anomalies are associated with reduced activation of FAK and decreased expression of MEF2, which is regulated by FAK and plays a crucial role in cardiac development. Moreover, we observed pleiotropic defects in the liver and brain. In sum, our study sheds light on the essential roles of p600 in fetal development.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(6):e66269. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Annales d Endocrinologie 09/2012; 73(4):268. · 1.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclin E is a component of the core cell cycle machinery, and it drives cell proliferation by regulating entry and progression of cells through the DNA synthesis phase. Cyclin E expression is normally restricted to proliferating cells. However, high levels of cyclin E are expressed in the adult brain. The function of cyclin E in quiescent, postmitotic nervous system remains unknown. Here we use a combination of in vivo quantitative proteomics and analyses of cyclin E knockout mice to demonstrate that in terminally differentiated neurons cyclin E forms complexes with Cdk5 and controls synapse function by restraining Cdk5 activity. Ablation of cyclin E led to a decreased number of synapses, reduced number and volume of dendritic spines, and resulted in impaired synaptic plasticity and memory formation in cyclin E-deficient animals. These results reveal a cell cycle-independent role for a core cell cycle protein, cyclin E, in synapse function and memory.
    Developmental Cell 09/2011; 21(4):655-68. · 12.86 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Hepatology - J HEPATOL. 01/2011; 54.
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclin D1 belongs to the core cell cycle machinery, and it is frequently overexpressed in human cancers. The full repertoire of cyclin D1 functions in normal development and oncogenesis is unclear at present. Here we developed Flag- and haemagglutinin-tagged cyclin D1 knock-in mouse strains that allowed a high-throughput mass spectrometry approach to search for cyclin D1-binding proteins in different mouse organs. In addition to cell cycle partners, we observed several proteins involved in transcription. Genome-wide location analyses (chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled to DNA microarray; ChIP-chip) showed that during mouse development cyclin D1 occupies promoters of abundantly expressed genes. In particular, we found that in developing mouse retinas-an organ that critically requires cyclin D1 function-cyclin D1 binds the upstream regulatory region of the Notch1 gene, where it serves to recruit CREB binding protein (CBP) histone acetyltransferase. Genetic ablation of cyclin D1 resulted in decreased CBP recruitment, decreased histone acetylation of the Notch1 promoter region, and led to decreased levels of the Notch1 transcript and protein in cyclin D1-null (Ccnd1(-/-)) retinas. Transduction of an activated allele of Notch1 into Ccnd1(-/-) retinas increased proliferation of retinal progenitor cells, indicating that upregulation of Notch1 signalling alleviates the phenotype of cyclin D1-deficiency. These studies show that in addition to its well-established cell cycle roles, cyclin D1 has an in vivo transcriptional function in mouse development. Our approach, which we term 'genetic-proteomic', can be used to study the in vivo function of essentially any protein.
    Nature 01/2010; 463(7279):374-8. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclins are regulatory subunits of cyclin-dependent kinases. Cyclin A, the first cyclin ever cloned, is thought to be an essential component of the cell-cycle engine. Mammalian cells encode two A-type cyclins, testis-specific cyclin A1 and ubiquitously expressed cyclin A2. Here, we tested the requirement for cyclin A function using conditional knockout mice lacking both A-type cyclins. We found that acute ablation of cyclin A in fibroblasts did not affect cell proliferation, but led to prolonged expression of another cyclin, cyclin E, across the cell cycle. However, combined ablation of all A- and E-type cyclins extinguished cell division. In contrast, cyclin A function was essential for cell-cycle progression of hematopoietic and embryonic stem cells. Expression of cyclin A is particularly high in these compartments, which might render stem cells dependent on cyclin A, whereas in fibroblasts cyclins A and E play redundant roles in cell proliferation.
    Cell 08/2009; 138(2):352-65. · 31.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: E-cyclins control the transition of quiescent cells into the cell cycle. Two E-cyclins, CcnE1 and CcnE2, have been described, but their specific contributions to cell cycle reentry in vivo are poorly understood. Liver regeneration following partial hepatectomy is an excellent in vivo model for the study of cell cycle reentry of quiescent cells. We investigated the relevance of E-cyclins in directing resting hepatocytes into the cell cycle after partial hepatectomy using CcnE1 and CcnE2 knockout mice. Partial hepatectomy (70%) was performed in CcnE1 (E1(-/-)) and CcnE2 (E2(-/-)) knockout and wild-type mice. Liver regeneration was monitored by cell cycle markers for G(1)/S phase, S phase, and M phase as well as by determining the liver/body weight ratio after partial hepatectomy. Ploidy of hepatocytes was determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and fluorescent in situ hybridization. CcnE1 deletion resulted in normal liver regeneration with a slight delay of the G(1)/S-phase transition and a defect in endoreplication of otherwise polyploid hepatocytes. Surprisingly, E2(-/-) mice displayed accelerated and sustained DNA synthesis after partial hepatectomy, excessive endoreplication in hepatocytes, and a liver mass that was 45% greater than that of wild-type mice after termination of the regeneration process. CcnE2 depletion induced overexpression of CcnE1 and prolonged cdk2 kinase activity after partial hepatectomy. CcnE2 has an unexpected role in repressing CcnE1; the phenotype of E2(-/-) mice appears to result from CcnE1 overexpression and cdk2 hyperactivation. CcnE1 and CcnE2 therefore have nonredundant functions for S-phase entry and endoreplication during liver regeneration.
    Gastroenterology 06/2009; 137(2):691-703, 703.e1-6. · 12.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are lipid-sensing nuclear receptors that have been implicated in multiple physiologic processes including cancer. Here, we determine that PPARdelta induces cell proliferation through a novel cyclin E1-dependent mechanism and is up-regulated in many human thyroid tumors. The expression of PPARdelta was induced coordinately with proliferation in primary human thyroid cells by the activation of serum, thyroid-stimulating hormone/cyclic AMP, or epidermal growth factor/mitogen-activated protein kinase mitogenic signaling pathways. Engineered overexpression of PPARdelta increased thyroid cell number, the incorporation of bromodeoxyuridine, and the phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein by 40% to 45% in just 2 days, one usual cell population doubling. The synthetic PPARdelta agonist GW501516 augmented these PPARdelta proliferation effects in a dose-dependent manner. Overexpression of PPARdelta increased cyclin E1 protein by 9-fold, whereas knockdown of PPARdelta by small inhibitory RNA reduced both cyclin E1 protein and cell proliferation by 2-fold. Induction of proliferation by PPARdelta was abrogated by knockdown of cyclin E1 by small inhibitory RNA in primary thyroid cells and by knockout of cyclin E1 in mouse embryo fibroblasts, confirming a cyclin E1 dependence for this PPARdelta pathway. In addition, the mean expression of native PPARdelta was increased by 2-fold to 5-fold (P < 0.0001) and correlated with that of the in situ proliferation marker Ki67 (R = 0.8571; P = 0.02381) in six different classes of benign and malignant human thyroid tumors. Our experiments identify a PPARdelta mechanism that induces cell proliferation through cyclin E1 and is regulated by growth factor and lipid signals. The data argue for systematic investigation of PPARdelta antagonists as antineoplastic agents and implicate altered PPARdelta-cyclin E1 signaling in thyroid and other carcinomas.
    Cancer Research 09/2008; 68(16):6578-86. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abnormal amplification of centrosomes, which occurs frequently in cancers, leads to high frequencies of mitotic defect and chromosome segregation error, profoundly affecting the rate of tumor progression. Centrosome amplification results primarily from overduplication of centrosomes, and p53 is involved in the regulation of centrosome duplication partly through controlling the activity of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 2-cyclin E, a kinase complex critical for the initiation of centrosome duplication. Thus, loss or mutational inactivation of p53 leads to an increased frequency of centrosome amplification. Moreover, the status of cyclin E greatly influences the frequency of centrosome amplification in cells lacking functional p53. Here, we dissected the roles of CDK2-associating cyclins, namely cyclins E and A, in centrosome amplification in the p53-negative cells. We found that loss of cyclin E was readily compensated by cyclin A for triggering the initiation of centrosome duplication, and thus the centrosome duplication kinetics was not significantly altered in cyclin E-deficient cells. It has been shown that cells lacking functional p53, when arrested in either early S-phase or late G(2) phase, continue to reduplicate centrosomes, resulting in centrosome amplification. In cells arrested in early S phase, cyclin E, but not cyclin A, is important in centrosome amplification, whereas in the absence of cyclin E, cyclin A is important for centrosome amplification. In late G(2)-arrested cells, cyclin A is important in centrosome amplification irrespective of the cyclin E status. These findings advance our understandings of the mechanisms underlying the numeral abnormality of centrosomes and consequential genomic instability associated with loss of p53 function and aberrant expression of cyclins E and A in cancer cells.
    Oncogene 06/2008; 27(40):5288-302. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we demonstrated the presence of a kinase-independent function for cyclin E. Specifically, weobserved that a kinase-deficient cyclin E1mutant can reconstitute cyclin E’s function in cyclin E-null cells. Kinase-deficient cyclin E1 is loaded onto chromatin during G0 → S progression, it restores MCM incorporation and it facilitates S phase entry of cyclin E-null cells. We also observed that, in wild-type cells, cyclin E is loaded onto DNA during the G0 → S transition, and it co-localizes with MCM on chromatin. We demonstrated a physical interaction between cyclin E and MCM. We propose that the DNA-bound fraction of cyclin E facilitates MCM loading in a kinase-independent fashion. Our work indicates that, in addition to their well-established function as activators of cyclin-dependent kinases, E-cyclins play a kinase-independent function in cell cycle progression.
    11/2007: pages 31-39;
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclin D1 is a multifunctional, tumor-associated protein that interacts with pRb via a conserved LxCxE motif, activates a kinase partner, directs the phosphorylation of pRb, activates cyclin E-cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (cdk2) by titrating Cip/Kip cdk inhibitors, and modulates the activity of a variety of transcription factors. It is thought that some of the proproliferative function of cyclin D1 is exerted by LxCxE-dependent binding to the pRb pocket domain, which might interfere with the ability of pRb to repress transcription by recruiting cellular chromatin remodeling proteins to E2F-dependent promoters. To test the importance of the LxCxE domain in vivo, we have generated a "knock-in" mouse by replacing the wild-type cyclin D1 gene with a mutant allele precisely lacking the nucleotides encoding the LxCxE domain. Analysis of this mouse has shown that the LxCxE protein is biochemically similar to wild-type cyclin D1 in all tested respects. Moreover, we were unable to detect abnormalities in growth, retinal development, mammary gland development, or tumorigenesis, all of which are affected by deleting cyclin D1. Although we cannot exclude the presence of subtle defects, these results suggest that the LxCxE domain of cyclin D1 is not necessary for function despite the absolute conservation of this motif in the D-type cyclins from plants and vertebrates.
    Cancer Research 09/2007; 67(16):7613-20. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: E-type cyclins are thought to drive cell-cycle progression by activating cyclin-dependent kinases, primarily CDK2. We previously found that cyclin E-null cells failed to incorporate MCM helicase into DNA prereplication complex during G(0) --> S phase progression. We now report that a kinase-deficient cyclin E mutant can partially restore MCM loading and S phase entry in cyclin E-null cells. We found that cyclin E is loaded onto chromatin during G(0) --> S progression. In the absence of cyclin E, CDT1 is normally loaded onto chromatin, whereas MCM is not, indicating that cyclin E acts between CDT1 and MCM loading. We observed a physical association of cyclin E with CDT1 and with MCMs. We propose that cyclin E facilitates MCM loading in a kinase-independent fashion, through physical interaction with CDT1 and MCM. Our work indicates that-in addition to their function as CDK activators-E cyclins play kinase-independent functions in cell-cycle progression.
    Molecular Cell 01/2007; 25(1):127-39. · 15.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The proliferation of neutrophil granulocyte lineage is driven largely by granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) acting via the G-CSF receptors. In this study, we show that mice lacking cyclin D3, a component of the core cell cycle machinery, are refractory to stimulation by the G-CSF. Consequently, cyclin D3-null mice display deficient maturation of granulocytes in the bone marrow and have reduced levels of neutrophil granulocytes in their peripheral blood. The mutant mice are unable to mount a normal response to bacterial challenge and succumb to microbial infections. In contrast, the expansion of hematopoietic stem cells and lineage-committed myeloid progenitors proceeds relatively normally in mice lacking cyclin D3, revealing that the requirement for cyclin D3 function operates at later stages of neutrophil development. Importantly, we verified that this requirement is specific to cyclin D3, as mice lacking other G(1) cyclins (D1, D2, E1, or E2) display normal granulocyte counts. Our analyses revealed that in the bone marrow cells of wild-type mice, activation of the G-CSF receptor leads to upregulation of cyclin D3. Collectively, these results demonstrate that cyclin D3 is an essential cell cycle recipient of G-CSF signaling, and they provide a molecular link of how G-CSF-dependent signaling triggers cell proliferation.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 12/2006; 26(21):8052-60. · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclin D1 is overexpressed in the majority of human breast cancers. We previously found that mice lacking cyclin D1 are resistant to mammary carcinomas triggered by the ErbB-2 oncogene. In this study, we investigated which function of cyclin D1 is required for ErbB-2-driven mammary oncogenesis. We report that the ability of cyclin D1 to activate cyclin-dependent kinase CDK4 underlies the critical role for cyclin D1 in breast cancer formation. We also found that the continued presence of CDK4-associated kinase activity is required to maintain breast tumorigenesis. We analyzed primary human breast cancers and found high cyclin D1 levels in a subset (approximately 25%) of ErbB-2-overexpressing tumors. We propose that this subset of breast cancer patients might benefit from inhibiting CDK4 kinase.
    Cancer Cell 02/2006; 9(1):23-32. · 24.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: D cyclins (D1, D2, and D3) are components of the core cell cycle machinery in mammalian cells. It is unclear whether each of the D cyclins performs unique, tissue-specific functions or the three proteins have virtually identical functions and differ mainly in their pattern of expression. We previously generated mice lacking cyclin D1, and we observed that these animals displayed hypoplastic retinas and underdeveloped mammary glands and a presented developmental neurological abnormality. We now asked whether the specific requirement for cyclin D1 in these tissues reflected a unique pattern of D cyclin expression or the presence of specialized functions for cyclin D1 in cyclin D1-dependent compartments. We generated a knock-in strain of mice expressing cyclin D2 in place of D1. Cyclin D2 was able to drive nearly normal development of retinas and mammary glands, and it partially replaced cyclin D1's function in neurological development. We conclude that the differences between these two D cyclins lie mostly in the tissue-specific pattern of their expression. However, we propose that subtle differences between the two D cyclins do exist and they may allow D cyclins to function in a highly optimized fashion. We reason that the acquisition of multiple D cyclins may allow mammalian cells to drive optimal proliferation of a diverse array of cell types.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 03/2005; 25(3):1081-8. · 5.04 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
484.60 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1999–2013
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Pathology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1999–2012
    • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
      • Department of Cancer Biology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1993–1997
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      • • Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
      • • Department of Biology
      Cambridge, MA, United States
  • 1995–1996
    • Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States