CDK9: A key player in cancer and other diseases.
Franco Lia Carolina,Morales Fátima,Boffo Silvia,Giordano Antonio
Journal of cellular biochemistry
Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 9 (CDK9) is part of a functional diverse group of enzymes responsible for cell cycle control and progression. It associates mainly with Cyclin T1 and forms the Positive Transcription Elongation Factor b (p-TEFb) complex responsible for regulation of transcription elongation and mRNA maturation. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of CDK9 in many relevant pathologic processes, like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and viral replication. Herein we provide an overview of the different pathways in which CDK9 is directly and indirectly involved.
Complexities in the development of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor drugs.
Sausville Edward A
Trends in molecular medicine
Abnormalities in the normal regulation of the cell cycle are a hallmark of neoplasia. Drugs directed against the cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), which govern the normal orderly progression through the cell cycle, have been proposed to address the pathogenic defect in tumors. Recently, CDK family members that do not regulate the cell cycle directly but instead influence transcription (CDK7, CDK8, and CDK9) and neuronal and secretory cell function (CDK5) have been described. Continued synthetic chemistry efforts have defined important new selective inhibitors of CDKs, and strategies directed at newly described CDK-related targets, such as transcription control, can now be envisaged. CDKs remain important and novel targets whose potential needs to be more fully explored, albeit in light of the newly emerging complexities of their cellular physiology.
The multi-tasking P-TEFb complex.
Brès Vanessa,Yoh Sunnie M,Jones Katherine A
Current opinion in cell biology
P-TEFb (CycT1:Cdk9), the metazoan RNA polymerase II Ser2 C-terminal domain (CTD) kinase, regulates transcription elongation at many genes and integrates mRNA synthesis with histone modification, pre-mRNA processing, and mRNA export. Recruitment of P-TEFb to target genes requires deubiquitination of H2Bub, phosphorylation of H3S10, and the bromodomain protein, Brd4. Brd4 activates growth-related genes in the G1 phase of the cell cycle and can also tether P-TEFb to mitotic chromosomes, possibly to mark sites of active transcription throughout cell division. P-TEFb co-operates with c-Myc during transactivation and cell transformation, and also requires SKIP (c-Ski-interacting protein), an mRNA elongation and splicing factor. Some functions of the P-TEFb/Ser2P CTD are executed by the Spt6 transcription elongation factor, which binds directly to the phosphorylated CTD and recruits the Iws1 ('interacts with Spt6') protein. Iws1, in turn, interacts with the REF1/Aly nuclear export adaptor and stimulates the kinetics of mRNA export. Given the prominent role of Spt6 in regulating chromatin structure, the CTD-bound Spt6:Iws1 complex may also control histone modifications during elongation. Following transcription, P-TEFb accompanies the mature mRNA to the cytoplasm to promote translation elongation.
Cyclin-dependent kinase 9: a key transcriptional regulator and potential drug target in oncology, virology and cardiology.
Wang Shudong,Fischer Peter M
Trends in pharmacological sciences
Unlike other CDKs, CDK9 does not regulate the cell cycle but promotes RNA synthesis in genetic programmes for cell growth, differentiation and viral pathogenesis. It is becoming clear that CDK9 inhibition contributes to the anticancer activity of most CDK inhibitors under clinic investigation. CDK9 was discovered in the context of HIV research because retroviruses hijack host transcription and CDK9 inhibitors might become specific antiretroviral agents, particularly as they might prevent drug resistance. Myocardial hypertrophy is a risk factor in congestive heart failure and is characterised by derepressed CDK9 activity. CDK9 inhibitors, thus, can find therapeutic application in cardiology. Although there are strong signs that CDK9 inhibition would be a useful therapeutic strategy in all three indications, the lack of selective inhibitors has so far confounded clinical development. Here we give an overview of the validity of CDK9 as a drug target and of the current knowledge of this kinase and its inhibitors.
CDK9: a signaling hub for transcriptional control.
Bacon Curtis W,D'Orso Iván
Cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) is critical for RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) transcription initiation, elongation, and termination in several key biological processes including development, differentiation, and cell fate responses. A broad range of diseases are characterized by CDK9 malfunction, illustrating its importance in maintaining transcriptional homeostasis in basal- and signal-regulated conditions. Here we provide a historical recount of CDK9 discovery and the current models suggesting CDK9 is a central hub necessary for proper execution of different steps in the transcription cycle. Finally, we discuss the current therapeutic strategies to treat CDK9 malfunction in several disease states. Abbreviations: CDK: Cyclin-dependent kinase; Pol II: RNA Polymerase II; PIC: Pre-initiation Complex; TFIIH: Transcription Factor-II H; snoRNA: small nucleolar RNA; CycT: CyclinT1/T2; P-TEFb: Positive Transcription Elongation Factor Complex; snRNP: small nuclear ribonucleo-protein; HEXIM: Hexamethylene Bis-acetamide-inducible Protein 1/2; LARP7: La-related Protein 7; MePCE: Methylphosphate Capping Enzyme; HIV: human immunodeficiency virus; TAT: trans-activator of transcription; TAR: Trans-activation response element; Hsp70: Heat Shock Protein 70; Hsp90/Cdc37: Hsp90- Hsp90 co-chaperone Cdc37; DSIF: DRB Sensitivity Inducing Factor; NELF: Negative Elongation Factor; CPSF: cleavage and polyadenylation-specific factor; CSTF: cleavage-stimulatory factor; eRNA: enhancer RNA; BRD4: Bromodomain-containing protein 4; JMJD6: Jumonji C-domain-containing protein 6; SEC: Super Elongation Complex; ELL: eleven-nineteen Lys-rich leukemia; ENL: eleven-nineteen leukemia; MLL: mixed lineage leukemia; BEC: BRD4-containing Elongation Complex; SEC-L2/L3: SEC-like complexes; KAP1: Kruppel-associated box-protein 1; KEC: KAP1-7SK Elongation Complex; DRB: Dichloro-1-ß-D-Ribofuranosylbenzimidazole; H2Bub1: H2B mono-ubiquitination; KM: KM05382; PP1: Protein Phosphatase 1; CDK9i: CDK9 inhibitor; SHAPE: Selective 2'-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension; TE: Typical enhancer; SE : Super enhancer.
The emerging picture of CDK9/P-TEFb: more than 20 years of advances since PITALRE.
Paparidis Nikolas Ferreira Dos Santos,Durvale Maxwell Castro,Canduri Fernanda
CDK9 is a prominent member of the transcriptional CDKs subfamily, a group of kinases whose function is to control the primary steps of mRNA synthesis and processing by eukaryotic RNA polymerase II. As a cyclin-dependent kinase, CDK9 activation in vivo depends upon its association with T-type cyclins to assemble the positive transcription elongation factor (P-TEFb). Although CDK9/P-TEFb phosphorylates the C-terminal domain of RNAP II in the same positions targeted by CDK7 (TFIIH) and CDK8 (Mediator), the former does not participate in the transcription initiation, but rather plays a unique role by driving the polymerase to productive elongation. In addition to RNAP II CTD, the negative transcription elongation factors DSIF and NELF also represent major CDK9 substrates, whose phosphorylation is required to overcome the proximal pause of the polymerase. CDK9 is recruited to specific genes through proteins that interact with both P-TEFb and distinct elements in DNA, RNA or chromatin, where it modulates the activity of individual RNAP II transcription complexes. The regulation of CDK9 function is an intricate network that includes post-translational modifications (phosphorylation/dephosphorylation and acetylation/deacetylation of key residues) as well as the association of P-TEFb with various proteins that can stimulate or inhibit its kinase activity. Several cases of CDK9 deregulation have been linked to important human diseases, including various types of cancer and also AIDS (due to its essential role in HIV replication). Not only HIV, but also many other human viruses have been shown to depend strongly on CDK9 activity to be transcribed within host cells. This review summarizes the main advances made on CDK9/P-TEFb field in more than 20 years, introducing the structural, functional and genetic aspects that have been elucidated ever since.
Cyclin-dependent kinase pathways as targets for cancer treatment.
Shapiro Geoffrey I
Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
Cyclin-dependent kinases (cdks) are critical regulators of cell cycle progression and RNA transcription. A variety of genetic and epigenetic events cause universal overactivity of the cell cycle cdks in human cancer, and their inhibition can lead to both cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. However, built-in redundancy may limit the effects of highly selective cdk inhibition. Cdk4/6 inhibition has been shown to induce potent G1 arrest in vitro and tumor regression in vivo; cdk2/1 inhibition has the most potent effects during the S and G2 phases and induces E2F transcription factor-dependent cell death. Modulation of cdk2 and cdk1 activities also affects survival checkpoint responses after exposure to DNA-damaging and microtubule-stabilizing agents. The transcriptional cdks phosphorylate the carboxy-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II, facilitating efficient transcriptional initiation and elongation. Inhibition of these cdks primarily affects the accumulation of transcripts with short half-lives, including those encoding antiapoptosis family members, cell cycle regulators, as well as p53 and nuclear factor-kappa B-responsive gene targets. These effects may account for apoptosis induced by cdk9 inhibitors, especially in malignant hematopoietic cells, and may also potentiate cytotoxicity mediated by disruption of a variety of pathways in many transformed cell types. Current work is focusing on overcoming pharmacokinetic barriers that hindered development of flavopiridol, a pan-cdk inhibitor, as well as assessing novel classes of compounds potently targeting groups of cell cycle cdks (cdk4/6 or cdk2/1) with variable effects on the transcriptional cdks 7 and 9. These efforts will establish whether the strategy of cdk inhibition is able to produce therapeutic benefit in the majority of human tumors.
Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) are protein kinases characterized by needing a separate subunit - a cyclin - that provides domains essential for enzymatic activity. CDKs play important roles in the control of cell division and modulate transcription in response to several extra- and intracellular cues. The evolutionary expansion of the CDK family in mammals led to the division of CDKs into three cell-cycle-related subfamilies (Cdk1, Cdk4 and Cdk5) and five transcriptional subfamilies (Cdk7, Cdk8, Cdk9, Cdk11 and Cdk20). Unlike the prototypical Cdc28 kinase of budding yeast, most of these CDKs bind one or a few cyclins, consistent with functional specialization during evolution. This review summarizes how, although CDKs are traditionally separated into cell-cycle or transcriptional CDKs, these activities are frequently combined in many family members. Not surprisingly, deregulation of this family of proteins is a hallmark of several diseases, including cancer, and drug-targeted inhibition of specific members has generated very encouraging results in clinical trials.
Transcription-Associated Cyclin-Dependent Kinases as Targets and Biomarkers for Cancer Therapy.
Chou Jonathan,Quigley David A,Robinson Troy M,Feng Felix Y,Ashworth Alan
Drugs targeting the cell cycle-regulatory cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4 and 6 have been approved for the treatment of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, and inhibitors targeting other cell-cycle CDKs are currently in clinical trials. Another class of CDKs, the transcription-associated CDKs, including CDK7, CDK8, CDK9, CDK12 and CDK13, are critical regulators of gene expression. Recent evidence suggests several novel functions of these CDKs, including regulation of epigenetic modifications, intronic polyadenylation, DNA-damage responses, and genomic stability. Here, we summarize our current understanding of the transcriptional CDKs, their utility as biomarkers, and their potential as therapeutic targets. SIGNIFICANCE: CDK inhibitors targeting CDK4 and CDK6 have been approved in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, and inhibitors targeting other cell-cycle CDKs are currently in clinical trials. Several studies now point to potential therapeutic opportunities by inhibiting the transcription-associated CDKs as well as therapeutic vulnerabilities with PARP inhibitors and immunotherapy in tumors deficient in these CDKs.