Unscheduled Akt-Triggered Activation of Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 2 as a Key Effector Mechanism of Apoptin's Anticancer Toxicity
2009 (English)In: Molecular and Cellular Biology, ISSN 0270-7306, E-ISSN 1098-5549, Vol. 29, no 5, 1235-1248 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Apoptin, a protein from the chicken anemia virus, has attracted attention because it specifically kills tumor cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. The reason for this tumor selectivity is unclear and depends on subcellular localization, as apoptin resides in the cytoplasm of normal cells but in the nuclei of transformed cells. It was shown that nuclear localization and tumor-specific killing crucially require apoptin's phosphorylation by an as yet unknown kinase. Here we elucidate the pathway of apoptin-induced apoptosis and show that it essentially depends on abnormal phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase)/Akt activation, resulting in the activation of the cyclin-dependent kinase CDK2. Inhibitors as well as dominant-negative mutants of PI3-kinase and Akt not only inhibited CDK2 activation but also protected cells from apoptin-induced cell death. Akt activated CDK2 by direct phosphorylation as well as by the phosphorylation-induced degradation of the inhibitor p27Kip1. Importantly, we also identified CDK2 as the principal kinase that phosphorylates apoptin and is crucially required for apoptin-induced cell death. Immortalized CDK2-deficient fibroblasts and CDK2 knockdown cells were markedly protected against apoptin. Thus, our results not only decipher the pathway of apoptin-induced cell death but also provide mechanistic insights for the selective killing of tumor cells.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Society for Microbiology , 2009. Vol. 29, no 5, 1235-1248 p.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-86913DOI: 10.1128/MCB.00668-08ISI: 000263293500013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-86913DiVA: diva2:583147