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Cancer Cell DOI:10.1016/j.ccr.2004.10.014

Critical role of CDK2 for melanoma growth linked to its melanocyte-specific transcriptional regulation by MITF.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsDu, J, Widlund, HR, Horstmann, MA, Ramaswamy, S, Ross, K, Huber, WE, Nishimura, EK, Golub, TR, Fisher, DE
JournalCancer Cell
Date Published2004 Dec
Keywordsbcl-X Protein, Blotting, Western, CDC2-CDC28 Kinases, Cell Line, Tumor, Cell Proliferation, Cell Survival, Chromatin Immunoprecipitation, Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 2, Cyclin-Dependent Kinases, DNA-Binding Proteins, E-Box Elements, Fibroblasts, Flow Cytometry, Gene Expression, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Genes, Reporter, gp100 Melanoma Antigen, Humans, Melanocytes, Melanoma, Membrane Glycoproteins, Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor, Mutation, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, Protein Kinase Inhibitors, Proteins, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2, Purines, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, RNA, Small Interfering, S Phase, Transcription Factors, Transcription, Genetic, Transfection

The genomic organization of the CDK2 gene, which overlaps the melanocyte-specific gene SILV/PMEL17, poses an interesting regulatory challenge. We show that, despite its ubiquitous expression, CDK2 exhibits tissue-specific regulation by the essential melanocyte lineage transcription factor MITF. In addition, functional studies revealed this regulation to be critical for maintaining CDK2 kinase activity and growth of melanoma cells. Expression levels of MITF and CDK2 are tightly correlated in primary melanoma specimens and predict susceptibility to the CDK2 inhibitor roscovitine. CDK2 depletion suppressed growth and cell cycle progression in melanoma, but not other cancers, corroborating previous results. Collectively, these data indicate that CDK2 activity in melanoma is largely maintained at the transcriptional level by MITF, and unlike other malignancies, it may be a suitable drug target in melanoma.


Alternate JournalCancer Cell
PubMed ID15607961
Grant ListAR43369 / AR / NIAMS NIH HHS / United States