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Cdr2 is a tumor antigen expressed in a high percentage of breast and ovarian tumors and is the target of a naturally occurring tumor immune response in patients with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, but little is known of its regulation or function in cancer cells. Here we find that cdr2 is cell cycle regulated in tumor cells with protein levels peaking in mitosis. As cells exit mitosis, cdr2 is ubiquitinated by the anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) and rapidly degraded by the proteasome. Previously we showed that cdr2 binds to the oncogene c-myc, and here we extend this observation to show that cdr2 and c-myc interact to synergistically regulate c-myc-dependent transcription during passage through mitosis. Loss of cdr2 leads to functional consequences for dividing cells, as they show aberrant mitotic spindle formation and impaired proliferation. Conversely, cdr2 overexpression is able to drive cell proliferation in tumors. Together, these data indicate that the onconeural antigen cdr2 acts during mitosis in cycling cells, at least in part through interactions with c-myc, to regulate a cascade of actions that may present new targeting opportunities in gynecologic cancer.


Kevin J O'Donovan, Jennifer Diedler, Graeme C Couture, John J Fak, Robert B Darnell. The onconeural antigen cdr2 is a novel APC/C target that acts in mitosis to regulate c-myc target genes in mammalian tumor cells. PloS one. 2010;5(4):e10045

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PMID: 20383333

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