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Inactivation of Rb is a major event in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The activity of CDK4, determined by T172 phosphorylation, correlates with the onset of RB phosphorylation and G1/S cell cycle transition. However, the regulation of CDK4 activation and of the Rb pathway in HCC remain unclear. Here, we report that cyclin Y, a novel member of the cyclin family, is a potential regulator of the Rb pathway. We demonstrate that the Cyclin Y protein was overexpressed in human HCC tissues and that it was associated with poor patient prognosis. Cyclin Y could regulate the G1/S phase transition in human HCC cell lines. We found that CDK4 can bind to Cyclin Y in vitro. Furthermore, the accumulation of Cyclin Y could activate CDK4 through T172 phosphorylation of CDK4, inactivate Rb with increasing Rb phosphorylation, and enable the expression of E2F target genes such as CDK2 and Cyclin A. Thus, our findings suggest that Cyclin Y plays a role in the G1/S phase transition of HCC cells via Cyclin Y/CDK4/Rb signaling and that Cyclin Y could be used as a potential prognostic biomarker in HCC. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Lei Chen, Xiang Wang, Hanghang Cheng, Weidi Zhang, Yufeng Liu, Wenjiao Zeng, Long Yu, Cheng Huang, Guoyuan Liu. Cyclin Y binds and activates CDK4 to promote the G1/S phase transition in hepatocellular carcinoma cells via Rb signaling. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 2020 Dec 17;533(4):1162-1169

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PMID: 33039146

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