Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Cell cycle clock in cancer

Cyclin D1 is emerging as a putative target against cancer. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying cyclin D1 functions, European researchers employed modern genomic approaches.
Cell cycle clock in cancer
A special family of proteins known as cyclins drives progression into the cell cycle. In particular, D-type cyclins are responsible for progression through the G1 phase, the critical point where cells decide on quiescence or differentiation. Cyclin D1 is important during nervous system development, but at the same time it is upregulated in many human cancers.

Scientists on the EU-funded CYCLOCK (Cell cycle clock in nervous system and cancer) project set out to investigate the molecular mechanisms regulated by cyclin D1. Previous work by the consortium had shown that cyclin D1 is implicated in transcriptional regulation. In this context, they used cyclin D1 transgenic mice and performed chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by DNA-sequencing analysis and transcription profiling by RNA sequencing.

Researchers discovered that cyclin D1 is expressed in adult post-mitotic tissues and continues to act as a shield to favour cell survival during ageing. Decreased cyclin D1 levels correlated with stress-induced cell death, underscoring a putative role of cyclin D1 in age-related complications like Parkinson's disease.

In addition, through a novel fluorescence-based technology, the research team demonstrated the importance of cyclin D1 in tumour progression and maintenance. The results highlighted that cyclin D1 protects cancer cells against death, rendering it a novel anticancer target. They also opened up new therapeutic avenues based on cyclin D1 expression tuning.

CYCLOCK patented its novel cyclin D1 detection strategy and could use it as a diagnostic tool for patients developing resistance to chemotherapy.

Related information


Cell cycle, cancer, cyclin D1, nervous system, ageing, Parkinson's disease
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