Regulation of G1 cyclin-dependent kinases in the liver: Role of nuclear localization and p27 sequestration

Jeffrey H. Albrecht, Brenda M. Rieland, Christopher J. Nelsen, Cory L. Ahonen

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Recent studies suggest that cyclin D1 mediates progression of hepatocytes through G1 phase of the cell cycle. The present study further examines the regulation of cyclin D1-dependent kinase activity and the interplay between cyclin D1 and other G1 phase regulatory proteins during liver regeneration. After 70% partial hepatectomy in rats, there was upregulation of kinase activity associated with cyclins (A, D1, D3, and E), cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdk2 and Cdk4), and Cdk-inhibitory proteins (p27, p107, and p130). Although cyclin D1/Cdk4 complexes were more abundant in the cytoplasmic fraction after partial hepatectomy, kinase activity was detected primarily in the nuclear fraction. Cytoplasmic cyclin D1/Cdk4 complexes were activated by recombinant cyclin H/Cdk7. Because endogenous Cdk7 activity was found in the nucleus, this suggests that activation of cyclin D1/Cdk4 requires nuclear importation and subsequent phosphorylation by cyclin H/Cdk7. Recombinant cyclin E/Cdk2 was inhibited by extracts from quiescent liver, and cyclin D1 could titrate out this inhibitory activity. Induction of cyclin D1 was accompanied by increased abundance of cyclin D1/p27 complexes, and most p27 was sequestered by cyclin D1 after partial hepatectomy. Thus cyclin D1 appears to play two roles during G1 phase progression in the regenerating liver: it forms a nuclear kinase complex, and it promotes activation of Cdk2 by sequestering inhibitory proteins such as p27. These experiments underscore the complexity of cyclin/Cdk regulatory networks in the regenerating liver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G1207-G1216
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number6 40-6
StatePublished - Dec 1999


  • Cyclin-dependent kinase- activating kinase
  • Cyclins
  • Liver regeneration
  • Nuclear proteins


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