Although abnormal increases in the level or activity of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) occur frequently in cancer, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. Here, we show that methionyl-tRNA synthetase (MRS) specifically stabilizes CDK4 by enhancing the formation of the complex between CDK4 and a chaperone protein. Knockdown of MRS reduced the CDK4 level, resulting in G0/G1 cell cycle arrest. The effects of MRS on CDK4 stability were more prominent in the tumor suppressor p16INK4a-negative cancer cells because of the competitive relationship of the two proteins for binding to CDK4. Suppression of MRS reduced cell transformation and the tumorigenic ability of a p16INK4a-negative breast cancer cell line in vivo. Further, the MRS levels showed a positive correlation with those of CDK4 and the downstream signals at high frequency in p16INK4a-negative human breast cancer tissues. This work revealed an unexpected functional connection between the two enzymes involving protein synthesis and the cell cycle.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)