Mammalian cardiomyocytes lose their capacity to proliferate during terminal differentiation. We have previously reported that the expression of nuclear localization signal-tagged cyclin D1 (D1NLS) and its partner cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) induces proliferation of rat neonatal cardiomyocytes. Here we show that the D1NLS/CDK4 cells, after their entry into the cell cycle, accumulated cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27 in the nuclei and decreased the cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) activity, leading to early cell cycle arrest. Biochemical analysis demonstrated that Skp2-dependent p27 ubiquitylation was remarkably suppressed in cardiomyocytes, whereas Skp2, a component of Skp1-Cullin-F-box protein ubiquitin ligase, was more actively ubiquitylated compared with proliferating rat fibroblasts. Specific degradation of p27 by co-expressing Skp2 or p27 small interfering RNA caused an increase of CDK2 activity and overrode the limited cell cycle. These data altogether indicate that the impaired Skp2-dependent p27 degradation is causally related to the loss of proliferation in cardiomyocytes. This provides a novel insight in understanding the molecular mechanism by which mammalian cardiomyocytes cease to proliferate during terminal differentiation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology