Abstract

An elevated level of nucleophosmin (NPM) is often found in actively proliferative cells including human tumors. To identify the regulatory role for NPM phosphorylation in proliferation and cell cycle control, a series of mutants targeting the consensus cyclin-dependent kinase (CKD) phosphorylation sites was created to mimic or abrogate either single-site or multi-site phosphorylation. Cells expressing the phosphomimetic NPM mutants showed enhanced proliferation and G2/M cell-cycle transition; whereas nonphosphorylatable mutants induced G2/M cell-cycle arrest. Simultaneous inactivation of two CKD phosphorylation sites at Ser10 and Ser70 (S10A/S70A, NPM-AA) induced phosphorylation of Cdk1 at Tyr15 (Cdc2Tyr15) and increased cytoplasmic accumulation of Cdc25C. Strikingly, stress-induced Cdk1Tyr15 and Cdc25C sequestration were completely suppressed by expression of a double phosphomimetic NPM mutant (S10E/S70E, NPM-EE). Further analysis revealed that phosphorylation of NPM at both Ser10 and Ser70 sites were required for proper interaction between Cdk1 and Cdc25C in mitotic cells. Moreover, the NPM-EE mutant directly bound to Cdc25C and prevented phosphorylation of Cdc25C at Ser216 during mitosis. Finally, NPM-EE overrided stress-induced G2/M arrest, increased peripheral-blood blasts and splenomegaly in a NOD/SCID xenograft model, and promoted leukemia development in Fanconi mouse hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Thus, these findings reveal a novel function of NPM on regulation of cell-cycle progression, in which Cdk1-dependent phosphorylation of NPM controls cell-cycle progression at G2/M transition through modulation of Cdc25C activity.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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