All Publications

  • LRR1-mediated replisome disassembly promotes DNA replication by recycling replisome components. The Journal of cell biology Fan, Y., Koberlin, M. S., Ratnayeke, N., Liu, C., Deshpande, M., Gerhardt, J., Meyer, T. 2021; 220 (8)


    After two converging DNA replication forks meet, active replisomes are disassembled and unloaded from chromatin. A key process in replisome disassembly is the unloading of CMG helicases (CDC45-MCM-GINS), which is initiated in Caenorhabditis elegans and Xenopus laevis by the E3 ubiquitin ligase CRL2LRR1. Here, we show that human cells lacking LRR1 fail to unload CMG helicases and accumulate increasing amounts of chromatin-bound replisome components as cells progress through S phase. Markedly, we demonstrate that the failure to disassemble replisomes reduces the rate of DNA replication increasingly throughout S phase by sequestering rate-limiting replisome components on chromatin and blocking their recycling. Continued binding of CMG helicases to chromatin during G2 phase blocks mitosis by activating an ATR-mediated G2/M checkpoint. Finally, we provide evidence that LRR1 is an essential gene for human cell division, suggesting that CRL2LRR1 enzyme activity is required for the proliferation of cancer cells and is thus a potential target for cancer therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1083/jcb.202009147

    View details for PubMedID 34037657

  • Molecular control of cell density-mediated exit to quiescence. Cell reports Fan, Y., Meyer, T. 2021; 36 (4): 109436


    Contact inhibition of cell proliferation regulates tissue size and prevents uncontrolled cell expansion. When cell density increases, contact inhibition can force proliferating cells into quiescence. Here we show that the variable memory of local cell density experienced by a mother cell controls the levels of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) activator cyclin D1 and inhibitor p27 in newborn daughters, which direct cells to proliferation or quiescence. Much of this regulation can be explained by rapid suppression of ERK activity by high cell density in mothers, which leads to lower cyclin D1 and higher p27 levels in daughters. Strikingly, cell density and mitogen signals compete by shifting the ratio of cyclin D1/p27 levels below or above a single sharp threshold that controls the proliferation decision. Thus, the history of competing cell density and mitogen signals experienced by mothers is funneled into a precise activator-inhibitor balance that decides the fate of daughter cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109436

    View details for PubMedID 34320337

  • Stress-mediated exit to quiescence restricted by increasing persistence in CDK4/6 activation. eLife Yang, H. W., Cappell, S. D., Jaimovich, A., Liu, C., Chung, M., Daigh, L. H., Pack, L. R., Fan, Y., Regot, S., Covert, M., Meyer, T. 2020; 9


    Mammalian cells typically start the cell-cycle entry program by activating cyclin-dependent protein kinase 4/6 (CDK4/6). CDK4/6 activity is clinically relevant as mutations, deletions, and amplifications that increase CDK4/6 activity contribute to the progression of many cancers. However, when CDK4/6 is activated relative to CDK2 remained incompletely understood. Here we developed a reporter system to simultaneously monitor CDK4/6 and CDK2 activities in single cells and found that CDK4/6 activity increases rapidly before CDK2 activity gradually increases, and that CDK4/6 activity can be active after mitosis or inactive for variable time periods. Markedly, stress signals in G1 can rapidly inactivate CDK4/6 to return cells to quiescence but with reduced probability as cells approach S phase. Together, our study reveals a regulation of G1 length by temporary inactivation of CDK4/6 activity after mitosis, and a progressively increasing persistence in CDK4/6 activity that restricts cells from returning to quiescence as cells approach S phase.

    View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.44571

    View details for PubMedID 32255427

  • Altered G1 signaling order and commitment point in cells proliferating without CDK4/6 activity. Nature communications Liu, C., Konagaya, Y., Chung, M., Daigh, L. H., Fan, Y., Yang, H. W., Terai, K., Matsuda, M., Meyer, T. 2020; 11 (1): 5305


    Cell-cycle entry relies on an orderly progression of signaling events. To start, cells first activate the kinase cyclin D-CDK4/6, which leads to eventual inactivation of the retinoblastoma protein Rb. Hours later, cells inactivate APC/CCDH1 and cross the final commitment point. However, many cells with genetically deleted cyclin Ds, which activate and confer specificity to CDK4/6, can compensate and proliferate. Despite its importance in cancer, how this entry mechanism operates remains poorly characterized, and whether cells use this path under normal conditions remains unknown. Here, using single-cell microscopy, we demonstrate that cells with acutely inhibited CDK4/6 enter the cell cycle with a slowed and fluctuating cyclin E-CDK2 activity increase. Surprisingly, with low CDK4/6 activity, the order of APC/CCDH1 and Rb inactivation is reversed in both cell lines and wild-type mice. Finally, we show that as a consequence of this signaling inversion, Rb inactivation replaces APC/CCDH1 inactivation as the point of no return. Together, we elucidate the molecular steps that enable cell-cycle entry without CDK4/6 activity. Our findings not only have implications in cancer resistance, but also reveal temporal plasticity underlying the G1 regulatory circuit.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-020-18966-9

    View details for PubMedID 33082317