Cyclin D3 action in androgen receptor regulation and prostate cancer

Oncogene. 2008 May 15;27(22):3111-21. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1210981. Epub 2007 Dec 17.


Prostate cancer (PCa) cell proliferation is dependent on activation of the androgen receptor (AR), a ligand-dependent transcription factor. AR activation controls G1-S phase progression through fostering enhanced translation of the D-type cyclins, which promote cell cycle progression through activation of CDK4/6. However, the D-type cyclins harbor additional, CDK4/6 kinase-independent, functions through manipulation of transcription factors, including AR. It was previously established that cyclins D1 and D3 have the potential to modulate AR, and with regard to cyclin D1, disruption of this function occurs in human tumors. Therefore, it was essential to interrogate cyclin D3 function in this tumor type. Here, we show that cyclin D3 is found in association with AR in PCa cells, as mediated through a conserved motif. Cyclin D3 functions to attenuate AR activity through defined mechanisms that include modulation of ligand-dependent conformational changes and modulation of chromatin binding activity. Accumulated cyclin D3 slows cell proliferation in AR-dependent cells, thus suggesting that androgen-induced D-type cyclin production serves to temper the mitogenic response to androgen. Supporting this hypothesis, it is shown that cyclin D3 expression is reduced in primary PCas as a function of tumor grade, and inversely correlates with the proliferative index. In total, these data identify cyclin D3 as a critical modulator of the androgen response, whose deregulation may foster unchecked AR activity in PCa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Androgens / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • COS Cells
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Cyclin D
  • Cyclin D3
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4 / physiology
  • Cyclins / chemistry
  • Cyclins / genetics
  • Cyclins / physiology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / metabolism
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / physiology
  • Receptors, Androgen / genetics
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*
  • Repressor Proteins / physiology
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Androgens
  • CCND3 protein, human
  • Cyclin D
  • Cyclin D3
  • Cyclins
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen