The function of Cyclin D1 (CycD1) has been widely studied in the cell nucleus as a regulatory subunit of the cyclin-dependent kinases Cdk4/6 involved in the control of proliferation and development in mammals. CycD1 has been also localized in the cytoplasm, where its function nevertheless is poorly characterized. In this work we have observed that in normal skin as well as in primary cultures of human keratinocytes, cytoplasmic localization of CycD1 correlated with the degree of differentiation of the keratinocyte. In these conditions, CycD1 co-localized in cytoplasmic foci with exocyst components (Sec6) and regulators (RalA), and with β1 integrin, suggesting a role for CycD1 in the regulation of keratinocyte adhesion during differentiation. Consistent with this hypothesis, CycD1 overexpression increased β1 integrin recycling and drastically reduced the ability of keratinocytes to adhere to the extracellular matrix. We propose that localization of CycD1 in the cytoplasm during skin differentiation could be related to the changes in detachment ability of keratinocytes committed to differentiation.
Keywords: cell adhesion; cyclin D1; cytoplasm; keratinocytes; β1 integrin.