Background: The cyclin E oncogene activates CDK2 to drive cells from G1 to S phase of the cell cycle to commence DNA replication. It coordinates essential cellular functions with the cell cycle including histone biogenesis, splicing, centrosome duplication and origin firing for DNA replication. The two E-cyclins, E1 and E2, are assumed to act interchangeably in these functions. However recent reports have identified unique functions for cyclins E1 and E2 in different tissues, and particularly in breast cancer.
Findings: Cyclins E1 and E2 localise to distinct foci in breast cancer cells as well as co-localising within the cell. Both E-cyclins are found in complex with CDK2, at centrosomes and with the splicing machinery in nuclear speckles. However cyclin E2 uniquely co-localises with NPAT, the main activator of cell-cycle regulated histone transcription. Increased cyclin E2, but not cyclin E1, expression is associated with high expression of replication-dependent histones in breast cancers.
Conclusions: The preferential localisation of cyclin E1 or cyclin E2 to distinct foci indicates that each E-cyclin has unique roles. Cyclin E2 uniquely interacts with NPAT in breast cancer cells, and is associated with higher levels of histones in breast cancer. This could explain the unique correlations of high cyclin E2 expression with poor outcome and genomic instability in breast cancer.
Keywords: Breast cancer; CDK2; Cajal bodies; Centrosome; Cyclin E1; Cyclin E2; Histone Locus bodies (HLB); Histones; NPAT; Spliceosomes.