CDT2-controlled cell cycle reentry regulates the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimers Dement. 2019 Feb;15(2):217-231. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2018.08.013. Epub 2018 Oct 12.


Introduction: Altered cell cycle reentry has been observed in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Denticleless (DTL) was predicted as the top driver of a cell cycle subnetwork associated with AD.

Methods: We systematically investigated DTL expression in AD and studied the molecular, cellular, and behavioral endophenotypes triggered by DTL overexpression.

Results: We experimentally validated that CDT2, the protein encoded by DTL, activated cyclin-dependent kinases through downregulating P21, which induced tau hyperphosphorylation and Aβ toxicity, two hallmarks of AD. We demonstrated that cyclin-dependent kinases inhibition by roscovitine not only rescued CDT2-induced cognitive defects but also reversed expression changes induced by DTL overexpression. RNA-seq data from the DTL overexpression experiments revealed the molecular mechanisms underlying CDT2 controlled cell cycle reentry in AD.

Discussion: These findings provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of AD pathogenesis and thus pave a way for developing novel therapeutics for AD by targeting AD specific cell cycle networks and drivers.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; CDK; CDT2; Cell cycle reentry; DTL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation / physiology
  • tau Proteins / metabolism


  • DTL protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • tau Proteins