ReviewSemin Cancer Biol, auth.: group Fajas

Beyond cell cycle regulation: The pleiotropic function of CDK4 in cancer

Dorian V Ziegler 1Kanishka Parashar 1Lluis Fajas 2


CDK4, along with its regulatory subunit, cyclin D, drives the transition from G1 to S phase, during which DNA replication and metabolic activation occur. In this canonical pathway, CDK4 is essentially a transcriptional regulator that acts through phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein (RB) and subsequent activation of the transcription factor E2F, ultimately triggering the expression of genes involved in DNA synthesis and cell cycle progression to S phase. In this review, we focus on the newly reported functions of CDK4, which go beyond direct regulation of the cell cycle. In particular, we describe the extranuclear roles of CDK4, including its roles in the regulation of metabolism, cell fate, cell dynamics and the tumor microenvironment. We describe direct phosphorylation targets of CDK4 and decipher how CDK4 influences these physiological processes in the context of cancer.