Thursday 2 October 2003
RB, Retinoblastoma protein
The retinoblastoma protein (protein name abbreviated pRb; gene name abbreviated RB or RB1) is a tumor suppressor protein that is dysfunctional in several major cancers.
One function of pRb is to prevent excessive cell growth by inhibiting cell cycle progression until a cell is ready to divide. When the cell is ready to divide, pRb is phosphorylated, becomes inactive and allows cell cycle progression. It is also a recruiter of several chromatin remodeling enzymes such as methylases and acetylases.
Rb belongs to the pocket protein family, whose members have a pocket for the functional binding of other proteins. Should an oncogenic protein, such as those produced by cells infected by high-risk types of human papillomaviruses, bind and inactivate pRb, this can lead to cancer.
Cell cycle regulation
In a resting cell, RB is a component of the E2F/DP1/RB complex, which represses gene transcription through the recruitment of histone deacetylase, an enzyme that alters the conformation of chromatin, making it more compact.
Phosphorylation of RB by cyclin D-CDK4 removes histone deacetylase from chromatin, allowing the activation of E2F transcriptional activity (RB can also be phosphorylated by cyclin E-CDK2).
E2F-mediated transcription of cyclins E and A, and of genes required for DNA replication, permit the passage through the G1 restriction point.
RB1-associated tumor predisposition syndrome
- post-radiation osteosarcoma
germline mutations in familial retinoblastoma
somatic mutations in:
- sporadic retinoblastoma
- post-radiation osteosarcoma
inactivation of RB protein by HPV-E6 and HPV-E7 oncoproteins through p16 protein (CDKN2A)
- p16 is an inhibitor of cyclin dependent kinases such as CDK4 and CDK6.
- These latter kinases phosphorylate retinoblastoma protein (pRB) which eventually results in progression from G1 phase to S phase.
RB/E2F pathway (P16(INK4A)-CDK4/6-RB)
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