Publication details

CDK12: cellular functions and therapeutic potential of versatile player in cancer

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Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source NAR Cancer
MU Faculty or unit

Central European Institute of Technology

Description Cyclin-dependent kinase 12 (CDK12) phosphorylates the C-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II and is needed for the optimal transcription elongation and translation of a subset of human protein-coding genes. The kinase has a pleiotropic effect on the maintenance of genome stability, and its inactivation in prostate and ovarian tumours results in focal tandem duplications, a CDK12-unique genome instability phenotype. CDK12 aberrations were found in many other malignancies and have the potential to be used as biomarkers for therapeutic intervention. Moreover, the inhibition of CDK12 emerges as a promising strategy for treatment in several types of cancers. In this review, we summarize mechanisms that CDK12 utilizes for the regulation of gene expression and discuss how the perturbation of CDK12-sensitive genes contributes to the disruption of cell cycle progression and the onset of genome instability. Furthermore, we describe tumour-suppressive and oncogenic functions of CDK12 and its potential as a biomarker and inhibition target in anti-tumour treatments.
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