Cyclin e associates with the lipogenic enzyme ATP-citrate lyase to enable malignant growth of breast cancer cells

Kimberly S. Lucenay, Iman Doostan, Cansu Karakas, Tuyen Bui, Zhiyong Ding, Gordon B. Mills, Kelly K. Hunt, Khandan Keyomarsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Cyclin E is altered in nearly a third of invasive breast cancers where it is a powerful independent predictor of survival in women with stage I-III disease. Full-length cyclin E is post-translationally cleaved into low molecular weight (LMW-E) isoforms, which are tumor-specific and accumulate in the cytoplasm because they lack a nuclear localization sequence. We hypothesized that aberrant localization of cytosolic LMW-Eisoforms alters target binding and activation ultimately contributing to LMW-E-induced tumorigenicity. To address this hypothesis, we used a retrovirus-based protein complementation assay to find LMW-E binding proteins in breast cancer, identifying ATP-citrate lyase (ACLY), an enzyme in the de novo lipogenesis pathway, as a novel LMW-E-interacting protein in the cytoplasm. LMW-E upregulated ACLY enzymatic activity, subsequently increasing lipid droplet formation, thereby providing cells with essential building blocks to support growth. ACLY was also required for LMW-E-mediated transformation, migration, and invasion of breast cancer cells in vitro along with tumor growth in vivo. In clinical specimens of breast cancer, the absence of LMW-E and low expression of adipophilin (PLIN2), a marker of lipid droplet formation, associated with favorable prognosis, whereas overexpression of both proteins correlated with a markedly worse prognosis. Taken together, our findings establish a novel relationship between LMW-E isoforms of cyclin E and aberrant lipid metabolism pathways in breast cancer tumorigenesis, warranting further investigation in additional malignancies exhibiting their expression. Cancer Res; 76(8); 2406-18.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2406-2418
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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