LIMD1 antagonizes E2F1 activity and cell cycle progression by enhancing Rb function in cancer cells



Tumour suppressor genes restrain inappropriate cell growth and division, as well as stimulate cell death to maintain tissue homeostasis. Loss of function leads to abnormal cellular behaviour, including hyperproliferation of cell and perturbation of cell cycle regulation. LIMD1 is a tumour suppressor gene located at chromosome 3p21.3, a region commonly deleted in many solid malignancies. LIMD1 interacts with retinoblastoma (Rb) and is involved in Rb-mediated downregulation of E2F1-target genes. However, the role of LIMD1 in cell cycle regulation remains unclear. We propose that LIMD1 induces cell cycle arrest, utilising Rb-E2F1 axis, and show that ectopic expression of LIMD1 in A549 cells results in hypo-phosphorylation that potentiates Rb function, which correlates with downregulation of E2F1. In agreement with these observations, LIMD1 overexpression retards cell cycle progression and blocks S-phase entry, as cells accumulate in G0/G1 phase and have reduced incorporation of BrdU. Most significantly, LIMD1-dependent effects on Rb function and cell cycle are reversed on depletion of endogenous LIMD1, underscoring its centrality in Rb-mediated cell cycle regulation. Hence, our findings provide new insight into cell cycle control by Rb-LIMD1 nexus.