Metastatic cancers are notoriously difficult to treat and often deadly.
Professor Katherine Jones, first author Seung Choi and colleagues
revealed a new role for a protein called CDK12. By analyzing the role of
CDK12 in protecting cells from chemotherapy, the team discovered a
new group of genes that controls cancer-cell metabolism. CDK12 works
with another protein, mTORC1, to control the process of translation—an
important step in creating a new protein within the cell. This finding
points to a potential newmetastatic drug target.
NEW ROLE FOR A DRIVER OF
Left: The process of cell division, called mitosis,
showing structures called microtubules (orange)
pulling the chromosomes (blue) to opposite
sides, called spindle poles, of the cell. CDK12 is
critical for proper chromosome alignment and
progression through mitosis.
Right: Without CDK12 the chromosomes
become misaligned and detach from the
From left: Seongjae Kim, Katherine Jones,
Seung Choi and Thomas Martinez.
a new translation
pathway that nobody
knew existed, which
is used by a lot of
the factors that
are involved in cell