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Limited redundancy in genes regulated by Cyclin T2 and Cyclin T1

Rajesh Ramakrishnan1, Wendong Yu12 and Andrew P Rice1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Molecular Virology & Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA

2 Department of Pathology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine/Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL 33136, USA

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:260  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-260

Published: 26 July 2011



The elongation phase, like other steps of transcription by RNA Polymerase II, is subject to regulation. The positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) complex allows for the transition of mRNA synthesis to the productive elongation phase. P-TEFb contains Cdk9 (Cyclin-dependent kinase 9) as its catalytic subunit and is regulated by its Cyclin partners, Cyclin T1 and Cyclin T2. The HIV-1 Tat transactivator protein enhances viral gene expression by exclusively recruiting the Cdk9-Cyclin T1 P-TEFb complex to a RNA element in nascent viral transcripts called TAR. The expression patterns of Cyclin T1 and Cyclin T2 in primary monocytes and CD4+ T cells suggests that Cyclin T2 may be generally involved in expression of constitutively expressed genes in quiescent cells, while Cyclin T1 may be involved in expression of genes up-regulated during macrophage differentiation, T cell activation, and conditions of increased metabolic activity To investigate this issue, we wished to identify the sets of genes whose levels are regulated by either Cyclin T2 or Cyclin T1.


We used shRNA lentiviral vectors to stably deplete either Cyclin T2 or Cyclin T1 in HeLa cells. Total RNA extracted from these cells was subjected to cDNA microarray analysis. We found that 292 genes were down- regulated by depletion of Cyclin T2 and 631 genes were down-regulated by depletion of Cyclin T1 compared to cells transduced with a control lentivirus. Expression of 100 genes was commonly reduced in either knockdown. Additionally, 111 and 287 genes were up-regulated when either Cyclin T2 or Cyclin T1 was depleted, respectively, with 45 genes in common.


These results suggest that there is limited redundancy in genes regulated by Cyclin T1 or Cyclin T2.