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Retinoblastoma Protein

The retinoblastoma protein, also known as pRb or p105[5], is a tumour suppressor protein, and is one of many proteins that has an important role in the regulation of the cell cycle. The Rb protein was first discovered in 1986[1] through studies of an inheritable children's eye cancer called retinoblastoma, as its name suggests, which was found to have a lack of retinoblastoma gene (Rb or Rb1), the gene which encodes pRb[3]. This loss of the Rb gene and hence loss of the Rb protein within retinoblastoma proposed pRb had functional qualities associated with the inhibition of growth and division of cells, and this hallmark initiated research into the retinoblastoma protein[4].

Structure

Function

The main function of pRb is the inhibition of the cell cycle at the restriction point at the late G1 phase, temporarily preventing the cells progression into the S phase. pRb becomes inactive when it is phosphorylated by protein cyclin-dependent kinases Cdk4 and Cdk2, unblocking and allowing the cell to pass the restriction point in order to progress from the G1 phase into the S phase of the cell cycle. Prior to this crutial step, the activation of Cdk4 and Cdk2 must occur through the synthesis and binding of cyclins D and E to Cdk4 and Cdk2, respectively, which form cyclin-cdk complexes[Purves].


Importance of pRb

"previous studies indicate that the HCV RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, nonstructural protein 5B (NS5B), forms a complex with the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (pRb), targeting it for degradation, activating E2F-responsive promoters, and stimulating cellular proliferation....the abundance of pRb is strongly downregulated, and its normal nuclear localization altered to include a major cytoplasmic component..."

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2323300&tool=pmcentrez&rendertype=abstract

Structure-function analysis of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein – is the whole a sum of its parts?

Human papillomavirus immortalization and transformation functions