Role and therapeutic potential of CDK12 in human cancers

Rosaria Chilà, Federica Guffanti, Giovanna Damia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Phosphorylation of the RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain by cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) is important for productive transcription. Deregulated transcription-CDKs have been reported in different human cancers. Until recently CDK9 was the only transcription-CDK with a causative role in cancer, but evidence is cumulating of the importance of CDK12. This review summarizes the role of CDK12 in transcription and RNA processing, in maintaining genomic stability/integrity and in tumorigenesis. CDK12 mutations have been reported in many cancers and have been suggested as a cause of defective DNA repair in ovarian carcinoma. CDK12 may have a role as a new therapeutic target in oncology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-88
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016


  • CDK12
  • DNA repair
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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