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Gene Review

cdk7  -  cyclin-dependent kinase 7

Xenopus (Silurana) tropicalis

Synonyms: MO15, cak1, cdkn7, p39mo15, p40MO15, ...
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High impact information on cdk7

  • In the absence of MAT-1, phosphorylation of the T-loop appears to be required for cdk7 to bind cyclin H. Phosphorylation of both residues does not require cyclin H binding in vitro [1].
  • Stable heterotrimeric CAK complexes were generated in reticulocyte lysates programmed with mRNAs encoding Xenopus cdk7, cyclin H and MAT1 [2].
  • However, CAK may also exist in oocytes as heterodimeric complexes between cyclin H and cdk7 only [2].
  • New evidence now suggests that cdk7 is also involved in the processes of transcription initiation and DNA repair, associating with the general transcription factor TFIIH [3].

Biological context of cdk7

  • We have investigated the role of S170 and T176 phosphorylation in the assembly and activity of cyclin H-cdk7 dimers [1].


  1. Dual phosphorylation of the T-loop in cdk7: its role in controlling cyclin H binding and CAK activity. Martinez, A.M., Afshar, M., Martin, F., Cavadore, J.C., Labbé, J.C., Dorée, M. EMBO J. (1997) [Pubmed]
  2. MAT1 ('menage à trois') a new RING finger protein subunit stabilizing cyclin H-cdk7 complexes in starfish and Xenopus CAK. Devault, A., Martinez, A.M., Fesquet, D., Labbé, J.C., Morin, N., Tassan, J.P., Nigg, E.A., Cavadore, J.C., Dorée, M. EMBO J. (1995) [Pubmed]
  3. The regulation and functions of cdk7. Shuttleworth, J. Progress in cell cycle research. (1995) [Pubmed]
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