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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A novel member of the cyclin-dependent kinase family in Paramecium tetraurelia.

Passage through the cell cycle in eukaryotes requires the successive activation of different cyclin-dependent protein kinases. Here, we describe the identification and characterization of a novel class of cyclin-dependent protein kinase, termed Cdk2, in the ciliate Paramecium tetraurelia. It is 301 amino acids long, 7 amino acids shorter than Cdk1, the CDK that is associated with macronuclear DNA synthesis. All the catalytic domains typical of protein kinases can be located within the sequence and putative regulatory phosphorylation sites equivalent to Thr14, Tyr15, and Thr161 in human CDK1 are also conserved. The 'PSTAIRE' region characteristic of most CDKs is perfectly conserved. Cdk2 shares only 48% homology to Cdk1 at the amino acid level, suggesting that the evolutionary separation of Cdk1 and Cdk2 is ancient, and implying that they have different roles in cell cycle regulation. Like Cdk1, Cdk2 does not bind to yeast p13suc1, even though it has better conservation of p13suc1 binding sites than Cdk1 does. The Cdk2 protein level is relatively constant throughout the vegetative cell cycle. Cdk2 exhibits kinase activity towards bovine histone H1 in vitro with the maximal level late in the cell cycle, suggesting it may be involved in the regulation of cytokinesis. Our results further support the view that an analogue of the cyclin-dependent kinase cell cycle regulatory system like that of yeast and higher eukaryotic cells operates in Paramecium and that a family of cyclin-dependent kinases may control different aspects of the Paramecium cell cycle.[1]


  1. A novel member of the cyclin-dependent kinase family in Paramecium tetraurelia. Zhang, H., Berger, J.D. J. Eukaryot. Microbiol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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