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

Cyclin A- and cyclin B-dependent protein kinases are regulated by different mechanisms in Xenopus egg extracts.

Cyclins are proteins which are synthesized and degraded in a cell cycle-dependent fashion and form integral regulatory subunits of protein kinase complexes involved in the regulation of the cell cycle. The best known catalytic subunit of a cyclin-dependent protein kinase complex is p34cdc2. In the cell, cyclins A and B are synthesized at different stages of the cell cycle and induce protein kinase activation with different kinetics. The kinetics of activation can be reproduced and studied in extracts of Xenopus eggs to which bacterially produced cyclins are added. In this paper we report that in egg extracts, both cyclin A and cyclin B associate with and activate the same catalytic subunit, p34cdc2. In addition, cyclin A binds a less abundant p33 protein kinase related to p34cdc2, the product of the cdk2/ Eg1 gene. When complexed to cyclin B, p34cdc2 is subject to transient inhibition by tyrosine phosphorylation, producing a lag between the addition of cyclin and kinase activation. In contrast, p34cdc2 is only weakly tyrosine phosphorylated when bound to cyclin A and activates rapidly. This finding shows that a given kinase catalytic subunit can be regulated in a different manner depending on the nature of the regulatory subunit to which it binds. Tyrosine phosphorylation of p34cdc2 when complexed to cyclin B provides an inhibitory check on the activation of the M phase inducing protein kinase, allowing the coupling of processes such as DNA replication to the onset of metaphase. Our results suggest that, at least in the early Xenopus embryo, cyclin A-dependent protein kinases may not be subject to this checkpoint and are regulated primarily at the level of cyclin translation.[1]


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