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Trends Genet. 1999 Mar;15(3):98-103.

Making sense of the COP9 signalosome. A regulatory protein complex conserved from Arabidopsis to human.

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  • 1Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8104, USA.


The COP9 signalosome, once defined as a repressor complex of light-activated development in Arabidopsis, has recently been found in humans and is probably present in most multicellular organisms. The COP9 signalosome is closely related to the lid sub-complex of the 26S proteasome in structural composition and probably shares a common evolutionary ancestor. A multifaceted role of the COP9 signalosome in cell-signaling processes is hinted at by its associated novel kinase activity, as well as the involvement of its subunits in regulating multiple cell-signaling pathways and cell-cycle progression. The molecular genetic studies in Arabidopsis suggest that the complex functions as part of a highly conserved regulatory network, whose physiological role in animals remains to be determined.

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