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Genes Dev. 1999 Nov 15;13(22):2946-57.

Dephosphorylation of cyclin-dependent kinases by type 2C protein phosphatases.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8024, USA.


Activating phosphorylation of cyclin-dependent protein kinases (CDKs) is necessary for their kinase activity and cell cycle progression. This phosphorylation is carried out by the Cdk-activating kinase (CAK); in contrast, little is known about the corresponding protein phosphatase. We show that type 2C protein phosphatases (PP2Cs) are responsible for this dephosphorylation of Cdc28p, the major budding yeast CDK. Two yeast PP2Cs, Ptc2p and Ptc3p, display Cdc28p phosphatase activity in vitro and in vivo, and account for approximately 90% of Cdc28p phosphatase activity in yeast extracts. Overexpression of PTC2 or PTC3 results in synthetic lethality in strains temperature-sensitive for yeast CAK1, and disruptions of PTC2 and PTC3 suppress the growth defect of a cak1 mutant. Furthermore, PP2C-like enzymes are the predominant phosphatases toward human Cdk2 in HeLa cell extracts, indicating that the substrate specificity of PP2Cs toward CDKs is evolutionarily conserved.

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