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FEBS Lett. 2001 Feb 16;490(3):117-22.

Pathways governing G1/S transition and their response to DNA damage.

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  • 1Department of Cell Cycle and Cancer, Institute of Cancer Biology, Danish Cancer Society, Strandboulevarden 49, DK-2100, Copenhagen, Denmark.


The ability to self-replicate is a fundamental feature of life, reflected at the cellular level by a highly regulated process initiated in G1 phase via commitment to a round of DNA replication and cell division. Here we briefly highlight recent advances in understanding the molecular pathways which govern the decision of mammalian somatic cells to enter S phase, and the so-called cell cycle checkpoints which guard the G1/S transition and S phase progression against potentially deleterious effects of genotoxic stress. Particular emphasis is put on the emerging parallel yet cooperative pathways of retinoblastoma protein (pRB)-E2F and Myc, their convergence to control the activity of the cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (Cdk2) at the G1/S boundary, as well as the two waves of checkpoint responses at G1/S: the rapid pathway(s) leading to Cdc25A degradation, and the delayed p53-p21 cascade, both silencing the Cdk2 activity upon DNA damage.

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