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J Biol Chem. 2004 Mar 5;279(10):9625-33. Epub 2003 Dec 11.

The regulated association of Cdt1 with minichromosome maintenance proteins and Cdc6 in mammalian cells.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.

Abstract

Chromosomal DNA replication requires the recruitment of the six-subunit minichromosome maintenance (Mcm) complex to chromatin through the action of Cdc6 and Cdt1. Although considerable work has described the functions of Cdc6 and Cdt1 in yeast and biochemical systems, evidence that their mammalian counterparts are subject to distinct regulation suggests the need to further explore the molecular relationships involving Cdc6 and Cdt1. Here we demonstrate that Cdc6 and Cdt1 are mutually dependent on one another for loading Mcm complexes onto chromatin in mammalian cells. The association of Cdt1 with Mcm2 is regulated by cell growth. Mcm2 prepared from quiescent cells associates very weakly with Cdt1, whereas Mcm2 from serum-stimulated cells associates with Cdt1 much more efficiently. Cdc6, which normally accumulates as cells progress from quiescence into G(1), is capable of inducing the binding of Mcm2 to Cdt1 when ectopically expressed in quiescent cells. We further show that Cdc6 physically associates with Cdt1 via its N-terminal noncatalytic domain, a region we had previously shown to be essential for Cdc6 function. Cdt1 activity is inhibited by the geminin protein, and we provide evidence that the mechanism of this inhibition involves blocking the binding of Cdt1 to both Mcm2 and Cdc6. These results identify novel molecular functions for both Cdc6 and geminin in controlling the association of Cdt1 with other components of the replication apparatus and indicate that the association of Cdt1 with the Mcm complex is controlled as cells exit and reenter the cell cycle.

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