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Mol Biol Cell. 2009 Jan;20(1):1-9. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E08-01-0036. Epub 2008 Oct 22.

Novel control of S phase of the cell cycle by ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme H7.

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  • 1Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


Timely degradation of regulatory proteins by the ubiquitin proteolytic pathway (UPP) is an established paradigm of cell cycle regulation during the G2/M and G1/S transitions. Less is known about roles for the UPP during S phase. Here we present evidence that dynamic cell cycle-dependent changes in levels of UbcH7 regulate entrance into and progression through S phase. In diverse cell lines, UbcH7 protein levels are dramatically reduced in S phase but are fully restored by G2. Knockdown of UbcH7 increases the proportion of cells in S phase and doubles the time to traverse S phase, whereas UbcH7 overexpression reduces the proportion of cells in S phase. These data suggest a role for UbcH7 targets in the completion of S phase and entry into G2. Notably, UbcH7 knockdown was coincident with elevated levels of the checkpoint kinase Chk1 but not Chk2. These results argue that UbcH7 promotes S phase progression to G2 by modulating the intra-S phase checkpoint mediated by Chk1. Furthermore, UbcH7 levels appear to be regulated by a UPP. Together the data identify novel roles for the UPP, specifically UbcH7 in the regulation of S phase transit time as well as in cell proliferation.

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