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Genes Dev. 1998 Jul 15;12(14):2120-30.

E2F3 activity is regulated during the cell cycle and is required for the induction of S phase.

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


Previous work has demonstrated the important role of E2F transcription activity in the induction of S phase during the transition from quiescence to proliferation. In addition to the E2F-dependent activation of a number of genes encoding DNA replication activities such as DNA Pol alpha, we now show that the majority of genes encoding initiation proteins, including Cdc6 and the Mcm proteins, are activated following the stimulation of cell growth and are regulated by E2F. The transcription of a subset of these genes, which includes Cdc6, cyclin E, and cdk2, is also regulated during the cell cycle. Moreover, whereas overall E2F DNA-binding activity accumulates during the initial G1 following a growth stimulus, only E2F3-binding activity reaccumulates at subsequent G1/S transitions, coincident with the expression of the cell-cycle-regulated subset of E2F-target genes. Finally, we show that immunodepletion of E2F3 activity inhibits the induction of S phase in proliferating cells. We propose that E2F3 activity plays an important role during the cell cycle of proliferating cells, controlling the expression of genes whose products are rate limiting for initiation of DNA replication, thereby imparting a more dramatic control of entry into S phase than would otherwise be achieved by post-transcriptional control alone.

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