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Trends Cell Biol. 1998 Jun;8(6):238-44.

Proteolytic ratchets that control progression through mitosis.

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  • 1Dept of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


A key player in mitotic progression is a cell-cycle-regulated ubiquitin-protein ligase complex known as the anaphase-promoting complex or cyclosome (APC/C). The APC/C is part of the machinery that promotes the metaphase-anaphase transition by mediating the ubiquitin-dependent destruction of anaphase inhibitors and initiates exit from mitosis by degrading mitotic cyclins. This review describes the known components and substrates of the mitotic ubiquitination machinery and discusses how a new subfamily of proteins that contain the WD40 repeat (the Fizzy/Cdc20p family) might activate the APC/C to allow temporal differences in substrate ubiquitination during progression through mitosis.

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