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Curr Biol. 1999 Dec 2;9(23):1392-402.

Rux is a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CKI) specific for mitotic cyclin-Cdk complexes.

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Institut für Genetik, Universität zu Köln, Köln, D-50931, Germany.



Roughex (Rux) is a cell-cycle regulator that contributes to the establishment and maintenance of the G1 state in the fruit fly Drosophila. Genetic data show that Rux inhibits the S-phase function of the cyclin A (CycA)-cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) complex; in addition, it can prevent the mitotic functions of CycA and CycB when overexpressed. Rux has no homology to known Cdk inhibitors (CKIs), and the molecular mechanism of Rux function is not known.


Rux interacted with CycA and CycB in coprecipitation experiments. Expression of Rux caused nuclear translocation of CycA and CycB, and inhibited Cdk1 but not Cdk2 kinase activity. Cdk1 inhibition by Rux did not rely on inhibitory phosphorylation, disruption of cyclin-Cdk complex formation or changes in subcellular localization. Rux inhibited Cdk1 kinase in two ways: Rux prevented the activating phosphorylation on Cdk1 and also inhibited activated Cdk1 complexes. Surprisingly, Rux had a stimulating effect on CycA-Cdk1 activity when present in low concentrations.


Rux fulfils all the criteria for a CKI. This is the first description in a multicellular organism of a CKI that specifically inhibits mitotic cyclin-Cdk complexes. This function of Rux is required for the G1 state and male meiosis and could also be involved in mitotic regulation, while the stimulating effect of Rux might assist in any S-phase function of CycA-Cdk1.

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