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J Biol Chem. 2000 May 26;275(21):16235-41.

Inhibition of Mcm4,6,7 helicase activity by phosphorylation with cyclin A/Cdk2.

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  • 1Mitsubishi Kasei Institute of Life Sciences, 11 Minamiooya, Machida, Tokyo 194-8511, Japan.


A strong body of evidence indicates that cyclin-dependent protein kinases are required not only for the initiation of DNA replication but also for preventing over-replication in eukaryotic cells. Mcm proteins are one of the components of the replication licensing system that permits only a single round of DNA replication per cell cycle. It has been reported that Mcm proteins are phosphorylated by the cyclin-dependent kinases in vivo, suggesting that these two factors are cooperatively involved in the regulation of DNA replication. Our group has reported that a 600-kDa Mcm4,6,7 complex has a DNA helicase activity that is probably necessary for the initiation of DNA replication. Here, we examined the in vitro phosphorylation of the Mcm complexes with cyclin A/Cdk2 to understand the interplay between Mcm proteins and cyclin-dependent kinases. The cyclin A/Cdk2 mainly phosphorylated the amino-terminal region of Mcm4 in the Mcm4,6,7 complex. The phosphorylation was associated with the inactivation of its DNA helicase activity. These results raise the possibility that the inactivation of Mcm4,6,7 helicase activity by Cdk2 is a part of the system for regulating DNA replication.

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