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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2006 Apr;18(2):192-8. Epub 2006 Feb 17.

CDK activation by non-cyclin proteins.

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CNIO (Spanish National Cancer Center), Melchor Fernández Almagro 3, E-28029 Madrid, Spain.


Progression through the cell cycle is regulated by cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), which associate with activating partners, named cyclins, to phosphorylate substrates efficiently. Cyclins are periodically synthesized and degraded during the cell cycle, playing a key role in the precise activation and inactivation of CDKs. However, CDKs can also be activated by other proteins, which lack sequence similarity to cyclins. These include the RINGO/Speedy proteins, which were originally identified as regulators of the meiotic cell cycle in Xenopus oocytes. Recently, five different mammalian RINGO/Speedy family members have been reported, all of which can bind to and directly activate Cdk1 and Cdk2.

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