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Cell Div. 2007 Jun 5;2:16.

The role of CDK in the initiation step of DNA replication in eukaryotes.

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Division of Microbial Genetics, National Institute of Genetics, Research Organization of Information and Systems, Mishima, Shizuoka, Japan.


Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) regulate the progression of the cell cycle in eukaryotes. One of the major roles of CDK is to promote chromosomal DNA replication. However, how CDKs promote DNA replication has been a long-standing question, because all the essential CDK substrates in DNA replication have not been identified yet. Recently Sld2 and Sld3 were identified as essential substrates of CDKs in the initiation step of DNA replication in budding yeast. Moreover, bypass of their phosphorylations is sufficient to promote DNA replication. Phosphorylation of Sld2 and Sld3 by CDKs enhances the formation of complex(es) with a BRCT (BRCA1 C-Terminal)-containing replication protein, Dpb11. We further propose that multiple phosphorylation by CDKs controls this process in budding yeast. Even though Sld3 orthologues in multicellular eukaryotes have not been identified, similar complex formation and, therefore, a similar mechanism of initiation control might be employed in eukaryotes.

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