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Cell Cycle. 2010 Nov 15;9(22):4533-41. Epub 2010 Nov 15.

Activation of Cdk2/Cyclin E complexes is dependent on the origin of replication licensing factor Cdc6 in mammalian cells.

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Saint Louis University School of Medicine, MO, USA.


Cyclin E-associated CDK2 activity is required for the initiation of DNA synthesis in human cells. CDK2 activity is tightly regulated; CDK2 must be in the nucleus, bound to a cyclin, phosphorylated on T160, and dephosphorylated on T14/Y15 for complete kinase activation. Nuclear localization exposes CDK2 to activating enzymes (CAK, Cdc25A) in stimulated cells. Previous studies from our lab indicate CDK2 nuclear localization and cyclin E co-expression are insufficient to cause CDK2 activation or T160 phosphorylation in stimulated IIC9 cells; these activities still require serum stimulation and ERK kinase activity. Recent studies have implicated a role for origin of replication (ORC) licensing proteins in the activation of G1/S Cdks. In this study, we show that CDK2 associates with chromatin and Cdc6 in an ERK-dependent manner following stimulation of IIC9 CHEF cells. We show that nuclear-localized CDK2 (CDK2-NLS) ectopically expressed with cyclin E requires mitogenic stimulation and ERK activation for chromatin association, in addition to previously shown kinase activation and T160 phosphorylation in IIC9 cells. Additionally, we show that expression of Cdc6 in stimulated IIC9 cells treated with ERK inhibitor rescues CDK2-NLS chromatin association, kinase activation, and T160 phosphorylation. From the above data, we deduce ERK-dependent CDK2 activation is due in part to ERK-dependent Cdc6 expression. To examine the role of Cdc6 directly in stimulated primary human fibroblasts, we used RNA interference to attenuate the expression of Cdc6. We show that Cdc6 expression is required for CDK2 chromatin association and kinase activation in stimulated primary human fibroblasts. Additionally, we show that Cdc6 expression is required for the initiation of DNA synthesis and S phase entry in stimulated primary human fibroblasts. Ultimately, this data implicates Cdc6 expression as an important mitogen-induced mechanism in the activation of CDK2/cyclin E, the initiation of DNA synthesis, and the regulation of G1-S phase progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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