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EMBO J. 1990 Sep;9(9):2885-9.

p53 is associated with p34cdc2 in transformed cells.

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Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, UK.


The normal functioning of p53 is thought to involve p53 target proteins. We have previously identified a cellular 35 kd protein associated with p53 and now report evidence identifying this 35 kd protein as p34cdc2, product of the cell cycle control cdc2 gene. The association between p53 and p34cdc2 was detected in SV3T3 and T3T3 cell lines, both expressing the wild-type p53 phenotype, and in 3T3tx cells, expressing 'mutant' p53 phenotype. Binding of the mutant p53 phenotype with p34cdc2 was greatly reduced relative to wild-type. Complexes of p53-p34cdc2 may represent inactivation or activation of either component. The p34cdc2 kinase functions at cell cycle control points and is necessary for entry and passage through mitosis. It also operates in G1 and is involved in the commitment of cells into the proliferative cycle. Since we were unable to detect p53-p34cdc2 complexes in mitotic cells we propose that the interaction between p53 and p34cdc2 may be functional in cell growth control, possibly to promote or to suppress cell proliferation.

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