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J Cell Sci. 2015 Apr 15;128(8):1518-27. doi: 10.1242/jcs.161919. Epub 2015 Mar 3.

Cyclin-A-CDK2-mediated phosphorylation of CIZ1 blocks replisome formation and initiation of mammalian DNA replication.

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University of York, Department of Biology, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK.
University of York, Department of Biology, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK


CIZ1 is a nuclear matrix protein that cooperates with cyclin A2 (encoded by CCNA2) and CDK2 to promote mammalian DNA replication. We show here that cyclin-A-CDK2 also negatively regulates CIZ1 activity by phosphorylation at threonines 144, 192 and 293. Phosphomimetic mutants do not promote DNA replication in cell-free and cell-based assays, and also have a dominant-negative effect on replisome formation at the level of PCNA recruitment. Phosphorylation blocks direct interaction with cyclin-A-CDK2 and recruitment of endogenous cyclin A to the nuclear matrix. In contrast, phosphomimetic CIZ1 retains the ability to bind to the nuclear matrix, and its interaction with CDC6 is not affected. Phospho-T192-specific antibodies confirm that CIZ1 is phosphorylated during S phase and G2, and show that phosphorylation at this site occurs at post-initiation concentrations of cyclin-A-CDK2. Taken together, the data suggest that CIZ1 is a kinase sensor that promotes initiation of DNA replication at low kinase levels, when in a hypophosphorylated state that is permissive for cyclin-A-CDK2 interaction and delivery to licensed origins, but blocks delivery at higher kinase levels when it is phosphorylated.


CIZ1; Cyclin A; Cyclin dependent kinase 2; DNA replication; Phosphorylation; Replisome

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