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Mol Cell Biol. 1994 May;14(5):3350-63.

A novel mammalian protein, p55CDC, present in dividing cells is associated with protein kinase activity and has homology to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell division cycle proteins Cdc20 and Cdc4.

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  • 1Amgen, Inc., Thousand Oaks, California 91320.


A novel protein, p55CDC, has been identified in cycling mammalian cells. This transcript is readily detectable in all exponentially growing cell lines but disappears when cells are chemically induced to fall out of the cell cycle and differentiate. The p55CDC protein appears to be essential for cell division, since transfection of antisense p55CDC cDNA into CHO cells resulted in isolation of only those cells which exhibited a compensatory increase in p55CDC transcripts in the sense orientation. Immunoprecipitation of p55CDC yielded protein complexes with kinase activity which fluctuated during the cell cycle. Since p55CDC does not have the conserved protein kinase domains, this activity must be due to one or more of the associated proteins in the immune complex. The highest levels of protein kinase activity were seen with alpha-casein and myelin basic protein as substrates and demonstrated a pattern of activity distinct from that described for the known cyclin-dependent cell division kinases. The p55CDC protein was also phosphorylated in dividing cells. The amino acid sequence of p55CDC contains seven repeats homologous to the beta subunit of G proteins, and the highest degree of homology in these repeats was found with the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Cdc20 and Cdc4 proteins, which have been proposed to be involved in the formation of a functional bipolar mitotic spindle in yeast cells. The G beta repeat has been postulated to mediate protein-protein interactions and, in p55CDC, may modulate its association with a unique cell cycle protein kinase. These findings suggest that p55CDC is a component of the mammalian cell cycle mechanism.

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