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EMBO J. 1995 May 15;14(10):2166-75.

Cell cycle regulation of human WEE1.

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Department of Molecular, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


WEE1 kinase negatively regulates entry into mitosis by catalyzing the inhibitory tyrosine phosphorylation of CDC2/cyclin B kinase. We report here an investigation of human WEE1. Endogenous WEE1 migrates as an approximately 94 kDa protein in SDS-PAGE, substantially larger than the 49 kDa protein encoded by the original human WEE1 cDNA clone that was truncated at the 5'-end. Antibody depletion experiments demonstrate that WEE1 accounts for most of the activity that phosphorylates CDC2 on Tyr15 in an in vitro assay of HeLa cell lysates, hence it is likely to have an important role in the mitotic control of human cells. WEE1 activity was not found to be elevated in HeLa cells arrested in S phase, suggesting that unreplicated DNA does not delay M phase by hyperactivating WEE1. WEE1 activity is strongly suppressed during M phase, suggesting that negative regulation of WEE1 could be part of the mechanism by which activation of CDC2/cyclin B kinase is promoted during the G2/M transition. M phase WEE1 is re-activated in samples prepared in the absence of protein phosphatase inhibitors, demonstrating that WEE1 is inhibited by a mechanism that requires protein phosphorylation.

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