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Oncogene. 1995 Feb 16;10(4):663-9.

A variant form of cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (Cdk2) in a malignantly transformed rat thyroid (FRTL-Tc) cell line.

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Third Department of Internal Medicine, University of Yamanashi Medical School, Japan.


Cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (Cdk2) controls the transition from the G1 to the S phase in the mammalian cell cycle. We found by immunoblotting that anti-Cdk2 antibodies recognize three Cdk2 proteins (of 33, 34 and 39 kDa) in FRTL-5 and FRTL-Tc cells (malignantly transformed FRTL cells). Although 33 kDa protein is a phosphorylated form of 34 kDa protein previously reported, the nature of 39 kDa protein is unknown. In order to determine the nature of this protein, we screened a FRTL-5 cDNA library. Two cDNA clones of the rat homologue (rat Cdk2-alpha and -beta) of human Cdk2 were isolated. The open reading frame of rat Cdk2-alpha cDNA encoded a protein with 428 amino acids and has a high degree of conservation with human Cdk2. The calculated molecular weight of Cdk2-alpha protein is 33892 Da. The rat Cdk2-beta cDNA was identical to Cdk2-alpha cDNA except that it had extra 144 bp; this coincided with insertion of 48 amino acids into Cdk2-alpha protein between Met 196 and Val 197. The calculated molecular weight of Cdk2-beta protein is 39087 Da. Northern blot analysis indicated that the sizes of rat Cdk2-alpha and -beta mRNAs are approximately 2.5 kb and 3.0 kb, respectively. Partial proteolytic mapping showed that Cdk2-beta gene product is 39 kDa Cdk2 in the immunoblotting. We also found that Cdk2-beta protein binds to cyclin A and suc1 proteins. During G1-S phase in FRTL-Tc cells, Cdk2-alpha protein level is constant, but is gradually phosphorylated. In contrast, the level of Cdk2-beta protein increases through the S phase and decreases at the early G2 phase. These results suggest that a variant form of Cdk2 protein might be required for entry into the S phase of the cell cycle in FRTL-Tc cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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