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EMBO J. 1994 Feb 1;13(3):584-94.

Destruction of Xenopus cyclins A and B2, but not B1, requires binding to p34cdc2.

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Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Clare Hall Laboratories, South Mimms, Herts, UK.


The specific and rapid destruction of cyclins A and B during mitosis is their most remarkable property. A short peptide motif of approximately 10 amino acids near the N-terminus, known as the destruction box, is absolutely required for programmed proteolysis. In this paper we show that although the destruction box is necessary for the degradation of cyclin A, it is not sufficient. Mutant versions of cyclin A that cannot form complexes with p34cdc2 are stable, which we interpret to mean that this cyclin must bind to p34cdc2 in order to undergo programmed proteolysis. Thus, N-terminal fragments of cyclin A containing little more than the destruction box and its surroundings are indestructible. p34cdc2 binding also appears to be required for the destruction of cyclin B2. In contrast, cyclin B1 does not require p34cdc2 binding for specific proteolysis. The systems for the proteolysis of cyclins A, B1 and B2 thus appear to show important differences in the way they recognize their substrates.

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