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J Cell Physiol. 1996 Feb;166(2):256-73.

Expression and subcellular localization of CDK2 and cdc2 kinases and their common partner cyclin A in thyroid epithelial cells: comparison of cyclic AMP-dependent and -independent cell cycles.

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Institute of Interdisciplinary Research, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.


Dog thyroid epithelial cells in primary culture constitute a model of positive control of DNA synthesis initiation and G0-S prereplicative phase progression by cyclic AMP as a second messenger for TSH. In tis early steps, this mitogenic control is quite distinct from cyclic AMP-independent mitogenic cascades elicited by growth factors. We demonstrate here that TSH (cyclic AMP) and EGF+serum (cyclic AMP-independent) stimulations cooperate and finally converge on proteins that control the cell cycle machinery. This convergence included a common induction of the expression of cyclin A and p34cdc2, and to a lesser extent of p33/38cdk2, which was already expressed in quiescent thyroid cells, and common changes of cdc2 and CDK2 phosphorylations as evidenced by electrophoretic mobility shifts. Kinetic differences in these processes after stimulation by TSH or EGF+serum or by these factors in combination correlated with differences in cell cycle kinetics. Moreover, an immunofluorescence analysis of these proteins using the double labeling of PCNA as a marker of each cell cycle phase shows: (1) a previously undescribed nuclear translocation of CDK2 before S phase initiation; (2) a sudden increase of cdc2 nuclear immunoreactivity at G2/mitosis transition. These data support the roles of CDK2 and cdc2 at G1/S and G2/mitosis transitions, respectively. (3) We were unable to demonstrate in individual cells a strict association between the nuclear appearance of cyclin A and G1/S transition, and an association of cyclin A and CDK2 with PCNA-stained DNA replication sites. On the other hand, the lengthening of G2 phase in the TSH/cyclic AMP-dependent thyroid cell cycle was associated with a stabilization of Tyr15 inhibitory phosphorylation of cdc2 and an especially high nuclear concentration of cyclin A and CDK2. We hypothesize that high nuclear accumulation of cyclin A and CDK2 during G2 phase could be causative in the cyclic AMP-dependent delay of mitosis onset.

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