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Science. 1996 Sep 20;273(5282):1714-7.

A cyclin-dependent kinase-activating kinase (CAK) in budding yeast unrelated to vertebrate CAK.

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Department of Physiology, University of California, San Francisco, 94143-0444, USA.


Progress through the cell cycle is governed by the cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), the activation of which requires phosphorylation by the CDK-activating kinase (CAK). In vertebrates, CAK is a trimeric enzyme containing CDK7, cyclin H, and MAT1. CAK from the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was identified as an unusual 44-kilodalton protein kinase, Cak1, that is only distantly related to CDKs. Cak1 accounted for most CAK activity in yeast cell lysates, and its activity was constant throughout the cell cycle. The CAK1 gene was essential for cell viability. Thus, the major CAK in S. cerevisiae is distinct from the vertebrate enzyme, suggesting that budding yeast and vertebrates may have evolved different mechanisms of CDK activation.

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