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EMBO J. 1996 Aug 15;15(16):4182-93.

Activation of cyclin E/CDK2 is coupled to site-specific autophosphorylation and ubiquitin-dependent degradation of cyclin E.

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


A yeast screen was developed to identify mutations in human cyclin E that lead to stabilization of the protein in order to identify determinants important for cyclin E turnover. Both C-terminal truncations and missense mutations near the C-terminus of cyclin E conferred hyperstability in vivo, suggesting that sequences in this region were critical for turnover. The following observations indicate that autophosphorylation of CDK2/cyclin E on Thr380 of the cyclin regulates cyclin E destruction: (i) mutation of Thr380 to Ala stabilizes cyclin E in yeast and mammalian cells; (ii) cyclin E/CDK2 autophosphorylates on cyclin E in vitro and cyclin E is a phosphoprotein in vivo in mammalian cells; (iii) the T380A mutation eliminates phosphorylation on the same site in mammalian cells and in vitro; (iv) inhibiting CDK2 activity in vivo stabilizes cyclin E; (v) the T380A mutation prevents ubiquitination of cyclin E. These results suggest a model where activation of cyclinE/CDK2 is coupled to cyclin E turnover via site-specific phosphorylation, which acts as a signal for ubiquitination and proteasome processing.

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