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Plant J. 1997 Jul;12(1):191-202.

Roscovitine, a novel cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, characterizes restriction point and G2/M transition in tobacco BY-2 cell suspension.

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Institut de Biotechnologie des Plantes, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France.


Although the developmental programs of plants and animals differ, key regulatory components of their cell cycle have been conserved. Particular attention has been paid to the role of the complexes between highly conserved cyclin and cyclin-dependent kinases in regulating progression through the cell cycle. The recent demonstration that roscovitine is a potent and selective inhibitor of the animal cyclin-dependent kinases cdc2 (CDK1), CDK2 and CDK5 prompted an investigation into its effects on progression through the plant cell cycle. Roscovitine induced arrests both in late G1 and late G2 phase in BY-2 tobacco cell suspensions. Both block were fully reversible when roscovitine was used at concentrations similar to those used in the animal system. Stationary-phase cells subcultured in the presence of roscovitine were arrested at a 2C DNA content. This arrest was more efficient without exogenous addition of plant growth regulator. Roscovitine induced a block in G1 earlier than that induced by aphidicolin. S-phase synchronized cells treated with roscovitine were arrested at a 4C DNA content at the G2/ M transition. The expression analysis of a mitotic cyclin (NTCYC1) indicated that the roscovitine-induced G2 block probably occurs in late G2. Finally, cells in metaphase were insensitive to roscovitine. The purified CDK/cyclin kinase activities of late G1 and early M arrested cells were inhibited in vitro by roscovitine. The implications of these experimental observations for the requirement for CDK activity during progression through the plant cell cycle are discussed.

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