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Prog Cell Cycle Res. 1995;1:229-40.

The regulation and functions of cdk7.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.


cdk7 started its life rather anonymously as a kinase called MO15, identified during a search for cDNA's which encode protein kinases related to cdc2. For several years its function remained obscure, but during the last 18 months MO15 has revealed itself as the catalytic subunit of cdk activating kinase, associating with at least two other subunits including a new cyclin, cyclin H. MO15(cdk7) has therefore been established paradoxically as both a new member and a regulator of the cyclin dependent kinase family. New evidence now suggests that cdk7 is also involved in the processes of transcription initiation and DNA repair, associating with the general transcription factor TFIIH. The engima of cdk7 is likely to remain for a while yet, and perhaps even more surprises are in store.

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