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Prog Cell Cycle Res. 1996;2:197-204.

The cyclin C/Cdk8 kinase.

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URA 671 CNRS, Villefranche-sur-mer, France.


Cyclin C was originally identified in a genetic screen for metazoan cDNAs that complement a triple knock-out of the CLN genes, involved in G1/S progression in S. cerevisiae. Unlike cyclin Ds and cyclin E, also identified in this screen, cyclin C has not been found to have a cell-cycle role in metazoa. Identified as the catalytic partner of cyclin C, Cdk8 is a novel protein-kinase of the Cdk family structurally related to the yeast Srb10 kinase. Cyclin C, Cdk8 and RNA polymerase II are found in a large multi-protein complex that shows structural as well as functional homologies with the yeast polymerase II holoenzyme. These observations and the sequence similarity to the kinase/cyclin pair Srb10/Srb11 in S. cerevisiae, suggest that cyclin C and Cdk8 control RNA polymerase II function.

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