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Mutat Res. 1999 Jan;436(1):1-9.

Cyclin-dependent kinases at the G1-S transition of the mammalian cell cycle.

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Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy, University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, A-1090, Vienna, Austria.


In the mammalian cell cycle, the transition from the G1 phase to S phase, in which DNA replication occurs, is dependent on tight cell size control and has been shown to be regulated by the cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) 2, 3, 4 and 6. Activities of Cdks are controlled by association with cyclins and reversible phosphorylation reactions. An additional level of regulation is provided by inhibitors of Cdks. G1-S and S phase substrates of these enzymes include proteins implicated in replication and transcription. Whereas the regulation and role of Cdk2, 4 and 6 has intensively been studied, less is known about Cdk3. Recent data provide first insights into the regulation of Cdk3-associate kinase activity and suggest a model how Cdk3 participates in the regulation of the G1-S transition. Although it has been shown that these G1-Cdks are absolutely essential for a proper transition into S phase, their physiological activation is not sufficient to directly initiate replication independently of cell size. Evidence obtained from yeast and Xenopus indicate the initiation of DNA replication to be a two-step process: the origin recognition complex, Cdc6 and Mcm proteins are required for establishing the prereplicative complex and the activities of Cdks and of Cdc7 kinase then trigger the G1-S transition. Recent findings provide evidence that the overall mechanism of initiation of replication is conserved in mammalian cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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