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Genes Dev. 1994 Aug 1;8(15):1750-8.

p21-containing cyclin kinases exist in both active and inactive states.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York 11724.


In normal fibroblasts CDKs exist predominantly in p21/PCNA/cyclin/CDK quaternary complexes, whereas in p53-deficient cells, p21 expression is depressed and the kinases are reduced to a cyclin/CDK binary state. p21 is a universal cyclin kinase inhibitor, but we show here that p21-containing complexes exist in both catalytically active and inactive forms. This finding challenges the current view that active cyclin kinases function only in the binary state and reveals the subtlety with which tumor-suppressor proteins modulate the cell cycle.

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