Selective chemical inhibition as a tool to study Cdk1 and Cdk2 functions in the cell cycle

Krasinska, L.; Cot, E.; Fisher, D.

Cell Cycle

2008-06-15 / vol 7 / pages 1702-8


Cyclin-dependent kinases are highly conserved among all eukaryotes, and have essential roles in the cell cycle. However, these roles are still only poorly understood at a molecular level, partly due to the functional redundancy of different Cdk complexes. Indeed, mice knockouts have even thrown into some doubt the assumed essential roles for Cdk2-cyclin E in triggering S-phase, but this is almost certainly due to compensation by Cdk1 complexes. By combining both knockout approaches and chemical Cdk inhibition in Xenopus egg extracts, we have shown that one reason for functional redundancy of Cdk control of S-phase is that Cdk activity required to trigger S-phase is very low. Cdk1 contributes to this activity even in the presence of Cdk2, and Cdk activity at this stage does not show « switch-like » regulation, as at the onset of mitosis. It is important to try to confirm and extend these findings to other cell-types, and to explain why different cells might have evolved different requirements for Cdk activity. In this paper, we present data that suggest that selective chemical Cdk inhibition will be a useful tool towards achieving this goal.

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Humans; Animals; Cells, Cultured; Xenopus; CDC2 Protein Kinase/antagonists & inhibitors/*physiology; Cell Cycle/*drug effects; Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 2/antagonists & inhibitors/*physiology; DNA Replication/drug effects; Ovum/enzymology; Protein Kinase Inhibitors/*pharmacology; Purines/pharmacology; Quinolines/*pharmacology; Thiazoles/*pharmacology

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