Triggering ubiquitination of a CDK inhibitor at origins of DNA replication.
To ensure proper timing of the G1-S transition in the cell cycle, the cyclin E-Cdk2 complex, which is responsible for the initiation of DNA replication, is restrained by the p21(Cip1)/p27(Kip1)/p57(Kip2) family of CDK (cyclin-dependent kinase) inhibitors in humans and by the related p27(Xic1) protein in Xenopus. Activation of cyclin E-Cdk2 is linked to the ubiquitination of human p27(Kip1) or Xenopus p27(Xic1) by SCF (for Skp1-Cullin-F-box protein) ubiquitin ligases. For human p27(Kip1), ubiquitination requires direct phosphorylation by cyclin E-Cdk2. We show here that Xic1 ubiquitination does not require phosphorylation by cyclin E-Cdk2, but it does require nuclear accumulation of the Xic1-cyclin E-Cdk2 complex and recruitment of this complex to chromatin by the origin-recognition complex together with Cdc6 replication preinitiation factors; it also requires an activation step necessitating cyclin E-Cdk2-kinase and SCF ubiquitin-ligase activity, and additional factors associated with mini-chromosome maintenance proteins, including the inactivation of geminin. Components of the SCF ubiquitin-ligase complex, including Skp1 and Cul1, are also recruited to chromatin through cyclin E-Cdk2 and the preinitiation complex. Thus, activation of the cyclin E-Cdk2 kinase and ubiquitin-dependent destruction of its inhibitor are spatially constrained to the site of a properly assembled preinitiation complex.
PubMed ID: 11483956
Article link: Nat Cell Biol.
Genes referenced: cdc6 cdk2 cdkn1a cdkn1b cdknx cul1 gmnn skp1