XB-ART-34437Cell Cycle 2006 Oct 01;519:2230-6.
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Cyclin A1/Cdk2 is sufficient but not required for the induction of apoptosis in early Xenopus laevis embryos.
The role of cyclin-dependent kinases in cell proliferation is well characterized, whereas their somewhat paradoxical role in catalyzing apoptosis is less understood. One Cdk complex implicated in both cell proliferation and cell death is cyclin A/Cdk2. During early embryonic development of Xenopus laevis, distinct isoforms of cyclin A are expressed at different times. From fertilization through gastrulation, cyclin A1 is the predominant isoform. Cyclin A1 primarily dimerizes with Cdk2 but not Cdk1. In contrast, cyclin A2 is expressed at a low level until gastrulation, when it becomes the major A-type cyclin and associates with both Cdk1 and Cdk2. When Xenopus embryos are treated with ionizing radiation (IR) prior to the midblastula transition (MBT), cyclin A1 protein persists beyond the MBT and forms an active complex with Cdk2. During this window of cyclin A1/Cdk2 activity, the embryo undergoes apoptosis. To test the hypothesis that cyclin A1-associated activity is a mediator of apoptosis, cyclin A1 protein level and associated kinase activity were measured in embryos treated with aphidicolin to induce apoptosis. Both cyclin A1 content and associated kinase activity were sustained after the MBT as embryos underwent apoptosis. To determine whether cyclin A1/Cdk2 was sufficient to induce apoptosis, recombinant cyclin A1/Cdk2 complex was injected into single-celled embryos, which induced apoptosis after the MBT. However, morpholinos targeting translation of cyclins A1 and A2 did not block apoptosis in embryos treated with X-rays or aphidicolin. These data indicate that cyclin A1/Cdk2 is sufficient, but not required for apoptosis during early development.
PubMed ID: 16969089
Article link: Cell Cycle
Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: ccna1 cdk1 cdk2
Morpholinos: ccna1 MO1 ccna2 MO1