Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. The cell cycle is driven by the sequential activation of a family of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) in association with cyclins. In mammalian cells the timing of activation of cyclin A-associated kinase activity coincides with the onset of DNA synthesis in S-phase. Using in vitro replication of SV40 origin-containing DNA as a model system, we have analyzed the proteins associated with DNA during initiation of DNA replication in S-phase cell extracts. This analysis reveals that, in addition to replication initiation proteins, cyclin A and cdk2 are also specifically associated with DNA. The association of cyclin A and cdk2 with DNA during initiation is cell cycle regulated and occurs specifically in the presence of SV40 origin-containing plasmid and SV40 T antigen (the viral replication initiator protein). The interactions among proteins involved in initiation play an important role in DNA replication. We therefore investigated the ability of cyclin A and cdk2 to associate with replication initiation proteins. Under replication initiation conditions, cyclin A and cdk2 from S-phase extracts specifically associate with SV40 T antigen. Further, the interaction of cyclin A-cdk2 with SV40 T antigen is mediated via cyclin A, and purified recombinant cyclin A associates directly with SV40 T antigen. Taken together, our results suggest that cyclin A and cdk2 are components of the SV40 replication initiation complex, and that protein-protein interactions between cyclin A-cdk2 and T antigen may facilitate the association of cyclin A-cdk2 with the complex.
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