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Identity of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen and cyclin


Studies of growth regulation and cellular transformation will be assisted by the identification of proteins that are preferentially synthesized in dividing cells. The ‘proliferating cell nuclear antigen’ (PCNA), distinguished by its apparent association with cell division, is defined by reaction with an antibody found in the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)1,2. This antibody reacts with proliferating cells including tumour cells but gives weak or undetectable immunofluorescence with resting cells of normal tissues2–6. Peripheral blood lymphocytes are devoid of PCNA until activated by mitogen in vitro. In synchronized cultures its level and distribution fluctuate through the cell cycle, with a striking accumulation in the nucleolus late in the G1 phase and early in the S phase3. Many of these properties are shared by ‘cyclin’. This nuclear protein, identified by its position in a two-dimensional separation of cell proteins, is also transformation-sensitive and is preferentially synthesized in the S phase7–9. We establish here that PCNA and cyclin are identical, and show that PCNA is an acidic nuclear protein of apparent molecular weight 35,000.

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Mathews, M., Bernstein, R., Franza, B. et al. Identity of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen and cyclin. Nature 309, 374–376 (1984).

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