Letter | Published:

p35 is a neural-specific regulatory subunit of cyclin-dependent kinase 5

Naturevolume 371pages419423 (1994) | Download Citation

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Abstract

CYCLIN-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) was originally isolated through its structural homology to human Cdc21, a key regulator of cell-cycle progression2–6. In tissue samples from adult mice, Cdk5 protein is found at the highest level in brain, at an intermediate level in testis, and at low or undetectable levels in all other tissues, but brain is the only tissue that shows Cdk5 histone HI kinase activity7. No equivalent kinase activity has been found in tissue culture cell lines despite high levels of Cdk5. This raised the possibility that a Cdk5 regulatory subunit was responsible for the activation of Cdk5 in brain. Here we describe the cloning and characterization of a regulatory subunit for Cdk5 known as p35. p35 displays a neuronal cell-specific pattern of expression, it associates physically with Cdk5 in vivo and activates the Cdk5 kinase. p35 differs from the mammalian cyclins and thus represents a new type of regulatory subunit for cyclin-dependent kinase activity.

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Author notes

    • Li-Huei Tsai

    Present address: Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, 200 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, USA

Affiliations

  1. Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Building 149, 13th Street, Charlestown, Massachusetts, 02129, USA

    • Li-Huei Tsai
    • , Teresa Chae
    •  & Ed Harlow
  2. Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, 02114, USA

    • Ivana Delalle
    •  & Verne S. Caviness Jr

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https://doi.org/10.1038/371419a0

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