Cell cycle phase specificity of putative cyclin-dependent kinase variants in synchronized alfalfa cells

Zoltán Magyar, Tamás Mészáros, Pál Miskolczi, Mária Deák, Attila Fehér, Spencer Brown, Éva Kondorosi, Alekos Athanasiadis, Sándor Pongor, Metin Bilgin, László Bakó, Csaba Koncz, Dénes Dudits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

162 Citations (Scopus)


The eukaryotic cell division cycle is coordinated by cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), represented by a single major serine/threonine kinase in yeasts (Cdc2/CDC28) and a family of kinases (CDK1 to CDK8) in human cells. Previously, two cdc2 homologs, cdc2MsA and cdc2MsB, have been identified in alfalfa (Medicago sativa). By isolating cDNAs using a cdc2MsA probe, we demonstrate here that at least four additional cdc2 homologous genes are expressed in the tetraploid alfalfa. Proteins encoded by the new cdc2MsC to cdc2MsF cDNAs share the characteristic functional domains of CDKs with the conserved and plant-specific sequence elements. Transcripts from cdc2MsA, cdc2MsB, cdc2MsC, and cdc2MsE genes are synthesized throughout the cell cycle, whereas the amounts of cdc2MsD and cdc2MsF mRNAs peak during G2-to-M phases. The translation of Cdc2MsA/B, Cdc2MsD, and Cdc2MsF proteins follows the pattern of transcript accumulation. The multiplicity of kinase complexes with cell cycle phase-dependent activities was revealed by in vitro phosphorylation experiments. Proteins bound to p13(suc1)-Sepharose or immunoprecipitated with Cdc2MsA/B antibodies from cells at G1-to-S and G2-to-M phase boundaries showed elevated kinase activities. The Cdc2MsF antibodies separated a G2-to-M phase-related kinase complex. Detection of histone H1 phosphorylation activities in fractions immunoprecipitated with antimitotic cyclin (CyclinMs2) antibodies from G2-to-M phase cells indicates the complex formation between this cyclin and a kinase partner in alfalfa. The observed fluctuation of transcript levels, amounts, and activities of kinases in different cell cycle phases reflects a multilevel regulatory system during cell cycle progression in plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-235
Number of pages13
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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