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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Martin Noble
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Progression through S phase of the eukaryotic cell cycle is regulated by the action of the cyclin dependent protein kinase 2 (CDK2) in association with cyclin A. CDK2/cyclin A phosphorylates numerous substrates. Substrate specificity often employs a dual recognition strategy in which the sequence flanking the phospho-acceptor site (Ser.Pro.X.Arg/Lys) is recognized by CDK2, while the cyclin A component of the complex contains a hydrophobic site that binds Arg/Lys.X.Leu (“RXL” or “KXL”) substrate recruitment motifs. To determine additional sequence specificity motifs around the RXL sequence, we have performed X-ray crystallographic studies at 2.3 Å resolution and isothermal calorimetry measurements on complexes of phospho-CDK2/cyclin A with a recruitment peptide derived from E2F1 and with shorter 11-mer peptides from p53, pRb, p27, E2F1, and p107. The results show that the cyclin recruitment site accommodates a second hydrophobic residue either immediately C-terminal or next adjacent to the leucine of the “RXL” motif and that this site makes important contributions to the recruitment peptide recognition. The arginine of the RXL motif contacts a glutamate, Glu220, on the cyclin. In those substrates that contain a KXL motif, no ionic interactions are observed with the lysine. The sequences N-terminal to the “RXL” motif of the individual peptides show no conservation, but nevertheless make common contacts to the cyclin through main chain interactions. Thus, the recruitment site is able to recognize diverse but conformationally constrained target sequences. The observations have implications for the further identification of physiological substrates of CDK2/cyclin A and the design of specific inhibitors.
Author(s): Lowe ED, Tews I, Cheng KY, Brown NR, Gul S, Noble MEM, Gamblin SJ, Johnson LN
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
ISSN (print): 0006-2960
ISSN (electronic): 1520-4995
Publisher: American Chemical Society
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