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A novel approach to the study of the control of the mammalian cell cycle was opened by the cloning of a human gene by complementation of a fission-yeast cdc2 cell-cycle mutant. We have investigated the behaviour of the RNA and protein products of this human gene, CDC2Hs, and its murine equivalent, CDC2Mm during serum starvation and re-feeding of cultured fibroblasts. In contrast to the pattern of wild-type cdc2+ expression in fission yeast previously described, the mammalian homologue displays variation in both RNA and protein levels during exit from and re-entry into the mitotic cycle. Like its yeast counterpart, however, the mammalian CDC2 protein (p34CDC2) becomes dephosphorylated upon shifting from exponential growth to quiescence, and rephosphorylated late in the G1 phase when cells are stimulated to re-enter the cycle. We propose that phosphorylation of p34CDC2 serves as a regulatory mechanism generally in eukaryotic cells, while transcriptional control of the CDC2 gene in higher eukaryotes may be relevant to long term processes such as senescence and differentiation.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





676 - 679


Animals, CDC2 Protein Kinase, Cell Cycle, Cell Line, Cells, Cultured, Fungal Proteins, Gene Expression Regulation, Genes, Humans, Mice, Mutation, Phosphoproteins, Phosphorylation, Protein Kinases, Schizosaccharomyces, Transcription, Genetic