, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 401-412

Novel complexes of cyclin-dependent kinases and a cyclin-like protein from Arabidopsis thaliana with a function unrelated to cell division

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Although the majority of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) play a key role in cell cycle progression, recent evidence has shown that CDKs are also implicated in transcription regulation. Here, we describe two Arabidopsis CDKs designated Arath;CDKC;1 and Arath; CDKC;2. These CDKs share a PITAIRE signature in the cyclin-binding domain and the structural characteristics of mammalian CDK9. Yeast two-hybrid screens and immunoprecipitation assays identified CDKC-interacting proteins with homology to the animal cyclin T/cyclin K group. We suggest that these Arabidopsis CDKCs may be part of a kinase complex similar to the animal positive transcription elongation factor b, whose activity is essential for transcription control. Expression studies showed that Arath; CDKC transcripts are mainly confined to epidermal tissues and are most abundant in flower tissues. No expression was detected in actively dividing Arabidopsis tissues, suggesting a role for the CDKC proteins in differentiated cells.

Received 23 October 2002; received after revision 17 December 2002; accepted 20 December 2002
ID="*"Corresponding author.