Cell Cycle Proteins, Antibodies and Reagents

G1 and S Phases of the Cell Cycle
In proliferating cells, the cell cycle consists of four phases. Gap 1 (G1) is the interval between mitosis and DNA replication that is characterized by cell growth. The transition that occurs at the restriction point (R) in G commits the cell to the proliferative cycle. If the conditions that signal this transition are not present, the cell exits the cell cycle and enters G, a nonproliferative phase during which growth, differentiation and apoptosis occur. Replication of DNA occurs during the synthesis (S) phase, which is followed by a second gap phase (G2) during which growth and preparation for cell division occurs. Mitosis and the production of two daughter cells occur in M phase.
Passage through the four phases of the cell cycle is regulated by a family of cyclins that act as regulatory subunits for cyclin-dependent kinases (cdks). The activity of the various cyclin/cdk complexes that regulate the progression through G1-S-G2 phases of the cell cycle is controlled by the synthesis of the appropriate cyclins during a specific phase of the cell cycle. The cyclin/cdk complex is then activated by the sequential phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of the key residues of the complex, located principally on the cdk subunits.
The cyclin cdk complex of early G1 is either cdk2, cdk4, or cdk6 bound to a cyclin D isoform. There are several proteins that can inhibit the cell cycle in G1. If DNA damage has occurred, p53 accumulates in the cell and induces the p21-mediated inhibition of cyclin D/cdk. Mdm2, by facilitating the nuclear export/inactivation of p53, becomes part of an inhibitory feedback loop that inactivates p21-mediated G1 arrest. Similarly, activation of TGF-β receptors induces the inhibition of cyclin D/cdk by p15, while cyclic-AMP inhibits the cyclin D/cdk complex via p27. If the cyclin D/cdk complex is inhibited, retinoblastoma protein (Rb) is in a state of low phosphorylation and is tightly bound to the transcription factor E2F, inhibiting its activity.
Passage through the restriction point and transition to S phase is triggered by the activation of the cyclin D/cdk complex, which phosphorylates Rb. Phoshporylated Rb dissociates from E2F, which is then free to initiate DNA replication. Cyclin E/cdk2 accumulates during late G phase and triggers the passage into S phase. The entire genome is replicated during S phase. The synthesis and accumulation of cyclin B/cdc2 also begins during S phase, but the complex is phosphorylated at Thr14 -Tyr15 and is inactive. Cyclin A/cdk2 accumulates during S phase and its activation triggers the transition to G2, a phase characterized by the accumulation of cyclin B/cdc2, the inhibition of DNA replication, cell growth and new protein synthesis.
G and M Phases of the Cell Cycle
The transition from G2 phase to mitosis is triggered by the Cdc25-mediated activation (dephosphorylation) of the cyclin B/cdc2 complex (MPF). The activation of cyclin B/cdc2 that is necessary for G/M progression is currently the most well-characterized step in the cell cycle. CyclinB/cdc2 is activated by phosphorylation of Thr160 and the dephosphorylation of Thr14 -Tyr15. Thr160 is phosphorylated by cyclin activating kinase (CAK), following the activation of CAK by a cyclin activating kinase activating kinase (CAKAK). However, the complex is kept in an inactive state due to the phosphorylation of Thr15, which is catalyzed by the Wee1 kinase. Cyclin B/cdc2 activation is triggered when Cdc25, a phosphatase, dephosphorylates Thr15. In turn, the activity of Cdc25 is regulated by both activating and inhibitory phosphorylations. Phosphorylation of Ser by Chk1 (a check point activated kinase that participates in the G2-arrest of cells with damaged DNA) leads to the inactivation of Cdc25, while phosphorylation by an M-phase activated kinase creates a positive feedback loop leading to the rapid activation of the cyclin B/cdc2 complex. MPF catalyzes the phosphorylation of lamins and histone 1, and is involved in the regulation of events preceding cell division, such as spindle formation, chromatin condensation, and fragmentation of the nuclear envelope and of organelles such as the Golgi and endoplasmic reticulum. The metaphase to anaphase transition is triggered by inactivation of MPF and the degradation of cyclin B. This induces the separation of chromatids and their movement to the poles of the mitotic spindle, after which the mitotic apparatus disappears, the nuclear membranes reform and the nucleoli reappear. During cytokinesis, the cytoplasm divides and the resulting daughter cells enter G1.