Major transitions in the eukaryotic cell cycle are regulated by the cyclin-dependent protein kinases (CDK). In particular, the G2/M transition is initiated by the activity of a complex formed by a CDK of the Cdc2/Cdc28 family and B-type cyclins of the Cdc13/C1b family in the yeasts, Schizosaccharomyces pombe (Sp) and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Sc). To study the molecular mechanisms that control the G2/M transition in the dimorphic pathogenic yeast, Candida albicans, we have cloned and characterized cDNAs corresponding to CDK1 and CYB1. The CDK1 cDNA encodes a 317-amino-acid (aa) protein that shares 76.8 and 62.3% identity with the Sc CDC28 and Sp cdc2 gene products, respectively. The CYB1 cDNA encodes a 493-aa protein that is 34.8, 34.4 and 35.5% identical to Sc C1b1 and C1b2, and to Sp Cdc13, respectively. Cyb1 contains characteristic mitotic destruction and cyclin boxes. The CDK1 and CYB1 cDNAs are functional homologues, as they are able to complement Sp cdc2 and cdc13 temperature-sensitive (ts) mutations, respectively, and their gene products interact in vivo in Sc to form an active histone H1 kinase.
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