Article

HIRA, the human homologue of yeast Hir1p and Hir2p, is a novel cyclin-cdk2 substrate whose expression blocks S-phase progression.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111, USA.
Molecular and Cellular Biology (Impact Factor: 5.04). 04/2001; 21(5):1854-65. DOI: 10.1128/MCB.21.5.1854-1865.2001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Substrates of cyclin-cdk2 kinases contain two distinct primary sequence motifs: a cyclin-binding RXL motif and one or more phosphoacceptor sites (consensus S/TPXK/R or S/TP). To identify novel cyclin-cdk2 substrates, we searched the database for proteins containing both of these motifs. One such protein is human HIRA, the homologue of two cell cycle-regulated repressors of histone gene expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Hir1p and Hir2p. Here we demonstrate that human HIRA is an in vivo substrate of a cyclin-cdk2 kinase. First, HIRA bound to and was phosphorylated by cyclin A- and E-cdk2 in vitro in an RXL-dependent manner. Second, HIRA was phosphorylated in vivo on two consensus cyclin-cdk2 phosphoacceptor sites and at least one of these, threonine 555, was phosphorylated by cyclin A-cdk2 in vitro. Third, phosphorylation of HIRA in vivo was blocked by cyclin-cdk2 inhibitor p21(cip1). Fourth, HIRA became phosphorylated on threonine 555 in S phase when cyclin-cdk2 kinases are active. Fifth, HIRA was localized preferentially to the nucleus, where active cyclin A- and E-cdk2 are located. Finally, ectopic expression of HIRA in cells caused arrest in S phase and this is consistent with the notion that it is a cyclin-cdk2 substrate that has a role in control of the cell cycle.

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