Cyclin D3-associated Kinase Activity Is Regulated by p27kip1 in BALB/c 3T3 Cells

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We report that cyclin D3/cdk4 kinase activity is regulated by p27kip1 in BALB/c 3T3 cells. The association of p27kip1 was found to result in inhibition of cyclin D3 activity as measured by immune complex kinase assays utilizing cyclin D3-specific antibodies. The ternary p27kip1/cyclin D3/cdk4 complexes do exhibit kinase activity when measured in immune complex kinase assays utilizing p27kip1-specific antibodies. The association of p27kip1 with cyclin D3 was highest in quiescent cells and declined upon mitogenic stimulation, concomitantly with declines in the total level of p27kip1 protein. The decline in this association could be elicited by PDGF treatment alone; this was not sufficient, however, for activation of cyclin D3 activity, which also required the presence of factors in platelet-poor plasma in the culturing medium. Unlike cyclin D3 activity, which was detected only in growing cells, p27kip1 kinase activity was present throughout the cell cycle. Since we found that the p27kip1activity was dependent on cyclin D3 and cdk4, we compared the substrate specificity of the active ternary complex containing p27kip1 and the active cyclin D3 lacking p27kip1 by tryptic phosphopeptide mapping of GST-Rb phosphorylated in vitro and also by comparing the relative phosphorylation activity toward a panel of peptide substrates. We found that ternary p27kip1/cyclin D3/cdk4 complexes exhibited a different specificity than the active binary cyclin D3/cdk4 complexes, suggesting that p27kip1 has the capacity to both inhibit cyclin D/cdk4 activity as well as to modulate cyclin D3/cdk4 activity by altering its substrate preference.

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Molecular Biology of the Cell, v. 9, issue 8, p. 1951-2335