It is widely assumed that mitotic cyclins are rapidly degraded during anaphase, leading to the inactivation of the cell cycle–dependent protein kinase Cdc2 and allowing exit from mitosis. The proteolysis of mitotic cyclins is ubiquitin/26S proteasome mediated and requires the presence of the destruction box motif at the N terminus of the proteins. As a first attempt to study cyclin proteolysis during the plant cell cycle, we investigated the stability of fusion proteins in which the N-terminal domains of an A-type and a B-type tobacco mitotic cyclin were fused in frame with the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene and constitutively expressed in transformed tobacco BY2 cells. For both cyclin types, the N-terminal domains led the chimeric cyclin–CAT fusion proteins to oscillate in a cell cycle–specific manner. Mutations within the destruction box abolished cell cycle–specific proteolysis. Although both fusion proteins were degraded after metaphase, cyclin A–CAT proteolysis was turned off during S phase, whereas that of cyclin B–CAT was turned off only during the late G 2 phase. Thus, we demonstrated that mitotic cyclins in plants are subjected to post-translational control (e.g., proteolysis). Moreover, we showed that the proteasome inhibitor MG132 blocks BY2 cells during metaphase in a reversible way. During this mitotic arrest, both cyclin–CAT fusion proteins remained stable
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