The Cdc25 dual-specificity phosphatases control progression through the eukaryotic cell division cycle by activating cyclin-dependent kinases. Cdc25 A regulates entry into S-phase by dephosphorylating Cdk2, it cooperates with activated oncogenes in inducing transformation and is overexpressed in several human tumors. DNA damage or DNA replication blocks induce phosphorylation of Cdc25 A and its subsequent degradation via the ubiquitin–proteasome pathway. Here we have investigated the regulation of Cdc25 A in the cell cycle. We found that Cdc25 A degradation during mitotic exit and in early G(1) is mediated by the anaphase-promoting complex or cyclosome (APC/C)(Cdh1) ligase, and that a KEN-box motif in the N-terminus of the protein is required for its targeted degradation. Interestingly, the KEN-box mutated protein remains unstable in interphase and upon ionizing radiation exposure. Moreover, SCF (Skp1/Cullin/F-box) inactivation using an interfering Cul1 mutant accumulates and stabilizes Cdc25 A. The presence of Cul1 and Skp1 in Cdc25 A immunocomplexes suggests a direct involvement of SCF in Cdc25 A degradation during interphase. We propose that a dual mechanism of regulated degradation allows for fine tuning of Cdc25 A abundance in response to cell environment
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