Regulation of cell cycle progression occurs in part through the targeted degradation of both activating and inhibitory subunits of the cyclin-dependent kinases. During G1, CDC4, encoding a WD-40 repeat protein, and CDC34, encoding a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, are involved in the destruction of these regulators. Here we describe evidence indicating that CDC53 also is involved in this process. Mutations in CDC53 cause a phenotype indistinguishable from those of cdc4 and cdc34 mutations, numerous genetic interactions are seen between these genes, and the encoded proteins are found physically associated in vivo. Cdc53p defines a large family of proteins found in yeasts, nematodes, and humans whose molecular functions are uncharacterized. These results suggest a role for this family of proteins in regulating cell cycle proliferation through protein degradation
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