Present in organisms ranging from yeast to man, homologues of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme CDC34 have been shown to play important roles in the regulation of cell cycle progression and checkpoint function. Here we analyze the expression and intracellular localization of endogenous CDC34 during mammalian cell cycle progression. We find that CDC34 protein is constitutively expressed during all stages of the cell cycle. Immunofluorescence experiments reveal that during interphase, endogenous CDC34 is localized to distinct speckles in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm. The presence of CDC34 in these compartments has also been established by biochemical fractionation experiments. Interestingly, nuclear localization depends on the presence of specific carboxy-terminal CDC34 sequences that have previously been shown to be required for CDC34's cell cycle function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Finally, we find that in anaphase and not during early stages of mitosis, CDC34 colocalizes with (beta)-tubulin at the mitotic spindle, implying that it may contribute to spindle function at later stages of mitosis. Taken together, these results support a model in which CDC34 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme functions in the regulation of nuclear and cytoplasmic activities as well as in the process of chromosome segregation at the onset of anaphase in mammalian cells.

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