Cyclins, as regulatory subunits of the ubiquitous p34cdc2 protein kinase, act as key controlling elements of the eukaryotic cell cycle. We have examined published sequences of A- and B-type cyclins for both amino acid and secondary structure homologies. In particular, we sought regions of homology outside the recognised area of sequence conservation known as the “cyclin box”, as well as conserved features predicted to lie at the protein surface. Our analysis demonstrates the existence of a number of islands of homology outside the cyclin box, and indicates candidate residues for phosphorylation. One of these, a motif containing the amino acids SPXXXE/D is also present in fission yeast p13suc1, another protein known to interact with p34cdc2. This motif may define a possible p34cdc2 binding or phosphorylation site. A database search revealed that the CDC25 and SCD25 genes of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae also contain some of the newly identified motifs, perhaps indicating a common regulatory or degradation pathway.

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