The mammalian MCM protein family, presently with six members, exists in the nuclei in two forms, chromatin-bound and unbound. The former dissociates from chromatin with progression through the S phase. Recently, we have established a procedure to isolate chromatin-bound and unbound complexes containing all six human MCM (hMCM) proteins by immunoprecipitation. In the present study, we applied this procedure to HeLa cells synchronized in each of the G1, S, and G2/M phases and could detect hMCM heterohexameric complexes in all three. In addition, depending on the cell cycle and the state of chromatin association, hMCM2 and 4 in the complexes were found to variously change their phosphorylation states. Concentrating attention on G2/M phase hyperphosphorylation, we found hMCM2 and 4 in the complexes to be good substrates for cdc2/cyclin B in vitro. Furthermore, when cdc2 kinase was inactivated in temperature-sensitive mutant murine FT210 cells, the G2/M hyperphosphorylation of the murine MCM2 and MCM4 and release of the MCMs from chromatin in the G2 phase were severely impaired. Taken together, the data suggest that the six mammalian MCM proteins function and undergo cell cycle- dependent regulation as heterohexameric complexes and that phosphorylation of the complexes by cdc2 kinase may be one of mechanisms negatively regulating the MCM complex-chromatin association.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology