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Cyclin A: A cyclin subtype that has specificity for Cdc2 protein kinase and Cyclin-dependent kinase 2. It plays a role in progression of the Cell cycle through G1/S and G2/M phase transitions.

Positive Regulator Molecules

JoVE 10763

To consistently produce healthy cells, the cell cycle—the process that generates daughter cells—must be precisely regulated.

Internal regulatory checkpoints ensure that a cell’s size, energy reserves, and DNA quality and completeness are sufficient to advance through the cell cycle. At these checkpoints, positive and negative regulators promote or inhibit a cell’s continuation through the cell cycle. Positive regulators include two protein groups that allow cells to pass through regulatory checkpoints: cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). These proteins are present in eukaryotes, ranging from yeast to humans. Cyclins can be categorized as G1, G1/S, S, or M cyclins based on the cell cycle phase or transition they are most involved in. Generally, levels of a given cyclin are low during most of the cell cycle but abruptly increase at the checkpoint they most contribute to (G1 cyclins are an exception, as they are required throughout the cell cycle). The cyclin is then degraded by enzymes in the cytoplasm and its levels decline. Meanwhile, cyclins needed for the next checkpoints accumulate. To regulate the cell cycle, cyclins must be bound to a Cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)—a type of enzyme that attaches a phosphate group to modify the activity of a target protein.

 Core: Cell Cycle and Division
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