CDK-related protein kinases in plants

Plant Mol Biol. 2000 Aug;43(5-6):607-20. doi: 10.1023/a:1006470301554.


Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) form a conserved superfamily of eukaryotic serine-threonine protein kinases, which require binding to a cyclin protein for activity. CDK are involved in different aspects of cell biology and notably in cell cycle regulation. The comparison of nearly 50 plant CDK-related cDNAs with a selected set of their animal and yeast counterparts reveals five classes of these genes in plants. These are described here with respect to their phylogenetic, structural and functional properties. A plant-wide nomenclature of CDK-related genes is proposed, using a system similar to that of the plant cyclin genes. The most numerous class, CDKA, includes genes coding for CDK with the PSTAIRE canonical motif. CDKB makes up a class of plant-specific CDK divided into two groups: CDKB1 and CDKB2. CDKC, CDKD and CDKE form less numerous classes. The CDKD class includes the plant orthologues of metazoan CDK7, which correspond to the CDK-activating kinase (CAK). At present, no functional information is available in plants for CDKC and CDKE.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases* / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases* / metabolism
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genes, Plant
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phylogeny
  • Plants / enzymology*
  • Plants / genetics
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Yeasts / enzymology


  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases