The multiple roles of cyclin E1 in controlling cell cycle progression and cellular morphology of Trypanosoma brucei

J Mol Biol. 2007 May 11;368(4):939-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2007.02.050. Epub 2007 Feb 22.


Regulation of eukaryotic cell cycle progression requires sequential activation and inactivation of cyclin-dependent kinases. Previous RNA interference (RNAi) experiments in Trypanosoma brucei indicated that cyclin E1, cdc2-related kinase (CRK)1 and CRK2 are involved in regulating G1/S transition, whereas cyclin B2 and CRK3 play a pivotal role in controlling the G2/M checkpoint. To search for potential interactions between the other cyclins and CRKs that may not have been revealed by the RNAi assays, we used the yeast two-hybrid system and an in vitro glutathione-S-transferase pulldown assay and observed interactions between cyclin E1 and CRK1, CRK2 and CRK3. Cyclins E1-E4 are homologues of yeast Pho80 cyclin. But yeast complementation assays indicated that none of them possesses a Pho80-like function. Analysis of cyclin E1+CRK1 and cyclin E1+CRK2 double knockdowns in the procyclic form of T. brucei indicated that the cells were arrested more extensively in the G1 phase beyond the cumulative effect of individual knockdowns. But BrdU incorporation was impaired significantly only in cyclin E1+CRK1-depleted cells, whereas a higher percentage of cyclin E1+CRK2 knockdown cells assumed a grossly elongated posterior end morphology. A double knockdown of cyclin E1 and CRK3 arrested cells in G2/M much more efficiently than if only CRK3 was depleted. Taken together, these data suggest multiple functions of cyclin E1: it forms a complex with CRK1 in promoting G1/S phase transition; it forms a complex with CRK2 in controlling the posterior morphogenesis during G1/S transition; and it forms a complex with CRK3 in promoting passage across the G2/M checkpoint in the trypanosome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase / genetics
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase / metabolism
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase / physiology*
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Cyclin E / genetics
  • Cyclin E / metabolism
  • Cyclin E / physiology*
  • Cyclins / genetics
  • Cyclins / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism
  • Protozoan Proteins / physiology*
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / cytology
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / physiology*
  • Two-Hybrid System Techniques


  • Cyclin E
  • Cyclins
  • PHO80 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase
  • crk1 protein,Trypanosoma brucei
  • crk2 protein, Trypanosoma brucei