Cyclin degradation is the key step governing exit from mitosis and progress into the next cell cycle. When a region in the N terminus of cyclin is fused to a foreign protein, it produces a hybrid protein susceptible to proteolysis at mitosis. During the course of degradation, both cyclin and the hybrid form conjugates with ubiquitin. The kinetic properties of the conjugates indicate that cyclin is degraded by ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis. Thus anaphase may be triggered by the recognition of cyclin by the ubiquitin-conjugating system.