- Card GL, Knowles P, Laman H, Jones N, McDonald NQ
- Crystal structure of a gamma-herpesvirus cyclin-cdk complex.
- EMBO J. 2000 Jun 15;19(12):2877-88.
- Several gamma-herpesviruses encode proteins related to the mammalian cyclins, regulatory subunits of cyclin-dependent kinases (cdks) essential for cell cycle progression. We report a 2.5 A crystal structure of a full-length oncogenic viral cyclin from gamma-herpesvirus 68 complexed with cdk2. The viral cyclin binds cdk2 with an orientation different from cyclin A and makes several novel interactions at the interface, yet it activates cdk2 by triggering conformational changes similar to cyclin A. Sequences within the viral cyclin N-terminus lock part of the cdk2 T-loop within the core of the complex. These sequences and others are conserved amongst the viral and cellular D-type cyclins, suggesting that this structure has wider implications for other cyclin-cdk complexes. The observed resistance of this viral cyclin-cdk complex to inhibition by the p27(KIP:) cdk inhibitor is explained by sequence and conformational variation in the cyclin rendering the p27(KIP:)-binding site on the cyclin subunit non-functional.