Summary Cyclin‐dependent kinases (CDKs) are involved in the control of cell cycle progression. Plant A‐type CDKs are functional homologs of yeast Cdc2/Cdc28 and are expressed throughout the cell cycle. In contrast, B‐type CDK (CDKB) is a family of mitotic CDKs expressed during the S/M phase, and its precise function remains unknown. Here, we identified two B2‐type cyclins, CycB2;1 and CycB2;2, as a specific partner of rice CDKB2;1. The CDKB2;1–CycB2 complexes produced in insect cells showed a significant level of kinase activity in vitro, suggesting that CycB2 binds to and activates CDKB2. We then expressed green fluorescent protein (GFP)‐fused CDKB2;1 and CycB2;2 in tobacco BY2 cells to investigate their subcellular localization during mitosis. Surprisingly, the fluorescence signal of CDKB2;1‐GFP was tightly associated with chromosome alignment as well as with spindle structure during the metaphase. During the telophase, the signal was localized to the spindle midzone and the separating sister chromosomes, and then to the phragmoplast. On the other hand, the CycB2;2‐GFP fluorescence signal was detected in nuclei during the interphase and prophase, moved to the metaphase chromosomes, and then disappeared completely after the cells passed through the metaphase. Co‐localization of CDKB2;1‐GFP and CycB2;2‐GFP on chromosomes aligned at the center of the metaphase cells suggests that the CDKB2–CycB2 complex may function in retaining chromosomes at the metaphase plate. Overexpression of CycB2;2 in rice plants resulted in acceleration of root growth without any increase in cell size, indicating that CycB2;2 promoted cell division probably through association with CDKB2 in the root meristem.
The Plant Journal – Wiley
Published: May 1, 2003
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