The SCF(Skp2) ubiquitin ligase complex interacts with the human replication licensing factor Cdt1 and regulates Cdt1 degradation.
DNA replication initiation is tightly controlled so that each origin only fires once per cell cycle. Cell cycle-dependent Cdt1 degradation plays an essential role in DNA replication control, as overexpression of Cdt1 leads to re-replication. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of Cdt1 degradation in mammalian cells. We showed that the F-box protein Skp2 specifically interacted with human Cdt1 in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. The SCF(Skp2) complex ubiquitinated Cdt1 both in vivo and in vitro. Down-regulation of Skp2 or disruption of the interaction between Cdt1 and Skp2 resulted in a stabilization and accumulation of Cdt1. These results suggest that the SCF(Skp2)-mediated ubiquitination pathway may play an important role in the cell cycle-dependent Cdt1 degradation in mammalian cells.