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Cyclin-dependent kinase 16/PCTAIRE kinase 1 is activated by cyclin Y and is essential for spermatogenesis.

Mikolcevic P., Sigl R., Rauch V., Hess M.W., Pfaller K., Barisic M., Pelliniemi L.J., Boesl M., Geley S.

Cyclin-dependent kinase 16 (CDK16, PCTK1) is a poorly characterized protein kinase, highly expressed in the testis and the brain. Here, we report that CDK16 is activated by membrane-associated cyclin Y (CCNY). Treatment of transfected human cells with the protein kinase A (PKA) activator forskolin blocked, while kinase inhibition promoted, CCNY-dependent targeting of CDK16-green fluorescent protein (GFP) to the cell membrane. CCNY binding to CDK16 required a region upstream of the kinase domain and was found to be inhibited by phosphorylation of serine 153, a potential PKA phosphorylation site. Thus, in contrast to other CDKs, CDK16 is regulated by phosphorylation-controlled cyclin binding. CDK16 isolated from murine testis was unphosphorylated, interacted with CCNY, and exhibited kinase activity. To investigate the function of CDK16 in vivo, we established a conditional knockout allele. Mice lacking CDK16 developed normally, but male mice were infertile. Spermatozoa isolated from their epididymis displayed thinning and elongation of the annulus region, adopted a bent shape, and showed impaired motility. Moreover, CDK16-deficient spermatozoa had malformed heads and excess residual cytoplasm, suggesting a role of CDK16 in spermiation. Thus, CDK16 is a membrane-targeted CDK essential for spermatogenesis.

Mol. Cell. Biol. 32:868-879(2012) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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