The Kinase Activity of Cdk5 and Its Regulation

  • Shin-ichi Hisanaga
  • Koichi Ishiguro


Cdk5 is a member of cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) family and is uniquely activated by binding to its neuron-specific non-cyclin activator p35 or p39. In this chapter we describe the enzymatic properties and the regulation mechanisms of Cdk5 activity in post-mitotic neurons in comparison to cell cycle Cdks. The regulation mechanisms are synthesis and degradation of p35, the interaction with p35- or Cdk5-binding proteins, phosphorylation of Cdk5 or p35, and the association with membranes. In addition to these physiological regulations, deregulation of the activity is induced by the cleavage of p35 to p25 by calpain, leading to hyperactivation and eventually neuronal cell death. The kinase activity and stability of Cdk5–p39, which still remains to be characterized, are also described here. The biochemical information will be useful in studying Cdk5 and elucidating its functions.


Kinase Activity Brain Extract Cdk5 Activity Void Volume Fraction Cdk5 Kinase Activity 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular Neuroscience, Department of Biological SciencesGraduate School of Science, Tokyo Metropolitan UniversityHachiojiJapan

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