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A number of potentially fatal human diseases like cancer involve cell cycle defects. Cell cycle control is regulated by an evolutionarily conserved family of serine/threonine protein kinases called cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) and their regulatory subunits, the cyclins. Critical cell cycle events are both positively and negatively regulated by specific Cdks, whose activities oscillate throughout the cell cycle. Cdk activities are controlled by several different mechanisms, including binding of the positively activating cyclin subunits, inhibition by Cdk inhibitor proteins, phosphorylation by Cdk activating kinases (CAKs) or inhibitory kinases, and dephosphorylation by cell-cycle regulated phosphatases.

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