We report the identification and expression pattern of a full-length human cDNA and a partial mouse cDNA encoding cyclin B3. Cyclin B3 (CCNB3) is conserved from Caenorhabditis elegans to Homo sapiens and has an undefined meiotic function in female, but not male Drosophila melanogaster. We show that H. sapiens cyclin B3 interacts with cdk2, is localized to the nucleus, and is degraded during anaphase entry after the degradation of cyclin B1. Degradation is dependent on sequences conserved in a destruction box motif. Overexpression of nondegradable cyclin B3 blocks the mitotic cell cycle in late anaphase, and at higher doses it can interfere with progression through G(1) and entry into S phase. H. sapiens cyclin B3 mRNA and protein are detected readily in developing germ cells in the human testis and not in any other tissue. The mouse cDNA has allowed us to further localize cyclin B3 mRNA to leptotene and zygotene spermatocytes. The expression pattern of mammalian cyclin B3 suggests that it may be important for events occurring in early meiotic prophase I.
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