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The role of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) in transcription and cell cycle control.

Sir William Dunn School of Pathology

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Prof C Norbury , Prof S Murphy No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), including CDK1, 2, 4 and 6, act as master regulators of the cell cycle through phosphorylation of numerous protein targets (1). The related protein kinases CDK8, 9 and 12 play critical roles in transcription by RNA polymerase II (pol II), while CDK7 regulates both transcription and the cell cycle (2). However, it is not yet clear whether CDK8, 9 and 12 also play roles in regulation of the cell cycle. We have generated ATP analogue-sensitive human cell lines in which CDK8, 9 and/or 12 may be rapidly and specifically inhibited; using these lines we have identified cell cycle-related proteins as targets of these kinases. This project will involve elucidation of the role of phosphorylation of these proteins in the cell cycle, using a range of state-of-the-art techniques.

Funding Notes

4 Year DPhil Prize Studentships cover University fees, a tax free stipend of ~£17,009 pa, and up to £5,300 pa for research costs and travel. The competition is open to applicants from all countries. See for full details and to apply.


1. Norbury CJ and P Nurse (1992). Animal cell cycles and their control. Annu Rev Biochem 61:441-470.
2. Zaborowska J, Egloff S and Murphy S (2016) The pol II CTD: new twists in the tail. NSMB 23:771-777.
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