Cyclin activation of protein serine/threonine kinases plays a pivotal role in regulating the cell cycle. Multiple cyclins that fall into at least five classes, A, B, C, D, and E, have been identified. In some organisms, more than one member of a single cyclin class has been observed. To gain insight into the function of cyclin multiplicity, we determined the number of cyclin A- and B1-related sequences present in the mouse genome, the relationship between these cyclin-related sequences and previously described mutations in the mouse, and cyclin A and B1 mRNA expression in mouse embryos. By genetic mapping using human cyclin A and B1 probes, we identified 1 cyclin A gene located on chromosome 3 and 10 cyclin B1-related sequences located on chromosomes 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, and 17. Cyclin B1-related sequences map in the vicinity of the metaphase-arrest mutation oligosyndactyly (Os) and embryonic lethal mutations associated with the albino (c) locus and the t-complex. In Northern analysis, two cyclin A-related transcripts of 2.1 and 3.4 kb and three cyclin B1-related transcripts of 1.7, 2.1, and 2.7 kb were detected in embryonic stem cells and postimplantation embryos from Day 9.5 to 15.5 of development. Identification of multiple cyclin B1-related sequences in the mouse genome and multiple cyclin B1 mRNAs raises the possibility that seemingly redundant cyclin B genes might have developmental- and/or cell-type-specific functions.
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