CDK5 is a member of the Cyclin-Dependent Kinase family that is most abundant in the mammalian brain. Active form of CDK5, which has also been called neuronal cdc2-like kinase, is a heterodimer of CDK5 and a 25 kDa protein which is derived proteolytically from a 35 kDa brain and neuron-specific protein and is essential for the kinase activity of CDK5. CDK5 has emerged as a crucial regulator of neuronal migration in the developing central nervous system. CDK5 phosphorylates a diverse list of substrates, implicating it in the regulation of a range of cellular processes - from adhesion and motility, to synaptic plasticity and drug addiction. Recombinant full-length human CDK5 was expressed in E. coli cells using a N-terminal GST tag.
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