Cell cycle progression and cell division are driven by the sequential activation of a group of serine-threonine kinases called cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks). Multiple Cdks control the cell cycle in mammals and have been long considered essential for normal proliferation, development and homeostasis. The importance of the Cdk-cyclin complexes in cell proliferation is underscored by the fact that deregulation of the Cdk activity is found in virtually the whole spectrum of human tumors. Advances in the cell cycle proteins in the last 25 years, since the discovery of cyclins, have been discussed and have shed even more light on this essential life sustaining process. Recent information from different models for the various cyclins and Cdks have made some of the generally accepted concepts of cell cycle regulation to be revised and new and exciting questions to be investigated. There is also increasing evidence that suggests that Cdks such as Cdc2 are also commonly targeted by viral proteins, which modulate host cell cycle machinery to benefit viral survival or replication. This review, describes some of the most recent and important US patents related to cell cycle regulation and those on viral proteins involved in cell cycle modulation particularly the G2/M phase transition and cancer therapy.
Keywords: Cell cycle regulation, cyclin dependent kinases, cyclins, cell cycle modulation, viral proteins, G2/M phase