The APC/C (anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome) discovered exactly 15 years ago by Avram Heshko and Marc Kirschner is by far the most complex ubiquitin ligase discovered so far. The APC/C is composed of roughly a dozen subunits and measures a massive 1.5 MDa. This huge complex, as well as its multiple modes of regulation, boasts impressive evolutionary conservation. One of its most puzzling features is its split personality: regulation of mitotic exit events on the one hand, and its ongoing activity during G1-phase, G0-phase and in terminally differentiated cells. The present short review is intended to provide a basic description of our current understanding of the APC/C, focusing on recent findings concerning its role in G1-phase and in differentiated cells.

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