Structural studies of members of the CDK (cyclin-dependent protein kinase) family have made a significant contribution to our understanding of the regulation of protein kinases. The structure of monomeric unphosphorylated CDK2 was the first of an inactive protein kinase to be determined and, since then, structures of other members of the CDK family, alone, in complex with regulatory proteins and in differing phosphorylation states, have enhanced our understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating protein kinase activity. Recently, our knowledge of the structural biology of the CDK family has been extended by determination of structures for members of the transcriptional CDK and CDK-like kinase branches of the extended family. We include these recent structures in the present review and consider them in the light of current models for CDK activation and regulation.

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