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Curr Biol. 2001 Mar 6;11(5):345-50.

Asymmetric spindle pole localization of yeast Cdc15 kinase links mitotic exit and cytokinesis.

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Institute of Industrial Genetics, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart 70569, Germany.


The inactivation of mitotic cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) during anaphase is a prerequisite for the completion of nuclear division and the onset of cytokinesis [1, 2]. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the essential protein kinase Cdc15 [3] together with other proteins of the mitotic exit network (Tem1, Lte1, Cdc5, and Dbf2/Dbf20 [4-7]) activates Cdc14 phosphatase, which triggers cyclin degradation and the accumulation of the CDK inhibitor Sic1 [8]. However, it is still unclear how CDK inactivation promotes cytokinesis. Here, we analyze the properties of Cdc15 kinase during mitotic exit. We found that Cdc15 localized to the spindle pole body (SPB) in a unique pattern. Cdc15 was present at the SPB of the mother cell until late mitosis, when it also associated with the daughter pole. High CDK activity inhibited this association, while dephosphorylation of Cdc15 by Cdc14 phosphatase enabled it. The analysis of Cdc15 derivatives indicated that SPB localization was specifically required for cytokinesis but not for mitotic exit. These results show that Cdc15 has two separate functions during the cell cycle. First, it is required for the activation of Cdc14. CD14, in turn, promotes CDK inactivation and also dephosphorylates of Cdc15. As a consequence, Cdc15 binds to the daughter pole and triggers cytokinesis. Thus, Cdc15 helps to coordinate mitotic exit and cytokinesis.

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