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Nat Cell Biol. 2004 Aug;6(8):777-83. Epub 2004 Jul 11.

The CDC-14 phosphatase controls developmental cell-cycle arrest in C. elegans.

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Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School, Building 149, 13th Street, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.


Temporal control of cell division is critical for proper animal development. To identify mechanisms involved in developmental arrest of cell division, we screened for cell-cycle mutants that disrupt the reproducible pattern of somatic divisions in the nematode C. elegans. Here, we show that the cdc-14 phosphatase is required for the quiescent state of specific precursor cells. Whereas budding yeast Cdc14p is essential for mitotic exit, inactivation of C. elegans cdc-14 resulted in extra divisions in multiple lineages, with no apparent defects in mitosis or cell-fate determination. CDC-14 fused to the green fluorescent protein (GFP-CDC-14) localized dynamically and accumulated in the cytoplasm during G1 phase. Genetic interaction and transgene expression studies suggest that cdc-14 functions upstream of the cki-1 Cip/Kip inhibitor to promote accumulation of CKI-1 in the nucleus. Our data support a model in which CDC-14 promotes a hypophosphorylated and stable form of CKI-1 required for developmentally programmed cell-cycle arrest.

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