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Mol Cells. 2006 Apr 30;21(2):251-60.

The study of Bfa1p(E438K) suggests that Bfa1 control the mitotic exit network in different mechanisms depending on different checkpoint-activating signals.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, and Institute of Life Science and Biotechnology, College of Science, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749, Korea.


During mitosis, genomic integrity is maintained by the proper coordination of anaphase entry and mitotic exit via mitotic checkpoints. In budding yeast, mitotic exit is controlled by a regulatory cascade called the mitotic exit network (MEN). The MEN is regulated by a small GTPase, Tem1p, which in turn is controlled by a two-component GAP, Bfa1p-Bub2p. Recent results suggested that phosphorylation of Bfa1p by the polo-related kinase Cdc5p is also required for triggering mitotic exit, since it decreases the GAP activity of Bfa1p-Bub2p. However, the dispensability of GEF Lte1p for mitotic exit has raised questions about regulation of the MEN by the GTPase activity of Tem1p. We isolated a Bfa1p mutant, Bfa1p(E438K), whose overexpression only partially induced anaphase arrest. The molecular and biochemical functions of Bfa1p(E438K) are similar to those of wild type Bfa1p, except for decreased GAP activity. Interestingly, in BFA1(E438K) cells, the MEN could be regulated with nearly wild type kinetics at physiological temperature, as well as in response to various checkpoint-activating signals, but the cells were more sensitive to spindle damage than wild type. These results suggest that the GAP activity of Bfa1p-Bub2p is responsible for the mitotic arrest caused by spindle damage and Bfa1p overproduction. In addition, the viability of cdc5-2 delta bfa1 cells was not reduced by BFA1(E438K), suggesting that Cdc5p also regulates Bfa1p to activate mitotic exit by other mechanism(s), besides phosphorylation.

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