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Nat Cell Biol. 2010 May;12(5):500-6. doi: 10.1038/ncb2052. Epub 2010 Apr 11.

Shugoshin-PP2A counteracts casein-kinase-1-dependent cleavage of Rec8 by separase.

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Laboratory of Chromosome Dynamics, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, University of Tokyo, Yayoi, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan.


During meiosis, the cohesin complexes that maintain sister chromatid cohesion are lost in a stepwise manner. At meiosis I the cohesin subunit Rec8 is cleaved only along the chromosome arms; until meiosis II it is protected at centromeres by the action of shugoshin (Sgo1)-protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Although this regulation hypothetically involves phosphorylation that is antagonized by Sgo1-PP2A, the kinase and substrate that are responsible are as yet unknown. Using a genetic screen for 'anti-shugoshin', we identify Hhp2, an orthologue of casein kinase 1delta/epsilon (CK1), as a factor required for Rec8 cleavage in fission yeast. We show that CK1, rather than a Polo-like kinase that is widely believed to do so, acts as the cohesin kinase to promote this cleavage during meiosis. Crucially, forced localization of excess Hhp2 at the pericentromeric region abrogates the ability of Sgo1-PP2A to protect centromeric Rec8. Thus, our studies prove the key notion that the balance between Rec8 phosphorylation and its dephosphorylation by Sgo1-PP2A regulates the step-wise loss of chromosomal cohesion in meiosis.

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