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J Cell Sci. 2010 Nov 15;123(Pt 22):3933-43. doi: 10.1242/jcs.075366. Epub 2010 Oct 27.

Cdc14p resets the competency of replication licensing by dephosphorylating multiple initiation proteins during mitotic exit in budding yeast.

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Section of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Division of Life Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.


In eukaryotes, replication licensing is achieved through sequential loading of several replication-initiation proteins onto replication origins to form pre-replicative complexes (pre-RCs), and unscheduled replication licensing is prevented by cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) through inhibitory phosphorylations of multiple initiation proteins. It is known that CDK inactivation during mitotic exit promotes pre-RC formation for the next cell cycle. However, whether the removal of the inhibitory phosphorylations on the initiation proteins is essential and the identity of the acting phosphatase(s) remain unknown. Here, we show that cell division cycle protein 14 (Cdc14p) dephosphorylates replication-initiation proteins Orc2p, Orc6p, Cdc6p and Mcm3p to restore their competence for pre-RC assembly in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Cells without functional Cdc14p fail to dephosphorylate initiation proteins and to form pre-RCs - even when CDK activities are suppressed - and cannot replicate DNA in mitotic rereplication systems, whereas pulsed ectopic expression of Cdc14p in mitotic cells results in efficient pre-RC assembly and DNA rereplication. Furthermore, Cdc14p becomes dispensable for DNA rereplication in mitotic cells with combined non-phosphorylatable and/or phosphorylation-insensitive alleles of the initiation proteins. These data unravel the essential role of Cdc14p in replication licensing, beyond its established functions in mitotic exit, providing new insight into the intricate regulation of DNA replication through the interplay of CDKs and the Cdc14p phosphatase.

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