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Nat Cell Biol. 2013 Jan;15(1):88-95. doi: 10.1038/ncb2633. Epub 2012 Dec 9.

Centrosomal MPF triggers the mitotic and morphogenetic switches of fission yeast.

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CRUK Cell Division Group, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M20 4BX, UK.


Activation of mitosis-promoting factor (MPF) drives mitotic commitment. In human cells active MPF appears first on centrosomes. We show that local activation of MPF on the equivalent organelle of fission yeast, the spindle pole body (SPB), promotes Polo kinase activity at the SPBs long before global MPF activation drives mitotic commitment. Artificially promoting MPF or Polo activity at various locations revealed that this local control of Plo1 activity on G2 phase SPBs dictates the timing of mitotic commitment. Cytokinesis of the rod-shaped fission yeast cell generates a naive, new, cell end. Growth is restricted to the experienced old end until a point in G2 phase called new end take off (NETO) when bipolar growth is triggered. NETO coincided with MPF activation of Plo1 on G2 phase SPBs (ref. 4). Both MPF and Polo activities were required for NETO and both induced NETO when ectopically activated at interphase SPBs. NETO promotion by MPF required polo. Thus, local MPF activation on G2 SPBs directs polo kinase to control at least two distinct and temporally separated, cell-cycle transitions at remote locations.

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