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Nature. 2015 Jan 1;517(7532):94-98. doi: 10.1038/nature14019. Epub 2014 Dec 10.

A PP1-PP2A phosphatase relay controls mitotic progression.

Author information

Cell Division Group, CRUK Manchester Institute, University of Manchester, Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M20 4BX, UK.
The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1QN, UK.
Biological Mass Spectrometry, CRUK Manchester Institute, University of Manchester, Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M20 4BX, UK.
Contributed equally


The widespread reorganization of cellular architecture in mitosis is achieved through extensive protein phosphorylation, driven by the coordinated activation of a mitotic kinase network and repression of counteracting phosphatases. Phosphatase activity must subsequently be restored to promote mitotic exit. Although Cdc14 phosphatase drives this reversal in budding yeast, protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) and protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) activities have each been independently linked to mitotic exit control in other eukaryotes. Here we describe a mitotic phosphatase relay in which PP1 reactivation is required for the reactivation of both PP2A-B55 and PP2A-B56 to coordinate mitotic progression and exit in fission yeast. The staged recruitment of PP1 (the Dis2 isoform) to the regulatory subunits of the PP2A-B55 and PP2A-B56 (B55 also known as Pab1; B56 also known as Par1) holoenzymes sequentially activates each phosphatase. The pathway is blocked in early mitosis because the Cdk1-cyclin B kinase (Cdk1 also known as Cdc2) inhibits PP1 activity, but declining cyclin B levels later in mitosis permit PP1 to auto-reactivate. PP1 first reactivates PP2A-B55; this enables PP2A-B55 in turn to promote the reactivation of PP2A-B56 by dephosphorylating a PP1-docking site in PP2A-B56, thereby promoting the recruitment of PP1. PP1 recruitment to human, mitotic PP2A-B56 holoenzymes and the sequences of these conserved PP1-docking motifs suggest that PP1 regulates PP2A-B55 and PP2A-B56 activities in a variety of signalling contexts throughout eukaryotes.

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