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Cell. 1987 May 22;49(4):559-67.

Negative regulation of mitosis by wee1+, a gene encoding a protein kinase homolog.


Fission yeast wee1- mutants initiate mitosis at half the cell size of wild type. The wee1+ activity is required to prevent lethal premature mitosis in cells that overproduce the mitotic inducer cdc25+. This lethal phenotype was used to clone wee1+ by complementation. When wee1+ expression is increased, mitosis is delayed until cells grow to a larger size. Thus wee1+ functions as a dose-dependent inhibitor of mitosis, the first such element to be specifically identified and cloned. The carboxy-terminal region of the predicted 112 kd wee1+ protein contains protein kinase consensus sequences, suggesting that negative regulation of mitosis involves protein phosphorylation. Genetic evidence indicates that wee1+ and cdc25+ compete in a control system regulating the cdc2+ protein kinase, which is required for mitotic initiation.

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