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Curr Biol. 2020 Jan 20;30(2):335-343.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.11.054. Epub 2020 Jan 9.

The Phosphatase PP1 Promotes Mitotic Slippage through Mad3 Dephosphorylation.

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CRBM, University of Montpellier, CNRS, 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier, France.
Research Center for Epigenetic Disease, University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, 113-0032 Tokyo, Japan.
BioCampus Montpellier, CNRS, INSERM, University of Montpellier, 34000 Montpellier, France.
CRBM, University of Montpellier, CNRS, 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier, France. Electronic address:


Accurate chromosome segregation requires bipolar attachment of kinetochores to spindle microtubules. A conserved surveillance mechanism, the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), responds to lack of kinetochore-microtubule connections and delays anaphase onset until all chromosomes are bipolarly attached [1]. SAC signaling fires at kinetochores and involves a soluble mitotic checkpoint complex (MCC) that inhibits the anaphase-promoting complex (APC) [2, 3]. The mitotic delay imposed by SAC, however, is not everlasting. If kinetochores fail to establish bipolar connections, cells can escape from the SAC-induced mitotic arrest through a process called mitotic slippage [4]. Mitotic slippage occurs in the presence of SAC signaling at kinetochores [5, 6], but whether and how MCC stability and APC inhibition are actively controlled during slippage is unknown. The PP1 phosphatase has emerged as a key factor in SAC silencing once all kinetochores are bipolarly attached [7, 8]. PP1 turns off SAC signaling through dephosphorylation of the SAC scaffold Knl1/Blinkin at kinetochores [9-11]. Here, we show that, in budding yeast, PP1 is also required for mitotic slippage. However, its involvement in this process is not linked to kinetochores but rather to MCC stability. We identify S268 of Mad3 as a critical target of PP1 in this process. Mad3 S268 dephosphorylation destabilizes the MCC without affecting the initial SAC-induced mitotic arrest. Conversely, it accelerates mitotic slippage and overcomes the slippage defect of PP1 mutants. Thus, slippage is not the mere consequence of incomplete APC inactivation that brings about mitotic exit, as originally proposed, but involves the exertive antagonism between kinases and phosphatases.


mitotic checkpoint complex; mitotic slippage; protein phosphatase 1; spindle assembly checkpoint


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