The protein kinase cdr2, related to Nim1/Cdr1 mitotic inducer, regulates the onset of mitosis in fission yeast Academic Article uri icon

publication date

  • 1998


  • Cdc2-Cyclin B, the protein kinase that catalyzes the onset of mitosis, is subject to multiple forms of regulation. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and most other species, a key mode of Cdc2-Cyclin B regulation is the inhibitory phosphorylation of Cdc2 on tyrosine-15. This phosphorylation is catalyzed by the protein kinases Wee1 and Mik1 and removed by the phosphatase Cdc25. These proteins are also regulated, a notable example being the inhibition of Wee1 by the protein kinase Nim1/Cdr1. The temperature-sensitive mutation cdc25-22 is synthetic lethal with nim1/cdr1 mutations, suggesting that a synthetic lethal genetic screen could be used to identify novel mitotic regulators. Here we describe that such a screen has identified cdr2(+), a gene that has an important role in the mitotic control. Cdr2 is a 775 amino acid protein kinase that is closely related to Nim1 and mitotic control proteins in budding yeast. Deletion of cdr2 causes a G2-M delay that is more severe than that caused by nim1/cdr1 mutations. Genetic studies are consistent with a model in which Cdr2 negatively regulates Wee1. This model is supported by experiments showing that Cdr2 associates with the N-terminal regulatory domain of Wee1 in cell lysates and phosphorylates Wee1 in vitro. Thus, Cdr2 is a novel mitotic control protein that appears to regulate Wee1.