GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Approval Date

11-24-2009

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Department

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences: Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

Subjects

Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins; Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases; Cell Cycle Proteins; Protein Kinases; Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal; Signal Transduction; Academic Dissertations; Dissertations, UMMS

Abstract

Coordination of mitosis and cytokinesis is crucial to generate healthy daughter cells with equal amounts of genetic and cytoplasmic materials. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, an evolutionarily conserved Cdc14-like phosphatase (Clp1) functions to couple mitosis and cytokinesis by antagonizing CDK activity. The activity of Clp1 is thought to be regulated in part by its subcellular localization. It is sequestered in the nucleolus and the spindle pole body (SPB) during interphase. Upon mitotic entry, it is released into the cytoplasm and localized to the kinetochores, the actomyosin ring, and the mitotic spindle to carry out distinct functions. It is not clear how Clp1 is released from the nucleolus, however, once released, a conserved signaling pathway termed Septation Initiation Network (SIN) functions to retain Clp1 in the cytoplasm until completion of cytokinesis. The SIN and Clp1 function together in a positive feedback loop to promote each other’s activity. That is, the SIN promotes cytoplasmic retention of Clp1, and cytoplasmic Clp1 antagonizes CDK activity and reverses CDK inhibition on the SIN pathway to promote its function and activity. However, at the start of this thesis, the mechanism by which the SIN regulated Clp1 was unknown. The SIN pathway is also required to promote constriction of the actomyosin ring, and the septum formation. However, its downstream targets were still uncharacterized. In two separate studies, we studied how Clp1 is released from the nucleolus at mitotic entry and how the SIN kinase Sid2 acts to retain Clp1 in the cytoplasm. We identified several Sid2 candidate substrates, and revealed other functions of the SIN pathway in coordinating mitotic events.

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Copyright is held by the author, with all rights reserved.

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