cdc2 links the Drosophila cell cycle and asymmetric division machineries

Nature. 2001 Feb 22;409(6823):1063-7. doi: 10.1038/35059124.


Asymmetric cell divisions can be mediated by the preferential segregation of cell-fate determinants into one of two sibling daughters. In Drosophila neural progenitors, Inscuteable, Partner of Inscuteable and Bazooka localize as an apical cortical complex at interphase, which directs the apical-basal orientation of the mitotic spindle as well as the basal/cortical localization of the cell-fate determinants Numb and/or Prospero during mitosis. Although localization of these proteins shows dependence on the cell cycle, the involvement of cell-cycle components in asymmetric divisions has not been demonstrated. Here we show that neural progenitor asymmetric divisions require the cell-cycle regulator cdc2. By attenuating Drosophila cdc2 function without blocking mitosis, normally asymmetric progenitor divisions become defective, failing to correctly localize asymmetric components during mitosis and/or to resolve distinct sibling fates. cdc2 is not necessary for initiating apical complex formation during interphase; however, maintaining the asymmetric localization of the apical components during mitosis requires Cdc2/B-type cyclin complexes. Our findings link cdc2 with asymmetric divisions, and explain why the asymmetric localization of molecules like Inscuteable show cell-cycle dependence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase / genetics
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase / physiology*
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology
  • Cell Cycle*
  • Cell Division*
  • Central Nervous System / cytology
  • Cyclins / metabolism
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / physiology
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Genotype
  • Mutation
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology
  • Neuropeptides
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology
  • Phenotype
  • Phosphorylation
  • Transcription Factors*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cyclins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Mira protein, Drosophila
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • PON protein, Drosophila
  • Transcription Factors
  • insc protein, Drosophila
  • pros protein, Drosophila
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase