Cytokinesis follows separase activation and chromosome segregation. This order is ensured in budding yeast by the mitotic exit network (MEN), where Cdc14p dephosphorylates key conserved Cdk1-substrates exemplified by the anaphase spindle-elongation protein Ase1p. However, in metazoans, MEN and Cdc14 function is not conserved. Instead, the PP2A-B55α/ENSA/Greatwall (BEG) pathway controls the human Ase1p ortholog PRC1. In this pathway, PP2A-B55 inhibition is coupled to Cdk1-cyclin B activity, whereas separase inhibition is maintained by cyclin B concentration. This creates two cyclin B thresholds during mitotic exit. Simulation and experiments using PRC1 as a model substrate show that the first threshold permits separase activation and chromosome segregation, and the second permits PP2A-B55 activation and initiation of cytokinesis. Removal of the ENSA/Greatwall (EG) timer module eliminates this second threshold, as well as associated delay in PRC1 dephosphorylation and initiation of cytokinesis, by uncoupling PP2A-B55 from Cdk1-cyclin B activity. Therefore, temporal order during mitotic exit is promoted by the metazoan BEG pathway.
Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.