The Cdc14 Phosphatase Controls Resolution of Recombination Intermediates and Crossover Formation during Meiosis

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Sep 10;22(18):9811. doi: 10.3390/ijms22189811.


Meiotic defects derived from incorrect DNA repair during gametogenesis can lead to mutations, aneuploidies and infertility. The coordinated resolution of meiotic recombination intermediates is required for crossover formation, ultimately necessary for the accurate completion of both rounds of chromosome segregation. Numerous master kinases orchestrate the correct assembly and activity of the repair machinery. Although much less is known, the reversal of phosphorylation events in meiosis must also be key to coordinate the timing and functionality of repair enzymes. Cdc14 is a crucial phosphatase required for the dephosphorylation of multiple CDK1 targets in many eukaryotes. Mutations that inactivate this phosphatase lead to meiotic failure, but until now it was unknown if Cdc14 plays a direct role in meiotic recombination. Here, we show that the elimination of Cdc14 leads to severe defects in the processing and resolution of recombination intermediates, causing a drastic depletion in crossovers when other repair pathways are compromised. We also show that Cdc14 is required for the correct activity and localization of the Holliday Junction resolvase Yen1/GEN1. We reveal that Cdc14 regulates Yen1 activity from meiosis I onwards, and this function is essential for crossover resolution in the absence of other repair pathways. We also demonstrate that Cdc14 and Yen1 are required to safeguard sister chromatid segregation during the second meiotic division, a late action that is independent of the earlier role in crossover formation. Thus, this work uncovers previously undescribed functions of the evolutionary conserved Cdc14 phosphatase in the regulation of meiotic recombination.

Keywords: CDK1; Cdc14; Cdc20; Cdc5; Holliday junction; Mus81; Ndt80; Sgs1; Yen1; aneuploidy; meiotic recombination.

MeSH terms

  • CDC2 Protein Kinase / genetics*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics*
  • Chromosome Segregation / genetics
  • Crossing Over, Genetic / genetics
  • DNA Repair / genetics
  • DNA, Cruciform / genetics
  • Gametogenesis / genetics
  • Holliday Junction Resolvases / genetics*
  • Homologous Recombination / genetics
  • Meiosis / genetics*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Phosphorylation / genetics
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics*


  • CDC14 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DNA, Cruciform
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase
  • Holliday Junction Resolvases
  • Yen1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases