The NIMA protein kinase is hyperphosphorylated and activated downstream of p34cdc2/cyclin B: coordination of two mitosis promoting kinases

EMBO J. 1995 Mar 1;14(5):986-94.


Initiation of mitosis in Aspergillus nidulans requires activation of two protein kinases, p34cdc2/cyclin B and NIMA. Forced expression of NIMA, even when p34cdc2 was inactivated, promoted chromatin condensation. NIMA may therefore directly cause mitotic chromosome condensation. However, the mitosis-promoting function of NIMA is normally under control of p34cdc2/cyclin B as the active G2 form of NIMA is hyperphosphorylated and further activated by p34cdc2/cyclin B when cells initiate mitosis. To see the p34cdc2/cyclin B dependent activation of NIMA, okadaic acid had to be added to isolation buffers to prevent dephosphorylation of NIMA during isolation. Hyperphosphorylated NIMA contained the MPM-2 epitope and, in vitro, phosphorylation of NIMA by p34cdc2/cyclin B generated the MPM-2 epitope, suggesting that NIMA is phosphorylated directly by p34cdc2/cyclin B during mitotic initiation. These two kinases, which are both essential for mitotic initiation, are therefore independently activated as protein kinases during G2. Then, to initiate mitosis, we suggest that each activates the other's mitosis-promoting functions. This ensures that cells coordinately activate p34cdc2/cyclin B and NIMA to initiate mitosis only upon completion of all interphase events. Finally, we show that NIMA is regulated through the cell cycle like cyclin B, as it accumulates during G2 and is degraded only when cells traverse mitosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Aspergillus nidulans / cytology
  • Aspergillus nidulans / enzymology*
  • Base Sequence
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase / metabolism*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins*
  • Chromatin / physiology
  • Cyclins / metabolism*
  • Ethers, Cyclic / pharmacology
  • G2 Phase
  • Mitosis*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / physiology
  • NIMA-Related Kinase 1
  • NIMA-Related Kinases
  • Okadaic Acid
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Phosphoproteins / biosynthesis
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / immunology
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromatin
  • Cyclins
  • Ethers, Cyclic
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Okadaic Acid
  • NIMA-Related Kinase 1
  • NIMA-Related Kinases
  • NIMA-related kinase 6
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases