Fission yeast Mes1p ensures the onset of meiosis II by blocking degradation of cyclin Cdc13p


Meiosis is a special form of nuclear division to generate eggs, sperm and spores in eukaryotes. Meiosis consists of the first (MI) and the second (MII) meiotic divisions, which occur consecutively. MI is reductional, in which homologous chromosomes derived from parents segregate. MI is supported by an elaborate mechanism involving meiosis-specific cohesin and its protector1. MII is equational, in which replicated sister-chromatids separate as in mitosis. MII is generally considered to mimic mitosis in mechanism. However, fission yeast Mes1p is essential for MII but dispensable for mitosis. The mes1-B44 mutant arrests before MII2. Transcription of mes1 is low in vegetative cells and boosted in a narrow window between late MI and late MII3. The mes1 mRNA undergoes meiosis-specific splicing4. Here we show that Mes1p is a factor that suppresses the degradation of cyclin Cdc13p at anaphase I. Mes1p binds to Slp1p, an activator of APC/C (anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome), and counteracts its function to engage Cdc13p in proteolysis. Inhibition of APC/C-dependent degradation of Cdc13p by Mes1p was reproduced in a Xenopus egg extract. We therefore propose that Mes1p has a key function in saving a sufficient level of MPF (M-phase-promoting factor) activity required for the execution of MII.

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Figure 1: Mes1p is required to maintain MPF activity after MI.
Figure 2: Interaction of Mes1p with Slp1p, which recruits Cdc13p to proteolysis.
Figure 3: Mes1p inhibits the function of Slp1p in activating APC/C.
Figure 4: Mes1p blocks Slp1p-APC/C function to degrade Cdc13p.


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We thank K. Tsumoto and M. Toya for technical assistance, Y. Watanabe and Y. Imai for helpful discussion, M. Yanagida for anti-Cut2p antibodies, and T. Matsumoto for the slp1-362 strain. This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Specially Promoted Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

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Correspondence to Masayuki Yamamoto.

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Izawa, D., Goto, M., Yamashita, A. et al. Fission yeast Mes1p ensures the onset of meiosis II by blocking degradation of cyclin Cdc13p. Nature 434, 529–533 (2005).

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