Article | Published:

Driving the cell cycle with a minimal CDK control network

Nature volume 468, pages 10741079 (23 December 2010) | Download Citation

Abstract

Control of eukaryotic cell proliferation involves an extended regulatory network, the complexity of which has made it difficult to understand the basic principles of the cell cycle. To investigate the core engine of the mitotic cycle we have generated a minimal control network in fission yeast that efficiently sustains cellular reproduction. Here we demonstrate that orderly progression through the major events of the cell cycle can be driven by oscillation of an engineered monomolecular cyclin-dependent protein kinase (CDK) module lacking much of the canonical regulation. We show further that the CDK oscillator acts as the primary organizer of the cell cycle, imposing timing and directionality to a system of two CDK activity thresholds that define independent cell cycle phases. We propose that this simple core architecture forms the basic control of the eukaryotic cell cycle.

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Acknowledgements

We thank J. Hayles, P.-Y. Wu and F. Navarro for critically reading the manuscript, and N. Rhind for the anti-Cds1 antibody. D.C. was supported by post-doctoral fellowships from EMBO (ALTF 899-2007) and the Human Frontier Science Program (LT00623/2008) and P.N. by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, The Rockefeller University and the Anderson Cancer Center Research at Rockefeller University.

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Affiliations

  1. Laboratory of Yeast Genetics and Cell Biology, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, New York 10065, USA

    • Damien Coudreuse
    •  & Paul Nurse

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Contributions

D.C. designed and performed the experiments and wrote the manuscript. Both authors discussed the experiments and edited the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Damien Coudreuse.

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    Supplementary Information

    The file contains Supplementary Figures 1-20 with legends and Supplementary Table 1. A corrected file was uploaded on 23 February 2011 as it was noticed that figures 5 and 6 had been transposed in the original version.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature09543

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