The Cdk-activating kinase (CAK) couples cell growth to cell division
ABSTRACT: We report that inactivation of the fission yeast Cdk7 kinase affects gene expression through both its RNA Polymerase II CTD kinase activity and its Cdc2-activating kinase activity. The ribosome biogenesis cluster is specifically downregulated when Cdc2 T167 phosphorylation is abolished, which results is slow growth. We propose that Cdc2 activation by CAK defines the rate change point observed in mid G2 and that CAK therefore couples cell growth to cell division. Total RNA was isolated from two biological replicates for all conditions, and each biological replicate was hybridized in duplicate on Agilent arrays (dye-swap).
Project description:Activating phosphorylation of cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) is mediated by at least two structurally distinct types of Cdk-activating kinases (Caks): the trimeric Cdk7-cyclin H-Mat1 complex in metazoans and the single-subunit Cak1 in budding yeast. Fission yeast has both Cak types: Mcs6 is a Cdk7 ortholog and Csk1 a single-subunit kinase. Both phosphorylate Cdks in vitro and rescue a thermosensitive budding yeast CAK1 strain. However, this apparent redundancy is not observed in fission yeast in vivo. We have identified mutants that exhibit phenotypes attributable to defects in either Mcs6-activating phosphorylation or in Cdc2-activating phosphorylation. Mcs6, human Cdk7 and budding yeast Cak1 were all active as Caks for Cdc2 when expressed in fission yeast. Although Csk1 could activate Mcs6, it was unable to activate Cdc2. Biochemical experiments supported these genetic results: budding yeast Cak1 could bind and phosphorylate Cdc2 from fission yeast lysates, whereas fission yeast Csk1 could not. These results indicate that Mcs6 is the direct activator of Cdc2, and Csk1 only activates Mcs6. This demonstrates in vivo specificity in Cdk activation by Caks.
Project description:The fission yeast Mcs6-Mcs2-Pmh1 complex, homologous to metazoan Cdk7-cyclin H-Mat1, has dual functions in cell division and transcription: as a partially redundant cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)-activating kinase (CAK) that phosphorylates the major cell cycle CDK, Cdc2, on Thr-167; and as the RNA polymerase (Pol) II carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) kinase associated with transcription factor (TF) IIH. We analyzed conditional mutants of mcs6 and pmh1, which activate Cdc2 normally but cannot complete cell division at restrictive temperature and arrest with decreased CTD phosphorylation. Transcriptional profiling by microarray hybridization revealed only modest effects on global gene expression: a one-third reduction in a severe mcs6 mutant after prolonged incubation at 36 degrees C. In contrast, a small subset of transcripts ( approximately 5%) decreased by more than twofold after Mcs6 complex function was compromised. The signature of repressed genes overlapped significantly with those of cell separation mutants sep10 and sep15. Sep10, a component of the Pol II Mediator complex, becomes essential in mcs6 or pmh1 mutant backgrounds. Moreover, transcripts dependent on the forkhead transcription factor Sep1, which are expressed coordinately during mitosis, were repressed in Mcs6 complex mutants, and Mcs6 also interacts genetically with Sep1. Thus, the Mcs6 complex, a direct activator of Cdc2, also influences the cell cycle transcriptional program, possibly through its TFIIH-associated kinase function.
Project description:Cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) activation and RNA polymerase II transcription are linked by the Cdk7 kinase, which phosphorylates Cdks as a trimeric Cdk-activating kinase (CAK) complex, and serine 5 within the polymerase II (Pol II) C-terminal domain (CTD) as transcription factor TFIIH-bound CAK. However, the physiological importance of integrating these processes is not understood. Besides the Cdk7 ortholog Mcs6, fission yeast possesses a second CAK, Csk1. The two enzymes have been proposed to act redundantly to activate Cdc2. Using an improved analogue-sensitive Mcs6-as kinase, we show that Csk1 is not a relevant CAK for Cdc2. Further analyses revealed that Csk1 lacks a 20-amino-acid sequence required for its budding yeast counterpart, Cak1, to bind Cdc2. Transcriptome profiling of the Mcs6-as mutant in the presence or absence of the budding yeast Cak1 kinase, in order to uncouple the CTD kinase and CAK activities of Mcs6, revealed an unanticipated role of the CAK branch in the transcriptional control of the cluster of genes implicated in ribosome biogenesis and cell growth. The analysis of a Cdc2 CAK site mutant confirmed these data. Our data show that the Cdk7 kinase modulates transcription through its well-described RNA Pol II CTD kinase activity and also through the Cdc2-activating kinase activity.
Project description:The human CDK-activating kinase (CAK), a complex composed of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 7, cyclin H, and MAT1, is a critical regulator of transcription initiation and the cell cycle. It acts by phosphorylating the C-terminal heptapeptide repeat domain of the RNA polymerase II (Pol II) subunit RPB1, which is an important regulatory event in transcription initiation by Pol II, and it phosphorylates the regulatory T-loop of CDKs that control cell cycle progression. Here, we have determined the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the catalytic module of human CAK, revealing the structural basis of its assembly and providing insight into CDK7 activation in this context. The unique third component of the complex, MAT1, substantially extends the interaction interface between CDK7 and cyclin H, explaining its role as a CAK assembly factor, and it forms interactions with the CDK7 T-loop, which may contribute to enhancing CAK activity. We have also determined the structure of the CAK in complex with the covalently bound inhibitor THZ1 in order to provide insight into the binding of inhibitors at the CDK7 active site and to aid in the rational design of therapeutic compounds.
Project description:Cyclin dependent kinases activation and RNA polymerase II transcription are linked by the Cdk7 kinase that phosphorylates Cdks as a trimeric CAK complex, and serine 5 within the PolII C-terminal domain (CTD) as TFIIH bound CAK. However, the physiological importance of integrating these processes is not understood. Beside the Cdk7 ortholog Mcs6, fission yeast possesses a second CAK, Csk1. Both enzymes were proposed to act redundantly to activate Cdc2. Using an improved analogue sensitive Mcs6-as kinase, we show that Csk1 is not a relevant CAK for Cdc2. Further analyses revealed that Csk1 lacks a 20 amino acid sequence required for its budding yeast counterpart, Cak1, to bind Cdc2. Transcriptome profiling of the Mcs6-as mutant in the presence or absence of the budding yeast Cak1 kinase, in order to uncouple the CTD kinase and CAK activities of Mcs6, revealed an unanticipated role of the CAK branch in the transcriptional control of the cluster of genes implicated in ribosome biogenesis and cell growth. The analysis of a Cdc2 CAK site mutant confirmed these data. Our data show that the Cdk7 kinase modulates transcription through both its well-described RNA Polymerase II CTD kinase activity, but also through the Cdc2 activating kinase activity. Overall design: Total RNA was isolated from two biological replicates for all conditions, and each biological replicate was hybridized in duplicate on Agilent arrays (dye-swap).
Project description:The kinase responsible for Thr161-Thr160 phosphorylation and activation of cdc2/cdk2 (CAK:cdk-activating kinase) has been shown previously to comprise at least two subunits, cdk7 and cyclin H. An additional protein co-purified with CAK in starfish oocytes, but its sequencing did not reveal any similarity with any known protein. In the present work, a cDNA encoding this protein is cloned and sequenced in both starfish and Xenopus oocytes. It is shown to encode a new member of the RING finger family of proteins with a characteristic C3HC4 motif located in the N-terminal domain. We demonstrate that the RING finger protein (MAT1: 'menage à trois') is a new subunit of CAK in both vertebrate and invertebrates. However, CAK may also exist in oocytes as heterodimeric complexes between cyclin H and cdk7 only. Stable heterotrimeric CAK complexes were generated in reticulocyte lysates programmed with mRNAs encoding Xenopus cdk7, cyclin H and MAT1. In contrast, no heterodimeric cyclin H-cdk7 complex could be immunoprecipitated from reticulocyte lysates programmed with cdk7 and cyclin H mRNAs only. Stabilization of CAK complexes by MAT1 does not involve phosphorylation of Thr176, as the Thr176-->Ala mutant of Xenopus cdk7 could engage as efficiently as wild-type cdk7 in ternary complexes. Even though starfish MAT1 is almost identical to Xenopus MAT1 in the RING finger domain, the starfish subunit could not replace the Xenopus subunit and stabilize cyclin H-cdk7 in reticulocyte lysate, suggesting that the MAT1 subunit does not (or not only) interact with cyclin H-cdk7 through the RING finger domain.
Project description:We have identified a second cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) in fission yeast, crk1, which encodes a 335 amino acid protein that is most closely related to the KIN28 gene product from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and to a cdk activating kinase (CAK) encoded by the MO15 gene from Xenopus laevis, crk1 is essential for viability and delta crk1 cells arrest with septa and condensed chromatin. We show that Crk1 associates with the Mcs2 mitotic catastrophe suppressor, a cyclin H-like molecule, and overexpression of crk1 rescues the cell-cycle arrest defect of a mcs2-75 cdc2-3w cdc25-22 triple mutant at high temperature. The Crk1-Mcs2 complex possesses CAK activity in vitro in that it phosphorylates human Cdk2 on Thr160 which results in its activation in the presence of cyclin A. In addition Crk1-Mcs2 effectively phosphorylates a peptide corresponding to the C-terminal repeat domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II. We demonstrate that crk1 is allelic to the mcs6 mitotic catastrophe suppressor and that the X.laevis MO15 gene rescues the cell-cycle arrest of an mcs6-13 cdc2-3w cdc25-22 at high temperature. Together these data suggest that the Crk1-Mcs2 complex is a CAK that interacts genetically with Cdc2 in fission yeast.
Project description:Conserved from yeast to mammals, phosphorylation of the heptad repeat sequence Tyr(1)-Ser(2)-Pro(3)-Thr(4)-Ser(5)-Pro(6)-Ser(7) in the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of the largest RNA polymerase II (RNA Pol II) subunit, RPB1, mediates the enzyme's promoter escape and binding of RNA-processing factors, such as the m(7)G capping enzymes. The first critical step, Ser(5) phosphorylation, is carried out by cyclin-dependent kinase 7 (CDK7), a subunit of the basal transcription factor TFIIH. Many early-diverged protists, such as the lethal human parasite Trypanosoma brucei, however, lack the heptad repeats and, apparently, a CDK7 ortholog. Accordingly, characterization of trypanosome TFIIH did not identify a kinase component. The T. brucei CTD, however, is phosphorylated and essential for transcription. Here we show that silencing the expression of T. brucei cdc2-related kinase 9 (CRK9) leads to a loss of RPB1 phosphorylation. Surprisingly, this event did not impair RNA Pol II transcription or cotranscriptional m(7)G capping. Instead, we observed that CRK9 silencing led to a block of spliced leader (SL) trans splicing, an essential step in trypanosome mRNA maturation, that was caused by hypomethylation of the SL RNA's unique cap4.
Project description:Mms19 encodes a cytosolic iron-sulphur assembly component. We found that Drosophila Mms19 is also essential for mitotic divisions and for the proliferation of diploid cells. Reduced Mms19 activity causes severe mitotic defects in spindle dynamics and chromosome segregation, and loss of zygotic Mms19 prevents the formation of imaginal discs. The lack of mitotic tissue in Mms19P/P larvae can be rescued by overexpression of the Cdk-activating kinase (CAK) complex, an activator of mitotic Cdk1, suggesting that Mms19 functions in mitosis to allow CAK (Cdk7/Cyclin H/Mat1) to become fully active as a Cdk1-activating kinase. When bound to Xpd and TFIIH, the CAK subunit Cdk7 phosphorylates transcriptional targets and not cell cycle Cdks. In contrast, free CAK phosphorylates and activates Cdk1. Physical and genetic interaction studies between Mms19 and Xpd suggest that their interaction prevents Xpd from binding to the CAK complex. Xpd bound to Mms19 therefore frees CAK complexes, allowing them to phosphorylate Cdk1 and facilitating progression to metaphase. The structural basis for the competitive interaction with Xpd seems to be the binding of Mms19, core TFIIH and CAK to neighbouring or overlapping regions of Xpd.
Project description:The role of PKN, a fatty acid- and Rho small GTPase-activated protein kinase, in cell-cycle regulation was analyzed. Microinjection of the active form of PKN into a Xenopus embryo caused cleavage arrest, whereas normal cell division proceeded in the control embryo microinjected with buffer or the inactive form of PKN. Exogenous addition of the active form of PKN delayed mitotic timing in Xenopus egg cycling extracts judging by morphology of sperm nuclei and Cdc2/cyclin B histone H1 kinase activity. The kinase-negative form of PKN did not affect the timing, suggesting that delayed mitotic timing depends on the kinase activity of PKN. The dephosphorylation of Tyr-15 of Cdc2 was also delayed in correlation with Cdc2/cyclin B histone H1 kinase activation in extracts containing active PKN. The Cdc25C activity for the dephosphorylation of Tyr-15 in Cdc2 was suppressed by pretreatment with the active form of PKN. Furthermore, PKN efficiently phosphorylated Cdc25C in vitro, indicating that PKN directly inhibits Cdc25C activity by phosphorylation. These results suggest that PKN plays a significant role in the control of mitotic timing by inhibition of Cdc25C.