Nucleolar integrity during interphase supports faithful Cdk1 activation and mitotic entry.
ABSTRACT: The nucleolus is a dynamic nuclear body that has been demonstrated to disassemble at the onset of mitosis; the relationship between cell cycle progression and nucleolar integrity, however, remains poorly understood. We studied the role of nucleolar proteins in mitosis by performing a global analysis using small interfering RNAs specific to nucleolar proteins; we focused on nucleolar protein 11 (NOL11), with currently unknown mitotic functions. Depletion of NOL11 delayed entry into the mitotic phase owing to increased inhibitory phosphorylation of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) and aberrant accumulation of Wee1, a kinase that phosphorylates and inhibits Cdk1. In addition to effects on overall mitotic phenotypes, NOL11 depletion reduced ribosomal RNA (rRNA) levels and caused nucleolar disruption during interphase. Notably, mitotic phenotypes found in NOL11-depleted cells were recapitulated when nucleolar disruption was induced by depletion of rRNA transcription factors or treatment with actinomycin D. Furthermore, delayed entry into the mitotic phase, caused by the depletion of pre-rRNA transcription factors, was attributable to nucleolar disruption rather than to G2/M checkpoint activation or reduced protein synthesis. Our findings therefore suggest that maintenance of nucleolar integrity during interphase is essential for proper cell cycle progression to mitosis via the regulation of Wee1 and Cdk1.
Project description:The activity of Cdk1-cyclin B1 mitotic complexes is regulated by the balance between the counteracting activities of Wee1/Myt1 kinases and Cdc25 phosphatases. These kinases and phosphatases must be strictly regulated to ensure proper mitotic timing. One masterpiece of this regulatory network is Cdk1, which promotes Cdc25 activity and suppresses inhibitory Wee1/Myt1 kinases through direct phosphorylation. The Cdk1-dependent phosphorylation of Wee1 primes phosphorylation by additional kinases such as Plk1, triggering Wee1 degradation at the onset of mitosis. Here we report that Cdc14A plays an important role in the regulation of Wee1 stability. Depletion of Cdc14A results in a significant reduction in Wee1 protein levels. Cdc14A binds to Wee1 at its amino-terminal domain and reverses CDK-mediated Wee1 phosphorylation. In particular, we found that Cdc14A inhibits Wee1 degradation through the dephosphorylation of Ser-123 and Ser-139 residues. Thus the lack of phosphorylation of these two residues prevents the interaction with Plk1 and the consequent efficient Wee1 degradation at the onset of mitosis. These data support the hypothesis that Cdc14A counteracts Cdk1-cyclin B1 activity through Wee1 dephosphorylation.
Project description:Entry into mitosis is characterized by a dramatic remodeling of nuclear and cytoplasmic compartments. These changes are driven by cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) activity, yet how cytoplasmic and nuclear CDK1 activities are coordinated is unclear. We injected cyclin B (CycB) into Drosophila melanogaster embryos during interphase of syncytial cycles and monitored effects on cytoplasmic and nuclear mitotic events. In untreated embryos or embryos arrested in interphase with a protein synthesis inhibitor, injection of CycB accelerates nuclear envelope breakdown and mitotic remodeling of the cytoskeleton. Upon activation of the Grapes(checkpoint kinase 1) (Grp(Chk1))-dependent S-phase checkpoint, increased levels of CycB drives cytoplasmic but not nuclear mitotic events. Grp(Chk1) prevents nuclear CDK1 activation by delaying CycB nuclear accumulation through Wee1-dependent and independent mechanisms.
Project description:Mitotic repression of rRNA synthesis requires inactivation of the RNA polymerase I (Pol I)-specific transcription factor SL1 by Cdk1/cyclin B-dependent phosphorylation of TAF(I)110 (TBP-associated factor 110) at a single threonine residue (T852). Upon exit from mitosis, T852 is dephosphorylated by Cdc14B, which is sequestered in nucleoli during interphase and is activated upon release from nucleoli at prometaphase. Mitotic repression of Pol I transcription correlates with transient nucleolar enrichment of the NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase SIRT1, which deacetylates another subunit of SL1, TAFI68. Hypoacetylation of TAFI68 destabilizes SL1 binding to the rDNA promoter, thereby impairing transcription complex assembly. Inhibition of SIRT1 activity alleviates mitotic repression of Pol I transcription if phosphorylation of TAF(I)110 is prevented. The results demonstrate that reversible phosphorylation of TAF(I)110 and acetylation of TAFI68 are key modifications that regulate SL1 activity and mediate fluctuations of pre-rRNA synthesis during cell cycle progression.
Project description:Cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) are the central regulators of the cell division cycle. Inhibitors of Cdks ensure proper coordination of cell cycle events and help regulate cell proliferation in the context of tissues and organs. Wee1 homologs phosphorylate a conserved tyrosine to inhibit the mitotic cyclin-dependent kinase Cdk1. Loss of Wee1 function in fission or budding yeast causes premature entry into mitosis. The importance of metazoan Wee1 homologs for timing mitosis, however, has been demonstrated only in Xenopus egg extracts and via ectopic Cdk1 activation . Here, we report that Drosophila Wee1 (dWee1) regulates Cdk1 via phosphorylation of tyrosine 15 and times mitotic entry during the cortical nuclear cycles of syncytial blastoderm embryos, which lack gap phases. Loss of maternal dwee1 leads to premature entry into mitosis, mitotic spindle defects, chromosome condensation problems, and a Chk2-dependent block of subsequent development, and then embryonic lethality. These findings modify previous models about cell cycle regulation in syncytial embryos and demonstrate that Wee1 kinases can regulate mitotic entry in vivo during metazoan development even in cycles that lack a G2 phase.
Project description:Entry into mitosis is initiated by synthesis of cyclins, which bind and activate cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1). Cyclin synthesis is gradual, yet activation of Cdk1 occurs in a stepwise manner: a low level of Cdk1 activity is initially generated that triggers early mitotic events, which is followed by full activation of Cdk1. Little is known about how stepwise activation of Cdk1 is achieved. A key regulator of Cdk1 is the Wee1 kinase, which phosphorylates and inhibits Cdk1. Wee1 and Cdk1 show mutual regulation: Cdk1 phosphorylates Wee1, which activates Wee1 to inhibit Cdk1. Further phosphorylation events inactivate Wee1. We discovered that a specific form of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A(Cdc55)) opposes the initial phosphorylation of Wee1 by Cdk1. In vivo analysis, in vitro reconstitution, and mathematical modeling suggest that PP2A(Cdc55) sets a threshold that limits activation of Wee1, thereby allowing a low constant level of Cdk1 activity to escape Wee1 inhibition in early mitosis. These results define a new role for PP2A(Cdc55) and reveal a systems-level mechanism by which dynamically opposed kinase and phosphatase activities can modulate signal strength.
Project description:Distinct protein phosphorylation levels in interphase and M phase require tight regulation of Cdk1 activity [1, 2]. A bistable switch, based on positive feedback in the Cdk1 activation loop, has been proposed to generate different thresholds for transitions between these cell-cycle states [3-5]. Recently, the activity of the major Cdk1-counteracting phosphatase, PP2A:B55, has also been found to be bistable due to Greatwall kinase-dependent regulation . However, the interplay of the regulation of Cdk1 and PP2A:B55 in vivo remains unexplored. Here, we combine quantitative cell biology assays with mathematical modeling to explore the interplay of mitotic kinase activation and phosphatase inactivation in human cells. By measuring mitotic entry and exit thresholds using ATP-analog-sensitive Cdk1 mutants, we find evidence that the mitotic switch displays hysteresis and bistability, responding differentially to Cdk1 inhibition in the mitotic and interphase states. Cdk1 activation by Wee1/Cdc25 feedback loops and PP2A:B55 inactivation by Greatwall independently contributes to this hysteretic switch system. However, elimination of both Cdk1 and PP2A:B55 inactivation fully abrogates bistability, suggesting that hysteresis is an emergent property of mutual inhibition between the Cdk1 and PP2A:B55 feedback loops. Our model of the two interlinked feedback systems predicts an intermediate but hidden steady state between interphase and M phase. This could be verified experimentally by Cdk1 inhibition during mitotic entry, supporting the predictive value of our model. Furthermore, we demonstrate that dual inhibition of Wee1 and Gwl kinases causes loss of cell-cycle memory and synthetic lethality, which could be further exploited therapeutically.
Project description:To grant faithful chromosome segregation, the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) delays mitosis exit until mitotic spindle assembly. An exceedingly prolonged mitosis, however, promotes cell death and by this means antimicrotubule cancer drugs (AMCDs), that impair spindle assembly, are believed to kill cancer cells. Despite malformed spindles, cancer cells can, however, slip through SAC, exit mitosis prematurely and resist killing. We show here that the Fcp1 phosphatase and Wee1, the cyclin B-dependent kinase (cdk) 1 inhibitory kinase, play a role for this slippage/resistance mechanism. During AMCD-induced prolonged mitosis, Fcp1-dependent Wee1 reactivation lowered cdk1 activity, weakening SAC-dependent mitotic arrest and leading to mitosis exit and survival. Conversely, genetic or chemical Wee1 inhibition strengthened the SAC, further extended mitosis, reduced antiapoptotic protein Mcl-1 to a minimum and potentiated killing in several, AMCD-treated cancer cell lines and primary human adult lymphoblastic leukemia cells. Thus, the Fcp1-Wee1-Cdk1 (FWC) axis affects SAC robustness and AMCDs sensitivity.
Project description:Mitosis requires precise coordination of multiple global reorganizations of the nucleus and cytoplasm. Cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) is the primary upstream kinase that directs mitotic progression by phosphorylation of a large number of substrate proteins. Cdk1 activation reaches the peak level due to positive feedback mechanisms. By inhibiting Cdk chemically, we showed that, in prometaphase, when Cdk1 substrates approach the peak of their phosphorylation, cells become capable of proper M-to-G1 transition. We interfered with the molecular components of the Cdk1-activating feedback system through use of chemical inhibitors of Wee1 and Myt1 kinases and Cdc25 phosphatases. Inhibition of Wee1 and Myt1 at the end of the S phase led to rapid Cdk1 activation and morphologically normal mitotic entry, even in the absence of G2. Dampening Cdc25 phosphatases simultaneously with Wee1 and Myt1 inhibition prevented Cdk1/cyclin B kinase activation and full substrate phosphorylation and induced a mitotic "collapse," a terminal state characterized by the dephosphorylation of mitotic substrates without cyclin B proteolysis. This was blocked by the PP1/PP2A phosphatase inhibitor, okadaic acid. These findings suggest that the positive feedback in Cdk activation serves to overcome the activity of Cdk-opposing phosphatases and thus sustains forward progression in mitosis.
Project description:Cytokinesis involves temporally and spatially coordinated action of the cell cycle, cytoskeletal and membrane systems to achieve separation of daughter cells. The septation initiation network (SIN) and mitotic exit network (MEN) signaling pathways regulate cytokinesis and mitotic exit in the yeasts Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, respectively. Previously, we have shown that in fission yeast, the nucleolar protein Dnt1 negatively regulates the SIN pathway in a manner that is independent of the Cdc14-family phosphatase Clp1/Flp1, but how Dnt1 modulates this pathway has remained elusive. By contrast, it is clear that its budding yeast relative, Net1/Cfi1, regulates the homologous MEN signaling pathway by sequestering Cdc14 phosphatase in the nucleolus before mitotic exit. In this study, we show that dnt1(+) positively regulates G2/M transition during the cell cycle. By conducting epistasis analyses to measure cell length at septation in double mutant (for dnt1 and genes involved in G2/M control) cells, we found a link between dnt1(+) and wee1(+). Furthermore, we showed that elevated protein levels of the mitotic inhibitor Wee1 kinase and the corresponding attenuation in Cdk1 activity is responsible for the rescuing effect of dnt1? on SIN mutants. Finally, our data also suggest that Dnt1 modulates Wee1 activity in parallel with SCF-mediated Wee1 degradation. Therefore, this study reveals an unexpected missing link between the nucleolar protein Dnt1 and the SIN signaling pathway, which is mediated by the Cdk1 regulator Wee1 kinase. Our findings also define a novel mode of regulation of Wee1 and Cdk1, which is important for integration of the signals controlling the SIN pathway in fission yeast.
Project description:WEE1 kinase regulates CDK1 and CDK2 activity to facilitate DNA replication during S-phase and to prevent unscheduled entry into mitosis. WEE1 inhibitors synergize with DNA-damaging agents that arrest cells in S-phase by triggering direct mitotic entry without completing DNA synthesis, resulting in catastrophic chromosome fragmentation and apoptosis. Here, we investigated how WEE1 inhibition could be best exploited for cancer therapy by performing a functional genetic screen to identify novel determinants of sensitivity to WEE1 inhibition. Inhibition of kinases that regulate CDK activity, CHK1 and MYT1, synergized with WEE1 inhibition through both increased replication stress and forced mitotic entry of S-phase cells. Loss of multiple components of the Fanconi anemia (FA) and homologous recombination (HR) pathways, in particular DNA helicases, sensitized to WEE1 inhibition. Silencing of FA/HR genes resulted in excessive replication stress and nucleotide depletion following WEE1 inhibition, which ultimately led to increased unscheduled mitotic entry. Our results suggest that cancers with defects in FA and HR pathways may be targeted by WEE1 inhibition, providing a basis for a novel synthetic lethal strategy for cancers harboring FA/HR defects.