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(1/708) Speedy: a novel cell cycle regulator of the G2/M transition.

Stage VI Xenopus oocytes are suspended at the G2/M transition of meiosis I, and represent an excellent system for the identification and examination of cell cycle regulatory proteins. Essential cell cycle regulators such as MAPK, cyclins and mos have the ability to induce oocyte maturation, causing the resumption of the cell cycle from its arrested state. We have identified the product of a novel Xenopus gene, Speedy or Spy1, which is able to induce rapid maturation of Xenopus oocytes, resulting in the induction of germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and activation of M-phasepromoting factor (MPF). Spy1 activates the MAPK pathway in oocytes, and its ability to induce maturation is dependent upon this pathway. Spy1-induced maturation occurs much more rapidly than maturation induced by other cell cycle regulators including progesterone, mos or Ras, and does not require any of these proteins or hormones, indicating that Spy1-induced maturation proceeds through a novel regulatory pathway. In addition, we have shown that Spy1 physically interacts with cdk2, and prematurely activates cdk2 kinase activity. Spy1 therefore represents a novel cell cycle regulatory protein, inducing maturation through the activation of MAPK and MPF, and also leading to the premature activation of cdk2.  (+info)

(2/708) Lesions in many different spindle components activate the spindle checkpoint in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

The spindle checkpoint arrests cells in mitosis in response to defects in the assembly of the mitotic spindle or errors in chromosome alignment. We determined which spindle defects the checkpoint can detect by examining the interaction of mutations that compromise the checkpoint (mad1, mad2, and mad3) with those that damage various structural components of the spindle. Defects in microtubule polymerization, spindle pole body duplication, microtubule motors, and kinetochore components all activate the MAD-dependent checkpoint. In contrast, the cell cycle arrest caused by mutations that induce DNA damage (cdc13), inactivate the cyclin proteolysis machinery (cdc16 and cdc23), or arrest cells in anaphase (cdc15) is independent of the spindle checkpoint.  (+info)

(3/708) RAD53, DUN1 and PDS1 define two parallel G2/M checkpoint pathways in budding yeast.

Eukaryotic checkpoint genes regulate multiple cellular responses to DNA damage. In this report, we examine the roles of budding yeast genes involved in G2/M arrest and tolerance to UV exposure. A current model posits three gene classes: those encoding proteins acting on damaged DNA (e.g. RAD9 and RAD24), those transducing a signal (MEC1, RAD53 and DUN1) or those participating more directly in arrest (PDS1). Here, we define important features of the pathways subserved by those genes. MEC1, which we find is required for both establishment and maintenance of G2/M arrest, mediates this arrest through two parallel pathways. One pathway requires RAD53 and DUN1 (the 'RAD53 pathway'); the other pathway requires PDS1. Each pathway independently contributes approximately 50% to G2/M arrest, effects demonstrable after cdc13-induced damage or a double-stranded break inflicted by the HO endonuclease. Similarly, both pathways contribute independently to tolerance of UV irradiation. How the parallel pathways might interact ultimately to achieve arrest is not yet understood, but we do provide evidence that neither the RAD53 nor the PDS1 pathway appears to maintain arrest by inhibiting adaptation. Instead, we think it likely that both pathways contribute to establishing and maintaining arrest.  (+info)

(4/708) Threshold dose response for tumor induction by genotoxic carcinogens modeled via cell-cycle delay.

Dose-response relationships for tumor induction in animal bioassays for carcinogenicity are often postulated to include thresholds, particularly for nongenotoxic chemicals that increase the rate of cell proliferation at high doses. In this report, thresholds are postulated also for genotoxic carcinogens. The hypothesis is based on the idea of a delay of the cell cycle induced by low-level DNA damage and an acceleration at cytotoxic dose levels, thus resulting in a J-shaped (or U-shaped) dose response for cell turnover. Calculations were based on the 2-stage clonal expansion model of carcinogenesis. The background values chosen for the model parameters resulted in a 10.5% "spontaneous" 2-year cumulative tumor incidence. Using this as a starting point, a decrease by 3, 10, and 30% in the rates of cell turnover resulted in a decrease in the spontaneous tumor incidence to 9.4, 7.1 and 3.0%, respectively. Dose-responses with J-shaped curves for the rates of cell birth and death were modeled by shifted quadratic functions reaching the minimum at dose 1. Combinations with linearly increasing mutation rates also generated, under certain conditions, J-shaped dose-response curves for tumor incidence. As an example, for a 30% increase in mutation rates and a 10% decrease in cell turnover rates (both at dose 1), the dose-response curve showed an initial decrease of tumor incidence below the spontaneous rate, a reversion to the background value at 0.8 dose units, and an increase thereafter. The 0.8 dose could be considered to represent the "threshold dose." The approach presented might reconcile opposing views on thresholds on a biologically plausible mechanistic basis, and show a way for the quantitative estimation of threshold doses.  (+info)

(5/708) Sid2p, a spindle pole body kinase that regulates the onset of cytokinesis.

The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe divides by medial fission through the use of an actomyosin contractile ring. Precisely at the end of anaphase, the ring begins to constrict and the septum forms. Proper coordination of cell division with mitosis is crucial to ensure proper segregation of chromosomes to daughter cells. The Sid2p kinase is one of several proteins that function as part of a novel signaling pathway required for initiation of medial ring constriction and septation. Here, we show that Sid2p is a component of the spindle pole body at all stages of the cell cycle and localizes transiently to the cell division site during medial ring constriction and septation. A medial ring and an intact microtubule cytoskeleton are required for the localization of Sid2p to the division site. We have established an in vitro assay for measuring Sid2p kinase activity, and found that Sid2p kinase activity peaks during medial ring constriction and septation. Both Sid2p localization to the division site and activity depend on the function of all of the other septation initiation genes: cdc7, cdc11, cdc14, sid1, spg1, and sid4. Thus, Sid2p, a component of the spindle pole body, by virtue of its transient localization to the division site, appears to determine the timing of ring constriction and septum delivery in response to activating signals from other Sid gene products.  (+info)

(6/708) A genetic screen for modifiers of E2F in Drosophila melanogaster.

The activity of the E2F transcription factor is regulated in part by pRB, the protein product of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene. Studies of tumor cells show that the p16(ink4a)/cdk4/cyclin D/pRB pathway is mutated in most forms of cancer, suggesting that the deregulation of E2F, and hence the cell cycle, is a common event in tumorigenesis. Extragenic mutations that enhance or suppress E2F activity are likely to alter cell-cycle control and may play a role in tumorigenesis. We used an E2F overexpression phenotype in the Drosophila eye to screen for modifiers of E2F activity. Coexpression of dE2F and its heterodimeric partner dDP in the fly eye induces S phases and cell death. We isolated 33 enhancer mutations of this phenotype by EMS and X-ray mutagenesis and by screening a deficiency library collection. The majority of these mutations sorted into six complementation groups, five of which have been identified as alleles of brahma (brm), moira (mor) osa, pointed (pnt), and polycephalon (poc). osa, brm, and mor encode proteins with homology to SWI1, SWI2, and SWI3, respectively, suggesting that the activity of a SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex has an important impact on E2F-dependent phenotypes. Mutations in poc also suppress phenotypes caused by p21(CIP1) expression, indicating an important role for polycephalon in cell-cycle control.  (+info)

(7/708) Molecular cloning and cell-cycle-dependent expression of the acetyl-CoA synthetase gene in Tetrahymena cells.

To identify transcriptionally regulated mediators associated with the cell cycle, we adopted the differential mRNA display technique for cell cultures of Tetrahymena pyriformis synchronized by cyclic heat treatment. One cDNA fragment that was expressed differently during synchronous cell division had a greatly decreased expression at 30 min after the end of heat treatment (EHT). Using this fragment as a probe, we isolated the full-length cDNA for T. pyriformis acetyl-CoA synthetase (TpAcs) which encodes a 651 amino acid polypeptide with a predicted molecular mass of 72.8 kDa. The deduced amino acid sequence of T. pyriformis ACS shows 42% sequence identity compared with that of Lysobacter sp. acetyl-CoA synthetase (ACS), an enzyme which catalyses the formation of acetyl-CoA from acetate via an acetyl-adenylate intermediate. The deduced sequence is also 41% and 40% identical compared with those of Pseudomonas putida and Coprinus cinereus ACS, respectively. The deduced sequence of T. pyriformis ACS also shares similar characteristics of the conserved motifs I and II in the ACS family. To further investigate the actions of the gene encoding this enzyme, mRNA expression was determined during the course of synchronized cell division in T. pyriformis. Northern blot results show that the mRNA level was dramatically decreased at 30 min after EHT prior to entering synchronous cell division (which occurs 75 min after EHT), suggesting that mRNA expression of the TpAcs was associated with the cell cycle and that the down-regulated expression of TpAcs at 30 min after EHT would be required for the initiation of the oncoming synchronous cell division in T. pyriformis.  (+info)

(8/708) Requirement of sequences outside the conserved kinase domain of fission yeast Rad3p for checkpoint control.

The fission yeast Rad3p checkpoint protein is a member of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-related family of protein kinases, which includes human ATMp. Mutation of the ATM gene is responsible for the disease ataxia-telangiectasia. The kinase domain of Rad3p has previously been shown to be essential for function. Here, we show that although this domain is necessary, it is not sufficient, because the isolated kinase domain does not have kinase activity in vitro and cannot complement a rad3 deletion strain. Using dominant negative alleles of rad3, we have identified two sites N-terminal to the conserved kinase domain that are essential for Rad3p function. One of these sites is the putative leucine zipper, which is conserved in other phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-related family members. The other is a novel motif, which may also mediate Rad3p protein-protein interactions.  (+info)