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.
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