The S. pombe mitotic regulator Cut12 promotes spindle pole body activation and integration into the nuclear envelope.The fission yeast spindle pole body (SPB) comprises a cytoplasmic structure that is separated from an ill-defined nuclear component by the nuclear envelope. Upon mitotic commitment, the nuclear envelope separating these domains disperses as the two SPBs integrate into a hole that forms in the nuclear envelope. The SPB component Cut12 is linked to cell cycle control, as dominant cut12.s11 mutations suppress the mitotic commitment defect of cdc25.22 cells and elevated Cdc25 levels suppress the monopolar spindle phenotype of cut12.1 loss of function mutations. We show that the cut12.1 monopolar phenotype arises from a failure to activate and integrate the new SPB into the nuclear envelope. The activation of the old SPB was frequently delayed, and its integration into the nuclear envelope was defective, resulting in leakage of the nucleoplasm into the cytoplasm through large gaps in the nuclear envelope. We propose that these activation/integration defects arise from a local deficiency in mitosis-promoting factor activation at the new SPB.
Stress-regulated kinase pathways in the recovery of tip growth and microtubule dynamics following osmotic stress in S. pombe.The cell-integrity and stress-response MAP kinase pathways (CIP and SRP, respectively) are stimulated by various environmental stresses. Ssp1 kinase modulates actin dynamics and is rapidly recruited to the plasma membrane following osmotic stress. Here, we show that osmotic stress arrested tip growth, induced the deposition of abnormal cell-wall deposits at tips and led to disassociation of F-actin foci from cell tips together with a reduction in the amount of F-actin in these foci. Osmotic stress also ;froze' the dynamics of interphase microtubule bundles, with microtubules remaining static for approximately 38 minutes (at 30 degrees C) before fragmenting upon return to dynamic behaviour. The timing with which microtubules resumed dynamic behaviour relied upon SRP activation of Atf1-mediated transcription, but not on either CIP or Ssp1 signalling. Analysis of the recovery of tip growth showed that: (1) the timing of recovery was controlled by SRP-stimulated Atf1 transcription; (2) re-establishment of polarized tip growth was absolutely dependent upon SRP and partially dependent upon Ssp1 signalling; and (3) selection of the site for polarized tip extension required Ssp1 and the SRP-associated polarity factor Wsh3 (also known as Tea4). CIP signalling did not impact upon any aspect of recovery. The normal kinetics of tip growth following osmotic stress of plo1.S402A/E mutants established that SRP control over the resumption of tip growth after osmotic stress is distinct from its control of tip growth following heat or gravitational stresses.
The spindle pole body plays a key role in controlling mitotic commitment in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe.Commitment to mitosis is regulated by a conserved protein kinase complex called MPF (mitosis-promoting factor). MPF activation triggers a positive-feedback loop that further promotes the activity of its activating phosphatase Cdc25 and is assumed to down-regulate the MPF-inhibitory kinase Wee1. Four protein kinases contribute to this amplification loop: MPF itself, Polo kinase, MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) and Greatwall kinase. The fission yeast SPB (spindle pole body) component Cut12 plays a critical role in modulating mitotic commitment. In this review, I discuss the relationship between Cut12 and the fission yeast Polo kinase Plo1 in mitotic control. These results indicate that commitment to mitosis is co-ordinated by control networks on the spindle pole. I then describe how the Cut12/Plo1 control network links growth control signalling from TOR (target of rapamycin) and MAPK networks to the activation of MPF to regulate the timing of cell division.