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Curr Biol January 22, 2002; 12 (2): 105-14.

Timing of events in mitosis.

Georgi AB , Stukenberg PT , Kirschner MW .

BACKGROUND: Regulation of the major transitions in the cell cycle, such as G1/S, G2/M, and metaphase to anaphase, are increasingly well understood. However, we have a poor understanding of the timing of events within each phase of the cell cycle, such as S phase or early mitosis. Two extreme models of regulation are possible. A "regulator-controlled model" in which the order of events is governed by the activation of a series of cytoplasmic regulators, such as kinases, phosphatases, or proteases; or a "substrate-controlled model" in which temporal regulation is determined by the differential responses of the cellular machinery to a common set of activators. RESULTS: We have tried to distinguish between these two models by examining the timing of both biochemical and morphological events in Xenopus egg extracts during mitosis. Several proteins respond with different delays to the activation of Cdc2. We have found that the timing of phosphorylation is largely unchanged when these proteins are exposed to extracts that have been in mitosis for various periods of time. Similarly, when Xenopus interphase nuclei are added to extracts at different times after the G2/M transition, they undergo all the expected morphological changes in the proper sequence and with very similar kinetics. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that during early mitosis (from prophase to metaphase) the timing of biochemical events (such as phosphorylation) and morphological events (such as structural changes in the nucleus) is at least partly controlled by the responses of the substrates themselves to a common set of signals.

PubMed ID: 11818060
Article link: Curr Biol
Grant support: [+]
Genes referenced: ccnb1 ccnb1.2 cdc25c cdc27 cdk1 clock cuedc2 cyyr1 kmt5a mknk2 ndel1 nup35 prrg1 rasgrf1 smagp tardbp tipin wee2 znf217

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