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The identification of Wos2, a p23 homologue that interacts with Wee1 and Cdc2 in the mitotic control of fission yeasts


, : The identification of Wos2, a p23 homologue that interacts with Wee1 and Cdc2 in the mitotic control of fission yeasts. Genetics 153(4): 1561-1572

The Wee I kinase inhibits entry into mitosis by phosphorylation of the Cdc2 kinase. Searching for multicopy suppressors that abolish this inhibition in the fission yeast, we have identified a novel gene, here named wos2, encoding a protein with significant homology to human p23, an Hsp90-associated cochaperone. The deletion mutant has a modest phenotype, being heat-shock sensitive. Using antibodies raised against bacterially produced protein, we determined that Wos2 is very abundant, ubiquitously distributed in the yeast cell, and its expression dropped drastically as cells entered into early stationary phase, indicating that its function is associated with cell proliferation. In proliferating cells, the amount of Wos2 protein was not subjected to cell cycle regulation. However, in vitro assays demonstrated that this Hsp90 cochaperone is potentially regulated by phosphorylation. In addition to suppressing Wee I activity, overproduction of Wos2 displayed synthetic lethality with Cdc2 mutant proteins, indicating that this Hsp90 cochaperone functionally interacts with Cdc2. The level of Cdc2 protein and its associated H1 kinase activity under synthetic lethal conditions suggested a regulatory role for this Wos2-Cdc2 interaction. Hsp90 complexes are required for CDK regulation; the synergy found between the excess of Wos2 and a deficiency in Hsp90 activity suggests that Wos2 could specifically interfere with the Hsp90-dependent regulation of Cdc2. In vitro analysis indicated that the above genetic interactions could take place by physical association of Wos2 with the single CDK complex of the fission yeast. Expression of the budding yeast p23 protein (encoded by the SBA1 gene) in the fission yeast indicated that Wos2 and Sba1 are functionally exchangeable and therefore that properties described here for Wos2 could be of wide significance in understanding the biological function of cochaperone p23 in eukaryotic cells.

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PMID: 10581266


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