Timely mitosis is critically important for early embryo development. It is regulated by the activity of the conserved protein kinase CDK1. The dynamics of CDK1 activation must be precisely controlled to assure physiologic and timely entry into mitosis. Recently, a known S-phase regulator CDC6 emerged as a key player in mitotic CDK1 activation cascade in early embryonic divisions, operating together with Xic1 as a CDK1 inhibitor upstream of the Aurora A and PLK1, both CDK1 activators. Herein, we review the molecular mechanisms that underlie the control of mitotic timing, with special emphasis on how CDC6/Xic1 function impacts CDK1 regulatory network in the Xenopus system. We focus on the presence of two independent mechanisms inhibiting the dynamics of CDK1 activation, namely Wee1/Myt1- and CDC6/Xic1-dependent, and how they cooperate with CDK1-activating mechanisms. As a result, we propose a comprehensive model integrating CDC6/Xic1-dependent inhibition into the CDK1-activation cascade. The physiological dynamics of CDK1 activation appear to be controlled by the system of multiple inhibitors and activators, and their integrated modulation ensures concomitantly both the robustness and certain flexibility of the control of this process. Identification of multiple activators and inhibitors of CDK1 upon M-phase entry allows for a better understanding of why cells divide at a specific time and how the pathways involved in the timely regulation of cell division are all integrated to precisely tune the control of mitotic events.
- cell cycle
- mitotic entry
- time of mitosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)