A complex network of interactions between mitotic kinases, phosphatases and ESCRT proteins regulates septation and membrane trafficking in S. pombe

Musab S. Bhutta, Brinta Roy, Gwyn W. Gould, Christopher J. McInerny

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Cytokinesis and cell separation are critical events in the cell cycle. We show that Endosomal Sorting Complex Required for Transport (ESCRT) genes are required for cell separation in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We identify genetic interactions between ESCRT proteins and polo and aurora kinases and Cdc14 phosphatase that manifest as impaired growth and exacerbated defects in septation, suggesting that the encoded proteins function together to control these processes. Furthermore, we observed defective endosomal sorting in mutants of plo1, ark1 and clp1, as has been reported for ESCRT mutants, consistent with a role for these kinases in the control of ESCRT function in membrane traffic. Multiple observations indicate functional interplay between polo and ESCRT components: firstly, two-hybrid in vivo interactions are reported between Plo1p and Sst4p, Vps28p, Vps25p, Vps20p and Vps32p; secondly, co-immunoprecipitation of human homologues of Vps20p, Vps32p, Vps24p and Vps2p by human Plk1; and thirdly, in vitro phosphorylation of budding yeast Vps32p and Vps20p by polo kinase. Two-hybrid analyses also identified interactions between Ark1p and Vps20p and Vps32p, and Clp1p and Vps28p. These experiments indicate a network of interactions between ESCRT proteins, plo1, ark1 and clp1 that coordinate membrane trafficking and cell separation in fission yeast.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere111789
Number of pages12
JournalPLOS One
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2014



  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe
  • phenotypes
  • protein interactions
  • DNA-binding proteins
  • fluroescence microscopy
  • cytokinesis
  • phosphorylation
  • mutant strains

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