Driving the cell cycle with a minimal CDK control network Coudreuse D, Nurse P. Nature 468(7327):1074-9;



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Control of eukaryotic cell proliferation involves an extended regulatory network, the complexity of which has made it difficult to understand the basic principles of the cell cycle. To investigate the core engine of the mitotic cycle we have generated a minimal control network in fission yeast that efficiently sustains cellular reproduction. Here we demonstrate that orderly progression through the major events of the cell cycle can be driven by oscillation of an engineered monomolecular cyclin-dependent protein kinase (CDK) module lacking much of the canonical regulation. We show further that the CDK oscillator acts as the primary organizer of the cell cycle, imposing timing and directionality to a system of two CDK activity thresholds that define independent cell cycle phases. We propose that this simple core architecture forms the basic control of the eukaryotic cell cycle.

A gene-specific requirement of RNA polymerase II CTD phosphorylation for sexual differentiation in S. pombe. Coudreuse D, van Bakel H, Dewez M, Soutourina J, Parnell T, Vandenhaute J, Cairns B, Werner M, Hermand D. Curr Biol 20(12):1053-64;



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BACKGROUND: The switch from cellular proliferation to differentiation occurs to a large extent through specific programs of gene expression. In fission yeast, the master regulator of sexual differentiation, ste11, is induced by environmental conditions leading to mating and meiosis. RESULTS: We show that phosphorylation of serine 2 (S2P) in the C-terminal domain of the largest subunit of the RNA polymerase II (PolII) enzyme by the Lsk1 cyclin-dependent kinase has only a minor impact on global gene expression during vegetative growth but is critical for the induction of ste11 transcription during sexual differentiation. The recruitment of the Lsk1 kinase initiates in the vicinity of the transcription start site of ste11, resulting in a marked increase of S2P on the ste11 unit, including an extended 5' untranslated region (5'UTR). This pattern contrasts with the classical gradient of S2P toward the 3' region. In the absence of S2P, both PolII occupancy at the ste11 locus and ste11 expression are impaired. This results in sterility, which is rescued by expression of the ste11 coding sequence from the adh1 promoter. CONCLUSION: Thus, the S2P polymerase plays a specific, regulatory role in cell differentiation through the induction of ste11.

Mammalian Wnt3a is released on lipoprotein particles Neumann S, Coudreuse DY, van der Westhuyzen DR, Eckhardt ER, Korswagen HC, Schmitz G, Sprong H. Traffic 10(3):334-43;



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Little is known about the release and intercellular transport of Wnt proteins from mammalian cells. Lipoproteins may act as carriers for the intercellular movement and gradient formation of the lipid-linked morphogens Wingless and Hedgehog in Drosophila. To investigate whether such a mechanism can occur in mammals, we have studied Wnt release in cultured mammalian cells. Wnt3a associated with lipoproteins in the culture medium and not with extracellular vesicles or exosomes. Although Wnt3a was associated with both high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins, only HDL allowed Wnt3a release from mouse fibroblasts. Remarkably, Wnt3a lacking its palmitate moiety was released in a lipoprotein-independent manner, demonstrating the dual role of palmitoylation in membrane and lipoprotein binding. We additionally found that Wnt3a can be released from enterocyte cell lines on endogenously expressed lipoproteins. We further discuss the physiological implications of our findings.

Wnt signaling requires retromer-dependent recycling of MIG-14/Wntless in Wnt-producing cells Yang PT, Lorenowicz MJ, Silhankova M, Coudreuse DY, Betist MC, Korswagen HC. Dev Cell 14(1):140-7;



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Wnt proteins are secreted signaling molecules that play a central role in development and adult tissue homeostasis. We have previously shown that Wnt signaling requires retromer function in Wnt-producing cells. The retromer is a multiprotein complex that mediates endosome-to-Golgi transport of specific sorting receptors. MIG-14/Wls is a conserved transmembrane protein that binds Wnt and is required in Wnt-producing cells for Wnt secretion. Here, we demonstrate that in the absence of retromer function, MIG-14/Wls is degraded in lysosomes and becomes limiting for Wnt signaling. We show that retromer-dependent recycling of MIG-14/Wls is part of a trafficking pathway that retrieves MIG-14/Wls from the plasma membrane. We propose that MIG-14/Wls cycles between the Golgi and the plasma membrane to mediate Wnt secretion. Regulation of this transport pathway may enable Wnt-producing cells to control the range of Wnt signaling in the tissue.