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Separase, a large protease essential for sister chromatid separation, cleaves the cohesin subunit Scc1/Rad21 during anaphase and leads to dissociation of the link between sister chromatids. Securin, a chaperone and inhibitor of separase, is ubiquitinated by APC/cyclosome, and degraded by 26S proteasome in anaphase. Cdc48/VCP/p97, an AAA ATPase, is involved in a variety of cellular activities, many of which are implicated in the proteasome-mediated degradation. We previously reported that temperature-sensitive (ts) fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe cdc48 mutants were suppressed by multicopy plasmid carrying the cut1(+)/separase gene and that the defective mitotic phenotypes of cut1 and cdc48 were similar. We here describe characterizations of Cdc48 mutant protein and the role of Cdc48 in sister chromatid separation. Mutant residue resides in the conserved D1 domain within the central hole of hexamer, while Cdc48 mutant protein possesses the ATPase activity. Consistent with the phenotypic similarity and the rescue of cdc48 mutant by overproduced Cut1/separase, the levels of Cut1 and also Cut2 are diminished in cdc48 mutant. We show that the stability of Cut1 during anaphase requires Cdc48. Cells lose viability during the traverse of anaphase in cdc48 mutant cells. Cdc48 may protect Cut1/separase and Cut2/securin against the instability during polyubiquitination and degradation in the metaphase-anaphase transition.


Nobuyasu Ikai, Mitsuhiro Yanagida. Cdc48 is required for the stability of Cut1/separase in mitotic anaphase. Journal of structural biology. 2006 Oct;156(1):50-61

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PMID: 16904908

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