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PP2ACdc55 phosphatase imposes ordered cell-cycle phosphorylation by opposing threonine phosphorylation

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journal contribution
posted on 14.08.2020 by Molly Godfrey, Sandra A Touati, Meghna Kataria, Andrew Jones, Ambrosius P Snijders, Frank Uhlmann
In the quantitative model of cell-cycle control, progression from G1 through S phase and into mitosis is ordered by thresholds of increasing cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) activity. How such thresholds are read out by substrates that respond with the correct phosphorylation timing is not known. Here, using the budding yeast model, we show that the abundant PP2ACdc55 phosphatase counteracts Cdk phosphorylation during interphase and delays phosphorylation of late Cdk substrates. PP2ACdc55 specifically counteracts phosphorylation on threonine residues, and consequently, we find that threonine-directed phosphorylation occurs late in the cell cycle. Furthermore, the late phosphorylation of a model substrate, Ndd1, depends on threonine identity of its Cdk target sites. Our results support a model in which Cdk-counteracting phosphatases contribute to cell-cycle ordering by imposing Cdk thresholds. They also unveil a regulatory principle based on the phosphoacceptor amino acid, which is likely to apply to signaling pathways beyond cell-cycle control.