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Journal Article

The Spo13/Meikin pathway confines the onset of gamete differentiation to meiosis II in yeast


Braun,  Marianne
Department: Systems and Computational Neurobiology / Borst, MPI of Neurobiology, Max Planck Society;

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Oz, T., Mengoli, V., Rojas, J., Jonak, K., Braun, M., Zagoriy, I., et al. (2022). The Spo13/Meikin pathway confines the onset of gamete differentiation to meiosis II in yeast. The EMBO Journal, 41(4): e109446. doi:10.15252/embj.2021109446.

Sexual reproduction requires genome haploidization by the two divisions of meiosis and a differentiation program to generate gametes. Here, we have investigated how sporulation, the yeast equivalent of gamete differentiation, is coordinated with progression through meiosis. Spore differentiation is initiated at metaphase II when a membrane-nucleating structure, called the meiotic plaque, is assembled at the centrosome. While all components of this structure accumulate already at entry into meiosis I, they cannot assemble because centrosomes are occupied by Spc72, the receptor of the gamma-tubulin complex. Spc72 is removed from centrosomes by a pathway that depends on the polo-like kinase Cdc5 and the meiosis-specific kinase Ime2, which is unleashed by the degradation of Spo13/Meikin upon activation of the anaphase-promoting complex at anaphase I. Meiotic plaques are finally assembled upon reactivation of Cdk1 at entry into metaphase II. This unblocking-activation mechanism ensures that only single-copy genomes are packaged into spores and might serve as a paradigm for the regulation of other meiosis II-specific processes.