In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the nuclear-localized kinase, Lsk1p, promotes cytokinesis by positively regulating the Septation Initiation Network (SIN). Although a member of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) family, neither a cyclin partner nor a physiological target has been identified. In this report we identify a cyclin, Lsc1p, that physically interacts and colocalizes with Lsk1p. Furthermore, lsk1Δ, lsc1Δ, as well as kinase-dead lsk1-K306R mutants, display highly similar cytokinesis defects. Lsk1p is related to CDKs that phosphorylate the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of the largest sub-unit of RNA polymerase II (Rpb1p). Interestingly, we find that Lsk1p and Lsc1p are required for phosphorylation of Ser-2 residues found in the heptad repeats of the CTD. To determine if Rpb1p could be a physiological target, we replaced the native rpb1 gene with a synthetic gene encoding a Rpb1p protein in which Ser-2 was substituted with the non-phosphorylatable amino-acid alanine in all heptads. Cells carrying this allele were similar to lsk1Δ mutants: They were viable, displayed genetic interactions with the SIN, and were unable to complete cytokinesis upon perturbation of the cell division machinery. We conclude that Ser-2 phosphorylation of the CTD heptads plays a novel physiological role in the regulation of cytokinesis. © 2007 Karagiannis, Balasubramanian.
Karagiannis, J., & Balasubramanian, M. K. (2007). A cyclin-dependent kinase that promotes cytokinesis through modulating phosphorylation of the carboxy terminal domain of the RNA pol II Rpb1p sub-unit. PLoS ONE, 2(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000433