Mitosis is induced by the activation of the cyclin B/cdk1 feedback loop that creates a bistable state. The triggering factor promoting active cyclin B/cdk1 switch has been assigned to cyclin B/cdk1 accumulation during G2. However, this complex is rapidly inactivated by Wee1/Myt1-dependent phosphorylation of cdk1 making unlikely a triggering role of this kinase in mitotic commitment. Here we show that cyclin A/cdk1 kinase is the factor triggering mitosis. Cyclin A/cdk1 phosphorylates Bora to promote Aurora A-dependent Plk1 phosphorylation and activation and mitotic entry. We demonstrate that Bora phosphorylation by cyclin A/cdk1 is both necessary and sufficient for mitotic commitment. Finally, we identify a site in Bora whose phosphorylation by cyclin A/cdk1 is required for mitotic entry. We constructed a mathematical model confirming the essential role of this kinase in mitotic commitment. Overall, our results uncover the molecular mechanism by which cyclin A/cdk1 triggers mitotic entry. Mitotic commitment was thought to depend on the accumulation of cyclin B/cdk1 during G2. Vigneron et al. now revise this view by showing that the key event triggering mitotic entry depends instead on cyclin A/cdk1, which phosphorylates Bora, leading to activation of Plk1 and a cyclin B/cdk positive feedback loop.
Vigneron, S., Sundermann, L., Labbé, J. C., Pintard, L., Radulescu, O., Castro, A., & Lorca, T. (2018). Cyclin A-cdk1-Dependent Phosphorylation of Bora Is the Triggering Factor Promoting Mitotic Entry. Developmental Cell, 45(5), 637-650.e7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2018.05.005