Ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis plays an important role in cell-cycle control  . In budding yeast, the protein Skp1p, the cullin-family member Cdc53p, and the F-box/WD-repeat protein Cdc4p form the SCFCdc4p ubiquitin ligase complex, which targets the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor Sic1p for proteolysis      . Sic1p is recruited to the SCFCdc4p complex by binding to the WD-repeat region of Cdc4p  , while Skp1p binds to the F-box of Cdc4p . In fission yeast, two distinct Cdc4p-related proteins, Pop1p/Ste16p   and the recently identified Sud1p/Pop2p , regulate the stability of the replication initiator Cdc18p and the Cdk inhibitor Rum1p. We show here that, despite their structural and functional similarities, the pop1 and pop2 genes fail to complement each other's deletion phenotypes, indicating that they perform non-redundant, but potentially interdependent, functions in proteolysis. Consistent with this hypothesis, Pop1p and Pop2p formed heterooligomeric complexes when overexpressed, and binding of Cdc18p to Pop2p was dependent on Pop1p. The Pop1p-Pop2p interaction was mediated by the amino-terminal domain of Pop2p which, when fused to full-length Pop1p, rescued the phenotype of a Deltapop1Deltapop2 double mutant. Thus, close physical proximity of two distinct F-box/WD-repeat proteins directs proteolysis mediated by the SCFPop ubiquitin ligase complex.
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