The Zds proteins control entry into mitosis and target protein phosphatase 2A to the Cdc25 phosphatase.
The Wee1 kinase restrains entry into mitosis by phosphorylating and inhibiting cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1). The Cdc25 phosphatase promotes entry into mitosis by removing Cdk1 inhibitory phosphorylation. Experiments in diverse systems have established that Wee1 and Cdc25 are regulated by protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), but a full understanding of the function and regulation of PP2A in entry into mitosis has remained elusive. In budding yeast, entry into mitosis is controlled by a specific form of PP2A that is associated with the Cdc55 regulatory subunit (PP2A(Cdc55)). We show here that related proteins called Zds1 and Zds2 form a tight stoichiometric complex with PP2A(Cdc55) and target its activity to Cdc25 but not to Wee1. Conditional inactivation of the Zds proteins revealed that their function is required primarily at entry into mitosis. In addition, Zds1 undergoes cell cycle-dependent changes in phosphorylation. Together, these observations define a role for the Zds proteins in controlling specific functions of PP2A(Cdc55) and suggest that upstream signals that regulate PP2A(Cdc55) may play an important role in controlling entry into mitosis.