Cdc15 integrates Tem1 GTPase-mediated spatial signals with Polo kinase-mediated temporal cues to activate mitotic exit.
In budding yeast, a Ras-like GTPase signaling cascade known as the mitotic exit network (MEN) promotes exit from mitosis. To ensure the accurate execution of mitosis, MEN activity is coordinated with other cellular events and restricted to anaphase. The MEN GTPase Tem1 has been assumed to be the central switch in MEN regulation. We show here that during an unperturbed cell cycle, restricting MEN activity to anaphase can occur in a Tem1 GTPase-independent manner. We found that the anaphase-specific activation of the MEN in the absence of Tem1 is controlled by the Polo kinase Cdc5. We further show that both Tem1 and Cdc5 are required to recruit the MEN kinase Cdc15 to spindle pole bodies, which is both necessary and sufficient to induce MEN signaling. Thus, Cdc15 functions as a coincidence detector of two essential cell cycle oscillators: the Polo kinase Cdc5 synthesis/degradation cycle and the Tem1 G-protein cycle. The Cdc15-dependent integration of these temporal (Cdc5 and Tem1 activity) and spatial (Tem1 activity) signals ensures that exit from mitosis occurs only after proper genome partitioning.