The mitotic exit network (MEN) is an essential GTPase signaling pathway that triggers exit from mitosis in budding yeast. We show here that during meiosis, the MEN is dispensable for exit from meiosis I but contributes to the timely exit from meiosis II. Consistent with a role for the MEN during meiosis II, we find that the signaling pathway is active only during meiosis II. Our analysis further shows that MEN signaling is modulated during meiosis in several key ways. Whereas binding of MEN components to spindle pole bodies (SPBs) is necessary for MEN signaling during mitosis, during meiosis MEN signaling occurs off SPBs and does not require the SPB recruitment factor Nud1. Furthermore, unlike during mitosis, MEN signaling is controlled through the regulated interaction between the MEN kinase Dbf20 and its activating subunit Mob1. Our data lead to the conclusion that a pathway essential for vegetative growth is largely dispensable for the specialized meiotic divisions and provide insights into how cell cycle regulatory pathways are modulated to accommodate different modes of cell division.
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