The conserved, ubiquitin-selective AAA ATPase Cdc48 regulates numerous cellular processes including protein quality control, DNA repair and the cell cycle. Cdc48 function is tightly controlled by a multitude of cofactors mediating substrate specificity and processing. The UBX domain protein Shp1 is a bona fide substrate-recruiting cofactor of Cdc48 in the budding yeast S. cerevisiae. Even though Shp1 has been proposed to be a positive regulator of Glc7, the catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 1 in S. cerevisiae, its cellular functions in complex with Cdc48 remain largely unknown. Here we show that deletion of the SHP1 gene results in severe growth defects and a cell cycle delay at the metaphase to anaphase transition caused by reduced Glc7 activity. Using an engineered Cdc48 binding-deficient variant of Shp1, we establish the Cdc48(Shp1) complex as a critical regulator of mitotic Glc7 activity. We demonstrate that shp1 mutants possess a perturbed balance of Glc7 phosphatase and Ipl1 (Aurora B) kinase activities and show that hyper-phosphorylation of the kinetochore protein Dam1, a key mitotic substrate of Glc7 and Ipl1, is a critical defect in shp1. We also show for the first time a physical interaction between Glc7 and Shp1 in vivo. Whereas loss of Shp1 does not significantly affect Glc7 protein levels or localization, it causes reduced binding of the activator protein Glc8 to Glc7. Our data suggest that the Cdc48(Shp1) complex controls Glc7 activity by regulating its interaction with Glc8 and possibly further regulatory subunits.
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