Fission yeast cells tolerate the total absence of the cdc25 mitotic inducer in two cases, either in cdc2-3w or in wee1 genetic backgrounds. In the cdc2-3w cdc25Delta double mutant, the rate-limiting step leading to mitosis is reaching a critical size. However, the size control of this mutant operates in late G2, which is different from wild-type (WT) cells. This fact suggests that in WT the rate-limiting molecular process during the G2 timer is the Tyr15 dephosphorylation of cdc2, for which the cdc25 phosphatase (together with its back-up, pyp3) is dependent. In the wee1-50 cdc25Delta mutant, the population splits into different clusters, all lacking mitotic size control. This strain maintains size homeostasis by a novel method, which is random movement of the cells from one cluster to another in the successive generations. These cells should normally have a ‘minimal cycle’, a ‘timer’ with short G1 and G2 phases. However, very often the cells abort mitosis, possibly at an early event and return back to early G2, thus lengthening their cycles. The inability of these cells to start anaphase might be caused by the absence of the main mitotic regulators (wee1 and cdc25) and the improper regulation of their back-up copies (mik1 and pyp3, respectively).

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