nimT encodes a protein in Aspergillus nidulans that is required for tyrosine dephosphorylation of p34cdc2 and has a strong homology to cdc25-type proteins. Conditional mutation of nimT (nimT23 mutation) arrests cells in G2 at the restrictive temperature. After release of the temperature-sensitive nimT23 block, p34cdc2 undergoes tyrosine dephosphorylation and we showed that as cells entered mitosis, a rapid increase in calmodulin was observed. The increase in calmodulin and progression into mitosis were prevented by reducing extracellular Ca2+ levels to 2 nM. The calmodulin gene of a nimT23-containing strain was replaced with a hybrid gene in which calmodulin transcription was regulated by the alcA promoter (AlcCaM/T23). This allowed experimental manipulation of the level of intracellular calmodulin by the carbon source in the medium. When either extracellular Ca2+ or intracellular calmodulin levels were reduced at the nimT23 G2 arrest point, p34cdc2 remained tyrosine phosphorylated but the mitotic NIMA kinase encoded by nimA was not activated. Release of the temperature sensitive nimT23 arrest when either extracellular Ca2+ or calmodulin concentrations were low blocked tyrosine dephosphorylation of p34cdc2, activation of NIMA and progression of cells into mitosis. However, reduced levels of either Ca2+ or calmodulin had no effect on the increase in histone H1 kinase activity associated with p13 beads or the degree of phosphorylation of the majority of MPM-2-reacting proteins following release of the nimT23 mutation. These results demonstrate that both Ca2+ and calmodulin are important for progression into mitosis from the nimT23 arrest point in a pathway involving activation of both NIMA and p34cdc2 protein kinases.

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