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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Fez1/Lzts1 a new mitotic regulator implicated in cancer development

Andrea Vecchione12, Carlo M Croce1* and Gustavo Baldassarre3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ohio State University, OH, USA

2 Division of Anatomical Pathology, II Faculty of Medicine, University "La Sapienza", Ospedale Santo Andrea, Rome, Italy

3 Division of Experimental Oncology 2 CRO-IRCCS, Aviano, Italy

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Cell Division 2007, 2:24  doi:10.1186/1747-1028-2-24

Published: 24 August 2007


Considerable evidence has accumulated suggesting that cancer has genetic origin, based on the development of genomic alterations, such as deletions, mutations, and/or methylations in critical genes for homeostasis of cellular functions, including cell survival, DNA replication and cell cycle control. Mechanism controlling the precise timing and sequence of cell cycle events as well as checkpoints insuring fidelity of those events are key targets that when disrupted could result in tumorigenesis. Mitosis is the process by which a cell duplicates its genetic information (DNA), in order to generate two, identical, daughter cells. In addition each daughter cell must receive one centrosome and the appropriate complements of cytoplasm and organelles. This process is conventionally divided in to five distinct stages: prophase, prometaphase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase that correspond to a different morphology of the cell. The entry into mitosis (M) is under the control of the cyclin dependent kinase Cdk1. During G2, the kinases Wee1 and Myt1 phosphorylate Cdk1 at T14/Y15 residues, rendering it inactive. The transition from G2 to M is promoted by the activation of Cdk1 via dephosphorylation by the Cdk1 phosphatase Cdc25C. Activated Cdk1 complexes translocate into the nucleus during prophase where phosphorylate numerous substrates in order to enhance their activation as the cells progresses trough prophase, prometaphase, and metaphase.

Recently we identified a new player: FEZ1/LZTS1 that contributes to the fine-tuning of the molecular events that determine progression through mitosis, and here will review its role in cancer development and in M phase regulation.