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Endoreplication, also known as endoreduplication, is a phyogenetically widespread modified version of the cell cycle in which DNA replication is not followed by cell division. The SIAMESE (SIM) gene of Arabidopsis thaliana encodes the founding member of a novel class of plant-specific cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors and is a key regulator of endoreplication during the development of trichomes (shoot epidermal hairs). Here, we have identified mutations in the CCS52A1 gene as genetic modifiers of the multicellular trichome phenotype of sim mutants. Loss-of-function ccs52A1 mutations dramatically enhance the multicellularity of sim mutants trichomes in double mutants, whereas overexpression of CCS52A1 completely suppresses the sim mutant phenotype. CCS52A1 encodes a CDH1/FZR-like protein, a class of proteins that function as activators of the anaphase-promoting complex. Unicellular ccs52A1 trichomes become multicellular upon overexpression of B-type cyclin, consistent with repression of the accumulation of mitotic cyclins in the developing trichome by CCS52A1. As these M-phase-specific cyclins are known to accumulate in sim mutant trichomes, our data suggest that CCS52A1 and SIM cooperate in repressing accumulation of mitotic cyclins to establish the trichome endocycle. Comparison with endoreplication pathways in Drosophila and mammals indicates that while these organisms all use similar components to initiate endoreplication, the components are deployed differently in each organism. Copyright © 2010 by the Genetics Society of America.

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