Myosin II is an essential component of the actomyosin contractile ring and plays a crucial role in cytokinesis by generating the forces necessary for contraction of the actomyosin ring. Cdc4 is an essential myosin II light chain in fission yeast and is required for cytokinesis. In various eukaryotes, the phosphorylation of myosin is well documented as a primary means of activating myosin II, but little is known about the regulatory mechanisms of Cdc4. Here, we isolated Nrd1, an RNA-binding protein with RNA-recognition motifs, as a multicopy suppressor of cdc4 mutants. Notably, we demonstrated that Nrd1 binds and stabilizes Cdc4 mRNA, thereby suppressing the cytokinesis defects of the cdc4 mutants. Importantly, Pmk1 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) directly phosphorylates Nrd1, thereby negatively regulating the binding activity of Nrd1 to Cdc4 mRNA. Consistently, the inactivation of Pmk1 MAPK signaling, as well as Nrd1 overexpression, stabilized the Cdc4 mRNA level, thereby suppressing the cytokinesis defects associated with the cdc4 mutants. In addition, we demonstrated the cell cycle–dependent regulation of Pmk1/Nrd1 signaling. Together, our results indicate that Nrd1 plays a role in the regulation of Cdc4 mRNA stability; moreover, our study is the first to demonstrate the posttranscriptional regulation of myosin expression by MAPK signaling
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