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Mutational Effect of Fission Yeast Polα on Cell Cycle Events

By Dipa Bhaumik and Teresa S.-F. Wang


Polα is the principal DNA polymerase for initiation of DNA replication and also functions in postinitiation DNA synthesis. In this study, we investigated the cell cycle responses induced by mutations in polα+. Germinating spores carrying either a deletion of polα+ (polαΔ) or a structurally intact but catalytically dead polα mutation proceed to inappropriate mitosis with no DNA synthesis. This suggests that the catalytic function, and not the physical presence of Polα, is required to generate the signal that prevents the cells from entering mitosis prematurely. Cells with a polαts allele arrest the cell cycle near the hydroxyurea arrest point, but, surprisingly, polαts in cdc20 (polε mutant) background arrested with a cdc phenoytpe, not a polαts-like phenotype. At 25°C, replication perturbation caused by polαts alleles induces Cds1 kinase activity and requires the checkpoint Rads, Cds1, and Rqh1, but not Chk1, to maintain cell viability. At 36°C, replication disruption caused by polαts alleles induces the phosphorylation of Chk1; however, mutant cells arrest with heterogeneous cell sizes with a population of the cells entering aberrant mitosis. Together, our results indicate that the initiation DNA structure synthesized by Polα is required to bring about the S phase to mitosis checkpoint, whereas replication defects of different severity caused by polαts mutations induce differential downstream kinase responses

Topics: Article
Publisher: The American Society for Cell Biology
Year: 1998
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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