PRS3 is one of a family of five genes encoding phosphoribosylpyrophosphate synthetase, an enzyme which catalyses the first step in a variety of biosynthetic pathways, including purine and pyrimidine biosynthesis. We report here that prs3Delta mutants have a number of phenotypes that suggest an unexpected role for PRS3 in linking nutrient availability to cell cycle progression, cell integrity and the actin cytoskeleton. Upon nutrient limitation, prs3Delta mutants fail to arrest in G(1)-cells remain budded and a significant fraction have a G(2) DNA content. Furthermore, in such conditions, prs3Delta mutants have a disorganized actin cytoskeleton: actin accumulates in one or two intensely staining clumps per cell. Prs3Delta mutants also show defects in ion homeostasis and cell integrity. They fail to grow on medium containing 1.0 M NaCl, 5 mM caffeine or when incubated at 37 degrees C. The caffeine and temperature sensitivity are rescued by supplementing the growth medium with 1.0 M sorbitol. These phenotypes resemble those of whi2Delta mutations and indeed, a prs3 allele was recovered in a colony-sectoring screen for mutations that are co-lethal with whi2Delta. However, further investigation showed that the prs3Delta whi2Delta double mutant was viable, with no obvious growth defect compared to either single mutant. In the same colony-sectoring assay, an mpk1 allele was also recovered. Multicopy PRS3 rescued the caffeine sensitivity of this mpk1 allele.
Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.