Isolation and characterization of Schizosaccharomyces pombe cutmutants that block nuclear division but not cytokinesis

EMBO J. 1986 Nov;5(11):2973-9.


By examining cytological phenotypes of 587 temperature-sensitive mutants of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, we obtained 18 mutants which cause cell division in the absence of nuclear division. By genetic analyses, these novel nuclear division arrest mutants can be classified into nine complementation groups (designated cut1 - cut9). The cytological phenotype of cut mutants is similar but not identical to that of DNA topoisomerase II mutants (top2). The cut1 gene was cloned by transformation and shown to complement cut2 as well as cut1, indicating a functional relationship between the two genes. The cut genes are required for nuclear division, but their mutant phenotypes differ from most of the previously identified mutants which block nuclear division and also the subsequent cytokinesis. Fluorescence microscopy indicates that the mitotic chromosomes formed in cut mutant cells are abnormal and fail to separate properly. We suggest that cut mutations, like top2, block mitotic chromosome formation and concomitantly nuclear division, but that cytokinesis proceeds independently of the defects in nuclear division, demonstrating uncoordinated mitotic pathways. A novel mutant nuc1 is also described which shows a cytological phenotype similar to the double mutant of DNA topoisomerases I and II but contains normal levels of both DNA topoisomerase activities.