Nuclear size control in fission yeast

J Cell Biol. 2007 Nov 19;179(4):593-600. doi: 10.1083/jcb.200708054. Epub 2007 Nov 12.


A long-standing biological question is how a eukaryotic cell controls the size of its nucleus. We report here that in fission yeast, nuclear size is proportional to cell size over a 35-fold range, and use mutants to show that a 16-fold change in nuclear DNA content does not influence the relative size of the nucleus. Multi-nucleated cells with unevenly distributed nuclei reveal that nuclei surrounded by a greater volume of cytoplasm grow more rapidly. During interphase of the cell cycle nuclear growth is proportional to cell growth, and during mitosis there is a rapid expansion of the nuclear envelope. When the nuclear/cell (N/C) volume ratio is increased by centrifugation or genetic manipulation, nuclear growth is arrested while the cell continues to grow; in contrast, low N/C ratios are rapidly corrected by nuclear growth. We propose that there is a general cellular control linking nuclear growth to cell size.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cell Size
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Indoles
  • Microscopy, Video
  • Mutation
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Organelle Size*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / cytology*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces / growth & development*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / ultrastructure
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / metabolism
  • Temperature


  • Biomarkers
  • CDC11 protein, S pombe
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cut11 protein, S pombe
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Indoles
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • DAPI