Specific Phase Arrest of Cell Cycle Restores Cell Viability Against tRNA Cleavage by Killer Toxin

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Apr 20;420(4):750-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.03.061. Epub 2012 Mar 17.


Zymocin and PaT are killer toxins that induce cell cycle arrest of sensitive yeast cells in G1 and S phase, respectively. Recent studies have revealed that these two toxins cleave specific tRNAs, indicating that the cell growth impairment is due to the tRNA cleavage. Additionally, we have previously shown that the active domain of colicin D (D-CRD), which also cleaves specific Escherichia coli tRNAs, statically impairs growth when expressed in yeast cells. To verify that phase-specific cell cycle arrest is also induced by the expression of D-CRD, D-CRD and the subunits of zymocin and PaT that have tRNA cleaving activity were expressed in yeast cells and cell cycle status was analyzed. Our results indicate that phase-specific arrest does not commonly occur by tRNA cleavage, and it saves the cell viability. Furthermore, the extent of protein synthesis impairment may determine the phase specificity of cell cycle arrest.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • G1 Phase / drug effects
  • G1 Phase / genetics
  • Killer Factors, Yeast / pharmacology*
  • Protein Biosynthesis / drug effects
  • RNA Cleavage / drug effects*
  • RNA, Transfer / chemistry*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / cytology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / drug effects
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Killer Factors, Yeast
  • zymocin
  • killer toxin, Pichia
  • RNA, Transfer