A genomic Multiprocess survey of machineries that control and link cell shape, microtubule organization, and cell-cycle progression

Dev Cell. 2014 Oct 27;31(2):227-239. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.09.005.


Understanding cells as integrated systems requires that we systematically decipher how single genes affect multiple biological processes and how processes are functionally linked. Here, we used multiprocess phenotypic profiling, combining high-resolution 3D confocal microscopy and multiparametric image analysis, to simultaneously survey the fission yeast genome with respect to three key cellular processes: cell shape, microtubule organization, and cell-cycle progression. We identify, validate, and functionally annotate 262 genes controlling specific aspects of those processes. Of these, 62% had not been linked to these processes before and 35% are implicated in multiple processes. Importantly, we identify a conserved role for DNA-damage responses in controlling microtubule stability. In addition, we investigate how the processes are functionally linked. We show unexpectedly that disruption of cell-cycle progression does not necessarily affect cell size control and that distinct aspects of cell shape regulate microtubules and vice versa, identifying important systems-level links across these processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle / genetics*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Shape / genetics*
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Repair
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microtubules / genetics*
  • Microtubules / physiology
  • Protein Transport / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces / cytology
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins