Polyphosphate (polyP) is a linear chain of up to hundreds of inorganic phosphate residues that is necessary for many physiological functions in all living organisms. In some bacteria, polyP supplies material to molecules such as DNA, thus playing an important role in biosynthetic processes in prokaryotes. In the present study, we set out to gain further insight into the role of polyP in eukaryotic cells. We observed that polyP amounts are cyclically regulated in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and those mutants that cannot synthesise (vtc4Δ) or hydrolyse polyP (ppn1Δ, ppx1Δ) present impaired cell cycle progression. Further analysis revealed that polyP mutants show delayed nucleotide production and increased genomic instability. Based on these findings, we concluded that polyP not only maintains intracellular phosphate concentrations in response to fluctuations in extracellular phosphate levels, but also muffles internal cyclic phosphate fluctuations, such as those produced by the sudden demand of phosphate to synthetize deoxynucleotides just before and during DNA duplication. We propose that the presence of polyP in eukaryotic cells is required for the timely and accurate duplication of DNA.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.