In nature, cells and in particular unicellular microorganisms are exposed to a variety of nutritional environments. Fission yeast cells cultured in nitrogen-rich media grow fast, divide with a large size and show a short G1 and a long G2. However, when cultured in nitrogen-poor media, they exhibit reduced growth rate and cell size and a long G1 and a short G2. In this study, we compared the phenotypes of cells lacking the highly conserved cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor Rum1 and the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) activator Ste9 in nitrogen-rich and nitrogen-poor media. Rum1 and Ste9 are dispensable for cell division in nitrogen-rich medium. However, in nitrogen-poor medium they are essential for generating a proper wave of MluI cell-cycle box binding factor (MBF)-dependent transcription at the end of G1, which is crucial for promoting a successful S phase. Mutants lacking Rum1 and Ste9 showed premature entry into S phase and a reduced wave of MBF-dependent transcription, leading to replication stress, DNA damage and G2 cell cycle arrest. This work demonstrates how reprogramming the cell cycle by changing the nutritional environment may reveal new roles for cell cycle regulators.
Keywords: Cell cycle; Cell growth; MBF; Nitrogen; Rum1; Schizosaccharomyces pombe; Ste9.
© 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.