A deoxynucleoside triphosphate triphosphohydrolase promotes cell cycle progression in Caulobacter crescentus

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2024 Apr 26:2024.04.25.591158. doi: 10.1101/2024.04.25.591158.


Intracellular pools of deoxynucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs) are strictly maintained throughout the cell cycle to ensure accurate and efficient DNA replication. DNA synthesis requires an abundance of dNTPs, but elevated dNTP concentrations in nonreplicating cells delay entry into S phase. Enzymes known as deoxyguanosine triphosphate triphosphohydrolases (Dgts) hydrolyze dNTPs into deoxynucleosides and triphosphates, and we propose that Dgts restrict dNTP concentrations to promote the G1 to S phase transition. We characterized a Dgt from the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus termed flagellar signaling suppressor C (fssC) to clarify the role of Dgts in cell cycle regulation. Deleting fssC increases dNTP levels and extends the G1 phase of the cell cycle. We determined that the segregation and duplication of the origin of replication (oriC) is delayed in ΔfssC, but the rate of replication elongation is unchanged. We conclude that dNTP hydrolysis by FssC promotes the initiation of DNA replication through a novel nucleotide signaling pathway. This work further establishes Dgts as important regulators of the G1 to S phase transition, and the high conservation of Dgts across all domains of life implies that Dgt-dependent cell cycle control may be widespread in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms.

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